Interview: Two Tribes Talks RIVE

Posted on by Ryan

Two Tribes has had it’s share of troubles lately. With the troubles of downsizing and closing their primary development team back in 2013, the studio is back with a vengeance. There upcoming game RIVE isn’t your ordinary 2-D side-scrolling game, this one is mind blowing. The studio describes it as the metal wrecking enemy hacking shooter! Plus it’s fast paced and using the same engine as their last game Toki Tori 2. We recently got to chat with Collin van Ginkel and discuss the craziness known as RIVE.


GC: Where do you get your inspirations for RIVE from?
I’d hope that would be clear from looking at the game. I’m a child of the 80’s and 90’s and that’s where a lot of inspiration comes from!

GC: Do you find the development process easier since RIVE uses the same game engine as your previous game Toki Tori 2+?
: Definitely. We’re bending the technology behind it in strange ways to make it work better for an action game like RIVE. If we didn’t have that as a basis I do not think RIVE would be this far in development now.

GC: What is the transition like from going to a puzzle game like Toki Tori 2 to a 2D shooter like RIVE?
Personally I had to unlearn a lot of my standard design tricks. It requires a different mindset, and it probably took me the better part of last year to adjust. Martijn, my partner in crime, would shout ‘I just want to shoot stuff!’ to remind me a million times.

GC: Are there any plans for any kind of multiplayer?
We looked into it, but we decided a three man team should pick its battles in a smart way. It would be a great addition but we simply cannot handle implementing and supporting that.

GC: What kinds of things will players notice in RIVE that will make it stand out from other 2D shooters?
: It’s a marriage between a twin stick shooter and a platformer, where you can hack your enemies to make them work for you. It’s also ridiculously fast and frantic, which takes most players some time to get used to. But once you master the controls it makes you feel really good!


GC:In a previous interview you noted that the goal for RIVE on Wii U was to get 60fps, but during that time you were only managing to get 30fps. Can you provide us with an update on the Wii U development?
We’re targeting 60fps for all systems, since a game like RIVE really needs that. The Nindies @ Home demo of RIVE ran mostly at 60fps, with dips when there was a lot of action. We think framerate is really important, so we’re preparing several datasets that allow lower spec PC’s and the Wii U to have a smooth experience.

GC: While most Indie developers will primarily focus on Steam, you’ve noted that most of your success has come from Nintendo systems and the eShop. Do you have any opinions why that might be the case?
I guess it’s part of our heritage, we started on Game Boy Color and have been close to Nintendo ever since. For RIVE we’re taking a multi-platform strategy, which means we can make a lot more gamers happy!

GC: What was the reason behind making RIVE have more of a mission based structure?
To fully appreciate the really frantic portions of RIVE’s gameplay, you need to have relatively quiet parts as well. That’s where our story-line and mission structure comes in. We tie everything together with story scenes which give you an idea of why you’re blowing up everything you see. They can be skipped by simply walking on, since we know not everyone appreciates reading text.


GC: How does the hacking system work in the game?
As you progress through the game, you’ll unlock hacks for enemies that can be uploaded to them directly. So if you found a hack for a turret, you simply need to locate an enemy turret and upload the ‘follow me’ hack to give you additional fire power.

GC: Can you give a little bit of detail on some of the other robots players will encounter as they progress through the game?
We’ve got everything from bat-like robots that don’t attack you directly to walking turrets 10 times the size of the player sending off a barrage of homing missiles your way. Some enemies only appear in certain parts of the ship, while others can appear out of piped all through the ship. It’s quite a diverse range of enemies, each with their own attack methods.