Review Fix Exclusive: Inside ‘Broken Ground’

Review Fix chats with Rob Donkin – Developer, Bad Viking, who lets us know why his newest Step, release, Broken Ground, is a unique one.

Review Fix: How was this game born?

Rob Donkin: This is the game we’ve been wanting to make ever since we first got into game development almost a decade ago. We built up experience making Flash games until we were able to make a multiplayer game and that’s when we created Bad Eggs Online. Bad Eggs was like Broken Ground Lite. It was a big achievement for us at the time and has been successful along with the sequel, Bad Eggs Online 2, but it never felt like we’d given all we had to offer with it. It did give us excellent foundation to build upon and enabled us to fund the development of Broken Ground.

Review Fix: What has development been like so far?

Donkin: Equal parts fun and hard work! A real highlight has been making the weapon editor and then using it to craft some crazy weapons. Just the other day we were adding flamethrowers to a grenade – because we could! Once you’ve got your main prototype up and running it’s so fun to get creative and play around with different ideas.

Review Fix: What makes this game special?

Donkin: The variety of weaponry is where the game really shines. You get a random loadout of weapons each game so you will need to learn how to use each weapon to its greatest potential – you won’t always have your strongest weapons available. We’ve got regular missiles, grenades, and shotguns of course but we also have more interesting weapons like the Gooseberry, a weapon that increases damage every time it bounces to encourage crazy trick shots, or the Switcher, a weapon that switches your place on the map with anyone it hits. There’s also a laser minigun, a flamethrower, several bows, air strikes, a throwing knife, a missile that explodes into a shower of throwing knives, a dirt bomb, lots of bouncing projectiles, projectiles that go through walls, a raspberry, a murderball, a lightning gun, a black hole, and my personal favourite; Mjollnir. And many many more!

It’s also free! There is an insane amount of gameplay and content that we are giving away for absolutely nothing and we are being very careful to avoid ‘pay to win’. The parts of the game that you can unlock by paying for are designed to give you more enjoyment but not at the expense of other players.

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Review Fix: What games influenced this one the most?

Donkin: Worms is obviously a pretty big influence – it’s a game that we loved playing together in our childhood – but it’s also influenced by a lesser known game called Tank Wars which is one of the first games we remember playing.

Review Fix: Any fun stories or wild moments during development?

Donkin: Haha, I wouldn’t say it has been particularly wild, it’s very boring to say but it was mostly a lot of hard work.

Review Fix: Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?

Donkin: It’s not just important, it’s how we move forward. Every game is built on the foundations of all the games that have come before it. Our game uses the same turn-based artillery gameplay found in a large number of games but it is still unique and innovative in other areas such as the weapon design, map design and customisation options.

Review Fix: What’s your favorite memory as a gamer?

Donkin: Ahhh, great question! There are so many to choose from but what stands out for me most is getting together with my friends to play N64 into the small hours as a kid. Mostly Goldeneye and F-Zero X. I love that social aspect of gaming which is why I love making multiplayer games.

Review Fix: Who will enjoy this game the most?

Donkin: Anyone who enjoyed playing Worms but wants something more modern, and anyone who has never played a multiplayer artillery game and is only just realising that they missed out big time.

Review Fix: How do you want this game to be remembered?

Donkin: We all look on back on certain games that had a big impact on a particular time of our lives, that we loved playing and kept coming back to. We want this to be that game for a group of people. We’re realistic, we know it’s unlikely to have a wider cultural impact on a generation but we’ll be happy if we can reach an audience who enjoy it. We have specifically built it with longevity in mind and will continue to update and support it as long as people want to play it.

Review Fix: What’s next?

Donkin: We plan to work on Broken Ground for the foreseeable future. We want to see if it’s possible to bring it to mobile or other platforms and we will be adding more content to the game.

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Patrick Hickey Jr.

Editor-in-Chief, Founder at Review Fix
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the upcoming book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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About Patrick Hickey Jr. 7351 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the upcoming book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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