Old School Gamer Magazine chats with WarriOrb’s Géza Molnár (Co-Founder, Not Yet) who details the game and what makes it such a blast from the past and how classics the likes of the Souls’ games and Trine influenced it the most.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How was WarriOrb born?
Géza Molnár: WarriOrb was supposed to be a super simple six-month-long mini project. Back then, our protagonist was an egg with limbs who could only run, jump, roll, and bounce! However, as development progressed, we added more and more features. We wanted to experiment with basically everything we enjoyed in other video games.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What was your role in the game?
Molnár: Coding and game design were my primary roles – but since we’re a really small team, everyone needed to handle other tasks as well. From level design to marketing and management, I did pretty much everything 🙂
Old School Gamer Magazine: How did you get involved in the industry?
Molnár: When I was a kid, I dreamed that one day I’d be making games. Pursuing that dream, I applied to a Google Summer of Code job while I was in college. That’s where I made the level editor for SuperTuxKart. After that, I worked for Neocore Games and then Grimlore Games. When WarriOrb turned out to be a serious project, I decided to work on it full time.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What was development like?
Molnár: I wouldn’t say it was an easy run. WarriOrb is our very first project – and even if you worked for years in the industry as a coder, there are still a lot of things you don’t know about game development … the whole process, I mean. Our development process was a series of trials and errors. We experimented with many ideas – and most of them ended up in the trash. Even though WarriOrb still has its flaws, I’m really satisfied with the end result!
Old School Gamer Magazine: What makes WarriOrb special?
Molnár: For us, it’s the fact that WarriOrb was our first project. For players, we have unique “ball move” mechanics unlike any other platformer. Our primary goal was to create something that hasn’t been done before. There are also other features that make the game unique – like the 3D spline system and the story. We added a bunch of elements we love – including humorous dialogue, items, traders, combat, and boss battles.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What games influenced WarriOrb the most?
Molnár: Our primary inspirations were Dark Souls and Trine. We got the ideas for the level design and respawn system from Dark Souls – and the 3D side-scroller and platforming mechanics from Trine. Later on when we discovered Hollow Knight, we improved combat/boss fights and even the platforming itself.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Any fun stories or wild moments during development?
Molnár: I couldn’t list them all, but here just are a few:
- Making puzzles and asking other devs to test them during the prototyping phase.
- Seeing players’ faces light up when they defeat the first boss after countless tries.
- Watching how a speedrunner exploited our system to achieve a faster run.
- The moment when we realized that we managed to finish our 6-month mini project in only 4 years was funny … in a way!
- Just the fact that we made a game about a ball-shaped demon with limbs and weapons!
Old School Gamer Magazine: What were the major lessons learned?
Molnár: I think the biggest lesson we learned was that the game has to be designed to be sellable – and that player trust must be earned. Every design decision we made, every feature we ended up implementing, was optimized to make the game play better. Unfortunately, we never thought about how the gameplay would look on a GIF or a launch trailer. Since this is our first title, and we did not have an established fan base, the result was poor sales numbers – even though our players seem to really like the game.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Any hope for a Nintendo Switch release?
Old School Gamer Magazine: Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?
Molnár: Before WarriOrb, I would have said that it’s not important and you need to create something unique and new. Right now, I think you need to strike a balance between old and new. Older gameplay mechanics are what players will understand instantly. Even if you want to create something new, the old will be a good starting point. The finished game suffered in a way because we ignored this concept and our players kept on trying to do what they were used to doing.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What’s your favorite memory as a gamer?
Molnár: When I was a child, we had limited time to play video games. Back then, it was kind of like a social event. While one played, the others also tried to give tips on how a puzzle should be solved. After these play sessions, we talked about the game and tried to guess what other puzzles might follow. In fact, these were the very first steps in my career as a game developer.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How do you want WarriOrb to be remembered?
Molnár: For us, WarriOrb is just the beginning. I would be happy if those who played the game would say to themselves, ‘Okay, this was cool. I’m looking forward to seeing what other ideas these guys are working on!’
Old School Gamer Magazine: What’s next?
Molnár: While we’re still working on the console ports of WarriOrb, we’ve also started to prototype our next project.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Anything else you’d like to add?
Molnár: If you’re interested in WarriOrb, give it a go and let us know what you think! We’re open to any and all feedback.