Summer Update

  • On July 7, 2016 ·
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Yo yo yo, we’re back again with a new video update so be sure to check out some of the awesome content in the making!

As Viktor states in the video, we’ll be taking some weeks off now so see you in a few weeks with new content, more features and the upcoming alpha test!


Until next time,

The Tarheads

Augments explained

In our latest  we introduced a new core feature called ‘Augments’. Augments are simply modified versions of the original abilities. They keep the core of  the original ability while adding unique features, making them effective in different kind of situations. 

Augments are not meant to be stronger than the original ability but rather an alternative for players with different playstyles. Our goal with this system is to offer players more options to add to their weaponry, without making the game unbalanced. Adding overpowered augments will obviously make the game less fun and we will therefore constantly make sure that each augment is equally balanced to keep the integrity of the game intact.

In Ruin you earn experience points from each match you play. These experience points are then used to increase the level of your character but also the abilities you have equipped. When your abilities have reached a certain level you will unlock a new augment for that ability.

We will make sure to write a more detailed breakdown of the augment system in the future. Until then, enjoy these gifs! (Keep in mind that the game is still in Alpha and some of the visuals may drastically change).


Two different versions of the Bolt ability.


Two different versions of Scatter.


Explosive Brew now comes in two different sizes!


Pasted image at 2016_06_23 10_34

An early mock-up of  the post-game screen.


That’s it for this time! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more updates the coming weeks.


New development video – Introducing augments

  • On June 18, 2016 ·
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Hi there everyone!

We have released a new video update on the progression in development and are really excited about this one. Watch the video to learn what Augments bring to the game.

Hope you like it and stay awesome!

/The Tarheads

Alpha update 1.4

  • On May 27, 2016 ·
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The next alpha test is closing in! We are in the midst of tweaking and improving some of the features that will be added to the game and we are super-excited to let you guys try it out! One of the biggest change as of now is the visually updated arena. Mattias and Viktor have been working hard to improve the art and make the arena look more lifelike. I you want to know more about what we are working on you can check out our new development vlog further down. We are planning on releasing a new vlog at least every other week. We are also going to start to updating the blog more frequently to keep you guys posted on the development. Until then, stay frosty!

Buzzing intensifies

  • On April 21, 2016 ·
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Last week, we had the pleasure of attending a marketing workshop with games industry veteran Emmy Jonassen, a.k.a. . That resulted in a long discussion on how we can create more buzz around our game. We got a lot of great advice and hope to transform all of it into some really good RUiN content for you all!

Awesome workshop demands awesome AW & chill.

Awesome workshop demands awesome AW & chill.


We know there is a lot we can do to strengthen our presence around the internet and with this new burst of inspiration we will do our very best to keep in contact with you, our community, aswell as getting the word out to new players. One attempt at this is to create lighter and more frequent blog posts so to honor that I only want to remind you about our alpha test coming up this weekend!

Alpha Weekend:
April 22nd, 18:00-24:00 CEST
April 23nd, 18:00-24:00 CEST

If you want access to RUiN or want to know more about it, click here!

Beta Sign-up here!

Marketing and Community Manager

Let’s talk about the change of art style

  • On March 14, 2016 ·
  • By admin ·
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Hi there!

Viktor, a.k.a. LeClaw here! I’m the concept artist and art director for RUiN and I thought I’d share some thoughts with y’all, concerning the change of graphics in RUiN since the Summer of last year, 2015.

RUiN has been a long-term project. The game has morphed and evolved simultaneously as we have improved our game development skills. The core of RUiN has always been the same: intense, fast-paced & chaotic PvP action in a top-down perspective, but all the floof surrounding that core experience has gone through lots of changes.

Devil Ronin Concept

Old RUiN concept art

Medium and Heavy fighters

Old RUiN concept art

Character sketches

Old RUiN concept art


 What made us doubt the sci-fi style?

