Interview With Unikotoast Creator of "Buns: Bunny Survivor"-Pico-View #2
U = Uniko
M = Marina
Buns: Bunny Survivor (click link)
Witchcraft Tower Defense (click link)
M: So, in your own words, who are you and what pico-projects have you made?
U: I'm a begginer indie game dev, I've started playing around with Pico-8 around 7 months ago. I really liked Vampire Survivors and wanted to make something similar but I did not want to invest a lot of time into learning game engines so Pico-8 was perfect. I never ever did anything gamedev related but I have a decent experience in software engineering. I only made 2 games https://unikotoast.itch.io
M: So, what feature/part of "Vampire Survivors" drew you the most to want to make your own survivor game using Pico-8?
M: There's this io game I played some time ago, https://diep.io. In it you play a tank and you upgrade six abilities (shot speed, damage, movement speed, ect ect). On their own they were cool, but when you upgrade two or more abilities in tandem your tank mentally and magically becomes a machine gun, a sniper, a shotgun, or anything else you could possibly dream of.
And similarly http://diep.io has permadeath. Which creates something very similar to "Bun's", where you spawn in, and you start to have a very clear mental path you'll take in order to get your preferred build. But what I find separates these survivor games, like "Vampire Survivors" and "Buns", most of the abilities aren't just "atk+" or "speed+", you have abilities that allow you to fire dash, freeze dash, pick up more gems, ect.
M: AND ON TOP OF THIS you only get a few upgrade options every time you level up. This creates situations where none of the upgrades will benefit your build, so you have to think, "hmmm, which one of these seemingly arbitrary upgrades will help me most/ harm me least?". I really enjoy these in-game decisions. And then "Buns" comes a long and gives us this concept in an extremely streamlined and juicy package. Here, for example is a magnet, which looks and feels amazing to pick up:
U: The most impressive thing about Vampire Survivors is that the concept of top down arena shooter is nothing new (see Crimsonland) but this game revived this genre in a very neat way and now there are dozens of games like this on Steam: 20 minutes till dawn, Brotato and many others.
M: One thing I didn't realize in the game, and had to read the description to know, this is your first game. Which is crazy, so I realized you must of had a few pretty descent playtesters behind the scenes, is that correct? And if so how often and when did you start playtesting?
U: I had none dedicated playtesters, all feedback I got from lexaloffle bbs and Pico-8 discord. Balancing damage and hp numbers is really tricky and takes a lot of time, that's true, I'm still not satisfied with Buns, it could be way better.
M: I don't think anyone is ever satisfied with their work when complete, but how long did it take you to make "Buns"?
U: It took 2 months in my free time, I think it took around 100-300 hours including learning Pico-8
M: That's kind of amazing, what's your favorite mechanic/feature/ect,ect you were able to squeeze into your project during that time?
U:Particles and explosion effects are very fun to play with
M:Trust me, they never get old, If Zep were to come down from the heavens and adjust the tokens/characters/ect for you to add one more feature, what would that feature be?
U: In Buns I would add a pet cat that attacks enemies and follows you, an ability that I had to cut down to get more tokens.
M: Have you met my friend Achie who made "Lina And The Witches Of The Moon"? There's a cat like that in his game, but it's available from the start without any work and I feel like it clutters up the screen. It's literally the only thing I dislike about that game.
U: I played Achie's Lina and it's very cute game I liekd it!
M: Anyways, I heard after making "Buns" you made a tower defense game, could you tell me what that's all about?
U: My second game is Witchcraft Tower Defence, it has a unique mechanic for a TD where each tower you create is random and to upgrade you have to merge 2 same towers
M: Did "Buns" influence the creation of Witchcraft TD any, and if you would've made Witchcraft TD first would it have been any different? ps (Pico-Playtime on Youtube played both of your games, which is really cool.)
U: I always wanted to make a TD, I reused a lot of code from Buns. I don't know what will be different if Buns was second :D Pico-Playtime is awesome yes, he also made music for Buns
M: Wait, really? I remember him talking in his video about how it would be nice with music, since it had none then. That's trippy though, wow.
U: Yeah, he suggested to make music and I added it
M: And finally, what do you have planned next as far as pico-8 or any game dev endevours?
U: For now I'm on a little hiatus and slowly learning Godot
M: Nice, well I'm sure we'll all be happy to see what you make next. Good luck and happy game deving.
"Making pixels and buns" -Uniko
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