One of the premiere game development collectives on ROBLOX is Mad Studio. Between games like Darkness (and its sequel), Intense Sword Fighting, and the The Mad Murderer, this group of game developers, spearheaded by the 17-year-old loleris, has racked up around 30 million cumulative gameplay sessions and earned more than $70,000 in the last year through the Developer Exchange. Today the group’s latest effort is on the brink of release, so we decided to get an inside preview of Mad Paintball and find out what loleris believes will separate it from the other great shooters on the ROBLOX market.
ROBLOX: Considering the rich history and competition of paintball games on ROBLOX, why did you decide to make a game of this variety?
Loleris: Others might have noticed it themselves, like I did, that there were fewer new competitive shooter games out lately and their current playability is pretty low compared to what it was several months ago. Games like Call of ROBLOXia 5 and daxter33’s Paintball! were among the top five or 10 games at that time. I realized this could be an opportunity to make first-person shooters (with an option for third-person shooting) popular once again.
ROBLOX: What makes Mad Paintball better than and/or different from the other popular paintball games?
Loleris: Mad Paintball doesn’t really follow all of the rules of the classic miked’s Ultimate Paintball or the modern daxter33’s Paintball! — it’s not a tag game and it takes more than one shot to blox somebody. What you’re actually seeing here is a tactical shooter with different classes which have their own perks such as slow/fast walkspeed, health points starting from 70 to a massive 250, and guns that are only effective at either long range or short range but not both. But Mad Paintball is “paintball” because you get to fight with a paintball gun which maintains the classical properties like projectile speed and gravity. I took my time to make a unique feel to my own paintball gun. Some of the work specifically for the gun happened at the New York Maker Faire, where I actually talked with daxter33 about it. I’m happy to know that he’s busy on a new game himself.
ROBLOX: We noticed the characters in Mad Paintball also appear in The Mad Murderer. How important are characters in ROBLOX games?
Loleris: We can only debate whether people want to use game-specific characters or use their own characters from the website. The Mad Murderer used its own characters to create anonymity during rounds, which brought many indescribable and exciting feelings, but Mad Paintball took them to distinct weapon types from one another — every character in Mad Paintball is tied to his/her own gun. Now, in-game characters themselves also have value — they create a base for game concept, its story line, and the only question is how well you can utilize them. I have noticed that many of our fans like to draw pictures and write stories about individual characters and all of that provokes a discussion about our game and kind of brings us all closer to each other.
ROBLOX: How many characters (i.e., classes) will there be in Mad Paintball?
Loleris: We’re inviting most of The Mad Murderer characters for a battle to the death on Mad Paintball, but we’re also creating new ones to bring the biggest character variety yet! Right now we already have about 20 created. We might have that many for the release, but there should be more than 50 after another month or two.
ROBLOX: How many maps will there be in Mad Paintball?
Loleris: It all depends on the community and our map builders. We will launch the game with no less than 4 maps, though.
ROBLOX: How many community-sourced maps do you want to have in the game?
Loleris: A lot. It doesn’t matter who made it as long as it works for Mad Paintball.
ROBLOX: What kinds of game modes will there be in Mad Paintball?
Loleris: Mad Paintball will have many game modes like the ones you can find on Team Fortress 2: Capture The Flag, King Of The Hill, Team Death Match. Then upon further updates we will also have Arena (i.e., Elimination), Control Points, Payload and Juggernaut. It all depends on how much attention Mad Paintball gets during its first weeks.
ROBLOX: How do you plan to keep people interested in Mad Paintball during each game session, and over the span of the game’s life?
Loleris: Unlockables. You will be able to raise your character’s level, get badges, increase stats and this will allow you to unlock the next character. Further than that, the game cycle itself will be just as addicting — shooting, for some reason, never gets boring.
ROBLOX: What do you think is the key to making a good shooter game?
Loleris: It’s rather a secret, but I’ll only tell you that it’s all about the little things.
ROBLOX: How many people have been involved in the creation of Mad Paintball? What has each person contributed?
Loleris: I have been coding Mad Paintball for one and a half months now. Nettimato has been working on the game content like Mad Paintball character icons, weapon variety and anything else that has to do with graphic design — he has been around Mad Studio ever since establishment. I’m very thankful to Zomebody, who made the first and amazing map for Mad Paintball. Just because of that map we can now test the game in a realistic game environment and not on a dull baseplate.
ROBLOX: What’s the best way to do collaborative game development on ROBLOX?
Loleris: There are plenty of people who can help you with scripting, building and what not, but they will only help if you manage to make them believe that it’s going to work and that you have everything planned. Development time mustn’t exceed two months, otherwise you and your colleagues risk loosing interest. Everything you plan for the release of the game must be finished with no, “Oh look! Let’s add that as well!” because you want to go minimal first and test the game, see how people like it, and then actually add what they want.
Will Mad Paintball stack up against the likes of daxter33’s ultra-popular Paintball! or miked’s nostalgia-tinged Ultimate Paintball? You’ll have to wait for the official release of the game — something loleris predicts will occur by the middle of November. Get your masks ready.