For you who are new to RUiN, this game used to have a gritty sci-fi style. So why didn’t we start RUiN with the stylized fantasy aesthetics that we currently have? When we started, the first idea was basically a sci-fi version of Warlocks, the mod for Warcraft 3, but with more in-depth gameplay. In addition, we also had a different art director during that time who decided to leave the company during the start-up phase of development, however, on good terms. The new art director was me. After this change we started, without really noticing it at first, to move away from the sleek, gritty, hardcore sci-fi style and gravitate towards a more stylized, exaggerated form language for both our characters and environments.

The one that had pushed the sci-fi style forward the most was our previous art director, who’d now left the team. After a couple of months of struggling to keep ourselves within this theme, we realized that our comfort zone lied in a more fantasy-oriented one. At this time, we were still self-funded and, mark my words, it is crucial that you’re really invested and passionate about what you’re doing during times like that. If you’re not passionate about your own project, and still has to do a lot of work to keep yourself floating, economically, then you’ll find that your willpower will run out really quick.

We realized that working within the sci-fi theme felt too constricted, and we didn’t feel the passion we thought necessary to make RUiN something special. This led to some long discussions about how to reignite our spark for the project. Remember that I said this is crucial to prevent loss of willpower? We concluded that we wanted to change the aesthetics in RUiN from scratch. Our 3D artist, Big Joe, loves vikings, knights, mongolian hunters, spartans and everything else that involves medieval themes. The comfort zone of Jake the Snake, also a 3D artist, was in natural environments, such as forests, mountains and ruins of historical places. I feel most at home concepting characters with an exaggerated physique, over-the-top powers and awesome settings in cartoony colours.

wallpaper bear chief brown

RUiN wallpaper

The old waypoint props concepts

RUiN arena prop concepts






We concluded that we’ll be able to do the best we can for RUiN if we focus on our strengths, so all of us can show up at work, doing what we love! In short, our main points for switching style was:

  • The change of art director. 
  • A more simplified and stylized theme would fit the overall experience and readability that was necessary for RUiN’s in-game experience. 
  • We’d feel less constricted within a fantasy theme, since we thought that we could still implement sci-fi (or steam punk, etc.) elements in a fantasy setting without it feeling too weird. Implementing fantasy elements within the old sci-fi setting didn’t come as easily for us. 
  • Apart from that the new theme, on paper, would fit the overall expression for the game in a better way, we also felt that we would have more fun and feel more passionate about what we were doing!
Old RUiN screenshot

Old RUiN screenshot

RUiN screenshot

RUiN screenshot

Where are we now and where do we want to go?

Working on RUiN is very fulfilling, and we’re still growing in our roles on Tarhead Studios. Our goal with the aesthetics of  RUiN is to create an experience that matches the games gameplay and together gives an impression of a well-coordinated wholeness. We want everything to feel connected, that during every second that you’re playing RUiN you’ll feel as if you are in the same place. One game, one feeling, one experience.

So where are we now in relation to where we want to go? Honestly, I don’t know. I do know that we’re not there yet, but we’re working our butts off to get there! I can say that I feel we’re going in the right direction towards creating an amazing, cohesive experience for RUiN, and I hope that you’ll be here to share this journey with us.

Oh, and here’s some candy for all of you who finished reading!

Wizard Kid

Art Director & Concept Artist

The RUiN Alpha is Here

  • On January 27, 2016 ·
  • By admin ·
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This weekend we went live with our very first online test session for RUiN, which is now officially in Alpha! We gave a lucky few access to the game on Steam and had them try out the matchmaking service aswell as locating and reporting bugs to us. Overall, the test was a success and despite bugs and malfunctions, the community stayed positive during the two evenings while the servers were running.

Alpha Test Screenshot

We were delighted to see several streamers going live to show the gameplay and its completely overpowered combos.


We at Tarhead are extremely grateful for all the help we got and many of us have expressed joy towards our wonderful community. All of us had a really good time talking and listening to you, watching your streams, playing RUiN ourselves and we hope you had a lot of fun aswell. One thing we really want you to know is that everything, no matter how tedious, help us so much. Everything from long queue times to lag and poorly functioning abilities will come to help us a lot when getting back to improving the game, so huge thanks to all of you for your time.

For those of you who haven’t signed up already, go to the RUiN subreddit here or secure access to the Beta later this year by clicking this link.

Tarheads losing to fans

We are not amused when losing to our fans so we are working on some developer exclusive cheats to secure our victory.


*Back to work*

/The Tarheads

Streamlining Development Using Custom Built Tools in Unity

  • On February 3, 2015 ·
  • By admin ·
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Hello! My name is Arvid Backman and I’m one of the programmers here at Tarhead Studio. I’m going to talk a little bit about how we use the extendable Unity editor to create custom editor tools. Unity is very powerful in that it allows you to customize the editor in many ways. In fact the Unity team says that: “the Unity editor is almost infinitely extendable”. At Tarhead we try to take advantage of this and make the work for the artists and designers as easy as possible.

These are some of the things which we take in consideration when creating a tool.

  • Does the tool improve the workflow for the other disciplines?
  • Does the time loss for creating the tool make up for the time gained?

If these criteria are met one of our programmers is then assigned the task to implement the tool in the Unity engine.


As you probably already know, one of the core features of Ruin is the ability selection and the variety of different abilities. Because of this we wanted it to be easy and fast, for the designers, to create abilities without doing any coding. To achieve this we decided to design abilities as state machines, where each state contains a set of aspects. An aspect is basically what defines the abilities behaviour. For example the “projectile” aspect will make sure that the ability flies straight in a set direction.

This approach gave us the possibility to create a visual scripting tool to create different abilities. The creator of the ability defines a set of states which the ability can be in, which behaviours that state should apply, and the transitions to other states. Transitioning between states are based on messages (using the same messaging system as the underlying game engine) and a state can subscribe to any message that the game engine can emit.


The states of the default fireball.

As you may imagine more complex abilities can become very large inside of this tool. Keep in mind that the tool isn’t perfect and is still a work in progress.


Vertex painting is a method which increases the workflow for the artists. It gives them the possibility to make small customizations to an objects material without having to do custom textures for each object. The idea behind it is to blend several textures depending on the red, green, and blue color channel of each vertex on the mesh. This is favorable because several meshes can have the same material but look completely different because their vertex colors are different. For example a wall could have rust on it and another wall with the exact same material could have paint stains splattered all over it.


Two identical meshes but qwith different texture blending.


The same meshes with their vertex colors presented.

Unreal gives you the possibility to paint the vertices of a mesh out of the box, unfortunately Unity does not have this feature. The artists of Tarhead missed this feature and came with the request of such a tool. The power of the extendable editor gave us the possibility to implement such a tool. It takes a mesh and goes through its vertices and checks if they are inside a specified radius. The vertices color channels, which are inside of the circle radius, can then be painted.


These are just a few of the internal tools which we use at Tarhead Studio. Examples of other ones are a tool to place out collision polygons, a character customization tool, and even a tool to quickly switch between scenes inside the Unity editor.

For the future we are planning to implement a type of level editor for the team to use. This, level editor tool, will make it easier to add content into a level and it will also be integrated with the already existing collision editor. This might, in a far distance future, also make it possible for players to mess around with our custom level editor, inside Unity, and export the level, which they then can play in the actual game.

To quickly sum up this blog post; The Unity editor is super awesome in the aspect of custom editor tools which will increase the workflow for your development team. I highly recommend everyone to look into the creation of different tools and also look over your own project and think of what tools you might need to make the development of your game quicker and easier!

That’s all from me. Over and out!

Arvid Backman
Technical Artist & Tools Engineer


Why have party pics when you can have sexy pics? Stronk!

The Exhibitionation of Tarhead

  • On December 1, 2014 ·
  • By admin ·
  • With 10 Comments

A couple of weeks ago we displayed RUiN for the first time at Comic Con Gamex Stockholm, one of the largest exhibitions in Sweden for games. In the following post I will share with you some thoughts on different aspects of showing off your games at exhibitions and similar events as well as give you a glimpse of our experience.

To make it easier for you, and since I’m kind of CDO, I have broken it down into three categories of equal importance: Preparations, Execution and the Aftermath.



The first thing you need to do when preparing for an exhibition is to figure out what your goal for the exhibition is. Do you want to reach out to the press? Gain visibility? Meet publishers/investors? Something else? Preferably, you should have at least an idea of your goal even before deciding to go, since attending these sort of things can be quite the investment and different exhibitions/tradeshows/conventions are good or bad in different aspects.

Since we’re still in an early stage of development of RUiN and since Comic Con Gamex attendees are mostly gamers – the audience – our primary goal was to gain visibility and get a sense for what the players think of our game and if we’re heading in the right direction. As a secondary goal we were also hoping for some press coverage but weren’t counting on it, since there generally aren’t a lot of journalists at this specific exhibition and the few that are mostly cover the “big” names.

When you’ve made the decision to go to an exhibition and have your goal set you need to start looking into three things.

    • What part of my game do I want to show off and will I have it ready in time?
    • What can I do to gain the attention of the people I’m there for?
    • Practical solutions (hardware, traveling, accommodation, etc.)



The first of these things – what you are going to show – of course relates to the goal we talked about earlier. Are you trying to gain visibility and create awareness of your game with the general public? Then you probably want a playable build of your game and maybe a gameplay video that shows off the core features of your game. Are you going to have business meetings with publishers and investors? Then you probably want at least a trailer of the game and a pitch, for example in the form of a short power point presentation.

You also have to make sure that you will have it finished by the time you’re leaving for the exhibition. The key to this is effective deadlines, I would recommend it to be at least a week before the event takes place, and not aiming too high. Players will generally not spend more than five minutes actually playing your game so instead of trying to finish the whole game, focus on a small part of it that conveys the core features and does it really well.

As for the second of these things, what you should do to gain the right attention, it can get a bit tricky. You should make it a habit to do some standard stuff before exhibitions; once again, dependent on what your goal is. If you want to meet up with publishers and investors, you should look into which ones are attending and make contact with the interesting ones beforehand. Oftentimes their schedule is already loaded when they arrive so they won’t have any time for you otherwise. This is also true for journalists, whom you should also have prepared a press kit for when making contact. If you have no idea what a press kit is, check this tool out. It’s free!

As for showing your game to the masses, you have to start thinking about how you can make your booth or space attractive. Especially to your target audience. To get your thinking going I will list a few basic ideas:

  • You could have some form of a competition and a large sign saying something along the lines of “Hey, you can win these awesome prizes over here!” People LOVE competitions. For example, on the second day of Comic Con Gamex we, due to lacking as much attention as we wanted, made a big sign saying “Competition: Beat the developers and secure your beta access”. We basically doubled the number of people coming by our booth!
  • You could decorate your booth based on the theme of your game.
  • You could have activities in your booth relating to your game. For example at GDC last year, visitors at the “Papers, Please”-booth were able to stamp sign up forms just like you do in the game. Simple but effective!
  • Give aways. People LOVE free stuff, maybe even more than competitions. You could give away free t-shirts and other merchandise if you have the funds, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Simple things like free candy will get you a long way!

The sign says “Competition! Can you beat the developers?”. Worked like a charm!


Last, but not least, you of course have to look into practical solutions for your trip. Where will you stay during the event? How will you get there? What hardware do you need for your booth? Other stuff for your booth to make it more attractive, maybe a roll up? It might sound obvious but damn it if there isn’t always someone panicking over having forgotten something important when you get there. Start making a list of these things early on and get to it, it will only get more expensive the closer you get to the event.


So, you’ve arrived at the exhibition, you’ve prepared your booth or material and it’s time to start. What do you do?

Pitching the game to publishers and investors

When I was preparing to pitch RUiN for the first time in front of a publisher I was honestly scared shitless, especially the last few minutes leading up to it. We were at the GameConnection in San Francisco, sort of a speed dating event between developers, publishers and other game related services. We had loads of meetings over the course of three days and they had scheduled our first meeting to be with Microsoft. Of all the companies we had scheduled meetings with during the course of those three days we of course had to start with one of the giants.

However, five seconds into that first pitch I realized something that I think is important to keep in mind. The guy at the other side of the table is just another dude trying to do his job. A job that is, most likely, dependent on him finding games with a lot of potential that is worth investing in. Him going home from GameConnection without a bunch of good material would probably be as bad as for us to go back home without having made at least a few parties interested in our game.

Humanizing the publisher makes it a lot easier to make a good pitch. If you don’t, your presentation will almost definitely be affected. You will sound stiff, sort of like a computer that has memorized a script, and you will be completely thrown off when they cut you off with questions. And they will have questions.

Other than that there are a few nice guidelines for pitching your game:

  • Make sure you know the company at the other side of the table and what their portfolios look like. What sort of games have they published before? What are their core values and the idea behind their business? This kind of information can usually be found on their respective websites, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
  • Make sure that you know every aspect of your game, including business model, core features and target audience, and that you can motivate those aspects.
  • Keep it short. Often, you won’t have that much time and, as I’ve mentioned, there will be a lot of questions. Try to aim for a five minute presentation focusing on all the important aspects of your game and don’t go into detail on any minor features.
  • Learn to think like a salesmen. Meetings with publishers and investors always differ. Some are avid gamers that love to talk about your games, others don’t care at all and just want to know how they can make money on your product. Try to keep an eye on their reaction to different subjects and focus on the ones that seem to pique their interest.


Talking to the press

The first thing you have to realize about the press is that they are just as interested in writing about you as you are in them doing it. Much like how the job of the dude in my first publisher meeting was dependent on him bringing back a bunch of promising games, the job of the girl from PC Gamer is dependent on her writing a bunch of great articles before the deadline of their next issue. You contacting them about your new game can be a lifesaver, or at least save them some time.

That being said, they won’t just take any random game sent their way and print an article about it. So here’s a few things worth keeping in mind when talking to journalists:

  • Don’t waste time on the wrong press. You will save loads of time on filtering out the sites and magazines that don’t really care about your kind of game. Do you have a first person puzzle game? Well than why the f*** would you waste time talking to a journalist from
  • Stay updated. When you’ve filtered out the press that you shouldn’t waste time on, make sure to stay updated on the latest trends in the press that you do care about. Use it to your advantage!
  • Talking to a journalist differs from talking to publishers and investors. Don’t talk about how the game will make you loads of money, talk about what makes your gameplay awesome. Core features, community service, etc. Most of all, be enthusiastic about your game and make them believe as much in what you’re saying as you do, or at least should be doing.
  • Build a relationship. Make friends and treat the press well, especially the ones that wrote good things about you. Follow up with them, give exclusives and make their time with you worthwhile.
  • Pay attention not only to the big all-encompassing sites but also to smaller, more specialized sites. First of all, getting an article about your game on a site that focuses on games like yours can get you as much attention as getting an article at say IGN, where the article about the latest World of Warcraft mega-expansion headline next to your unknown game will pique the majority of the reader’s interest. Secondly, a lot of the journalists at the smaller sites further or later wind up working for the big names and if you’ve already built a relationship with them at that point you will have a much easier time getting the attention you’re so desperately seeking.

I realize that a lot of this might sound either abstract or obvious but that’s the way it is. If you feel uncomfortable in these kinds of situations, speaking publicly and with the press, there are a lot of tools and courses on the web that might just be the help you need.

Talking to the players

This is by far the most mentally exhausting of the three. Most likely, you’re used to talking about games in general as well as your own game and it’s pretty much the same as what you should be saying to the press, so I won’t go into detail about that. Instead, I will give you a few motivational tips that might just be what makes you survive that final day of PAX or E3.

Talking to the public, the ones that in the end will be deciding the fate of your game, can be the most rewarding part of developing games. At the same time, it can also be the most painful one. To tackle this issue, remember the following things:

  • Your game won’t suit everyone. Some random guy is saying that the gameplay is boring isn’t the end of the world. Neither is it in any way indicative of your game sucking. Be objective and think of what could have caused him to say so instead. What kind of games does he like? Did he experience any issues when playing? Is everyone calling it boring or is it just this guy?
  • It’s totally okay to take breaks, you don’t have to be there the whole time. If you’re smart you will make a schedule with the rest of the team attending so that there is someone at your booth at all times.
  • Let the game speak for itself. You don’t have to cover every aspect of it before someone gets to play. Oftentimes, the one you’re speaking to will lose interest if they don’t get to try it out. That’s most likely what they’re there for.

On top of that you shouldn’t just let them leave your booth and forget about you. As I mentioned before, giveaways (preferably with your logo on them) is a great way to make them remember you. On top of that you can also have newsletter signups, links to your social media pages, and so on and so forth so that they can find a way to stay updated on the development of your game.

However, most people won’t just sign up for a newsletter even if they’re interested, so try to think of a way to solve that issue. For example, during Gamex, we had Beta-signups for RUiN (everyone wants to sign up for a beta) and in the signup form we had a checkbox for receiving our newsletter. 95% of the people signing up accepted the newsletter as well!


To give you a sense of how you’ll feel at the end of the last day

The Aftermath

So, you survived the convention/tradeshow and you’re back home, at last. Finally, you’ll get some time to rest…

Just kidding, this is not the time to rest. Not even close. What you’re going to do next is to use the momentum you’ve created. If you don’t, all the work you’ve put in this far will have been for naught.

Basically, what you want to do now is follow up on your actions during the event. If you had a bunch of meetings with publishers and alike, you (hopefully) promised to send them some kind of information. You might have promised them a summary of the game and the trailer for them to pitch the game internally. Maybe you even said you’d send them the prototype or vertical slice that you’ve created. Even if you didn’t promise them anything, you should still get in touch to make sure they don’t forget you exist. You’re still allowed to send them material even if you spoke nothing of such trivial matters!

In other words, you now want to have some things ready. Material like trailers, prototypes or promo art you most likely already have and brought with you to the conference. However, you might not have a pitch summary or presentation ready for them. Don’t worry, they shouldn’t take that long  to make considering you’ve already pitched the game.


Yes, this is a filler pic.

What you want to do is outline the core features of the game, how you’re planning to monetize on the game and a short summary of why they should choose your studio. It shouldn’t be more than one or two pages long. Just make sure that you focus on the important aspects; they will most likely not care about that awesome custom particle effects tool you built for unity.

Concerning the press, this is the time to send out that press kit if you did not do it beforehand. Whatever the case, you should still give them a heads up and thank them for their time. If you did do a bunch of interviews you must also start keeping track on the web, if you did talk to people from analogue magazines you will want to keep track of these magazines as well, to see if you’re mentioned anywhere. If you are, start analyzing what they wrote. You will probably be devastated about how they misinterpreted everything. Well, stop your whining and think about what you did wrong during the interview and how you can fix that until next time instead. Everyone has bad interviews, it won’t RUiN (see what I did there?) your game as long as you do better next time.

Last, but definitely not least, if you talked to loads of potential players during the event you have some following up to do as well. With any luck, you probably have a lot of new followers in social media, newsletter signups or some other form of attention now. Make sure to follow up on your promises and keep them updated. Start working that twitter account like your hands are on fire and write the best god damn newsletter the world has ever seen. Plan your marketing and try to give them some major updates at least once a month. A new trailer, some new previously unknown information about the game like a new, previously undisclosed alien race or some gameplay footage, to give you an example. It’s good to have these things planned out even before the event so that you don’t tell the players of every little detail of your game. As I’ve said before, focus on the core features of your game. Once they’re hooked, they will care about the other stuff as well.

I think I will abruptly end it here. I’ve written far too much already and I’m almost a week past deadline. I’m impressed that you made it through all those lines of text and hope you’ve at least gotten a few ideas on what to do the next time you head out and show off your game.



You made it!

If you have any questions or think I’m full of shit, please do share these thoughts in the comment section below. Back rubbing is totally welcome as well.

And remember to sign up for our Beta (and newsletter).

For more reading on this subject and PR/marketing in general, you should read Pixel Prospectors Big List Of Indie Game Marketing. It’s awesome and has helped me a lot!

Partypic can be found below, sort of.

Emil Helge
Project Manager & Lead Designer


Yes, that’s me fighting a gryphonlikebirdthingy and, of course, protecting the helpless lady. Damn it, stereotypes.





Designing abilities for fun gameplay

  • On November 12, 2014 ·
  • By admin ·
  • With 2 Comments

In RUiN the abilities is what the game is all about. Obviously we put a lot of effort in to the design of every ability. When we design an ability it has to prove itself on three grounds:
– More than one use
– Counterable
– Fun to use

When an ability meet these requirements it is implemented into the game. If it doesn’t, we iterate on its design until it either meet the requirements or is discarded in favour of another ability. The process of developing an ability looks something like this.


You take the concept of an ability – could be a picture, sound, text or basically anything – and transform that concept into a feature. I.e. what will it do and how will it look while doing so. When this is done, you make a prototype and test it out in order to evaluate if the ability in fact works as you imagined. If the ability does work as imagined and if we feel it qualifies for implementation it is put into final production after which it is implemented in to the real game.

More than one use:

What exactly do we mean when we say an ability need to have more than one use? Well, when we design the mechanics for an ability we always think of at least one primary use and one secondary. These uses are divided into three categories: Offensive, Defensive and Utility. If we take the ability plasma grenade, for example. Its primary use is as an offensive AoE attack that blasts your opponents away. It does, however, has a secondary use as well. If you happen to be pushed out far into the hazard you can use plasma grenade on yourself to blast your way back in on the arena again. In other words, plasma grenades secondary use is one of utility.



Ingame Grenade utility use.

Another example of a secondary use is the ability scatter, which primary use like plasma grenade is offensive; its secondary use is defensive. In RUiN you can block most projectiles with one of your own. Since scatter sends out seven projectiles in a session it is ideal for blocking incoming attacks as well as for attacking. The seven projectiles makes it a lot easier to hit your target, which might be either another ability or an opponent.


An ability should be fun to use, right? I think we all agree to that! But we find that an ability should also be fun to be up against. To be able to see an attack and know that you can avoid it and that you can counter it gives you hope. Especially if you know that you can turn this in your favour. We want to give the players the chance to negate or counter their enemies’ abilities. For example, the ability EMP was very boring to be up against, at least on its first iteration. The ability worked like this: You fire the ability and a global silence – i.e. you cannot use any of your abilities – affects every one for 2 seconds. Going up against the EMP wasn’t fun at all, it was horrible and you just had to wait it out.

So instead we insisted to give it a limited area of effect. Now the caster emits waves in an area around it that silence opponents hit for a short time, so now you have to chase down your enemy if you want to keep them silenced. This is both fun to use and fun to be up against. What happens is that when you are up against the EMP you obviously start to run and they of course start to chase you whilst of course hurling fireballs and alike in your general direction. This becomes a game of cat and mouse that can change in an instant.

Fun to use:

I touched upon this in the previous section, but I will now fully explain why this is so important. If an ability makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something great every time you pull it off, it will be fun! Does it have to be real hard to use and do tons of damage and pushback? No. To make something feel powerful and fun to use, you need to combine a unique mechanic with awesome visuals and sound effects.

When we had our first public testing we asked what people thought of the game and what their favourite abilities were. What we noticed was that the player’s favourite was far from the best abilities in the game, some of them did not even work fully. But they were still among the favourite among the players. This is probably due to the fact that they are visually pleasing. In other words they look like they hurt and their use is clear and so is the effect it has on your opponent. Add excellent sound to this and you have an ability that feels powerful and gives you satisfaction when you use it and especially when you hit with it. If you are on the receiving end it feels great when you dodge an ability like that.

Ingame Screenshot #5

Ingame Screenshot #5


Since abilities is the essence of RUiN we want to make every ability feel like it belongs and that it is great. We have a long evaluation process just to make sure that our players never will have to use or encounter a half assed ability that just doesn’t feel like it belongs or is just plain boring to use. We want RUiN to be what you expect when you play a fast paced brawler – entertaining, exciting, nerve-racking and chaotic fun.

Martin Eriksson,

Check out Tom Cadwells talk on counterplay and teamplay: (Huge influence!)

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