Blast Em Bunnies – An interview with Nnooo

You’re a bunny – but not just any bunny! You’re a cute one. It’s your job to defend your burrow from a seemingly endless onslaught of evil bunnies in Blast Em Bunnies, hitting Xbox One on March 11th from indie developers Nnooo.

Founder and Creative Director at Nnooo, Nic Watt, was kind enough to answer some questions for us recently about the game and the studios plans, but first, check out the Blast Em Bunnies trailer!

Can you tell us a little bit about the developers behind Blast ‘Em bunnies? When did you start out? Was it a coming together of veteran developers from other devs gone by?

I’m Nic Watt, Founder and Creative Director at Nnooo and I now been working in the games industry for almost 20 years! I have worked mainly on console games from PlayStation 1 and Nintendo 64 right the way to todays consoles with PS4, Xbox One, PSVita, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. I graduated from University with a degree in Architecture and decided that my skills in 3D modelling and design might be applicable for the new wave of 3D games launching on PlayStation 1 and Nintendo 64. I got my first job in the industry in England and have moved about to different companies until I was a lead designer at Electronic Arts in London. My partner and I moved to Australia in 2006 where we set up Nnooo and launched Pop as a WiiWare launch title in 2008.

Bruce Thomson is our Business and Marketing Director and worked in the finance industry before joining Nic in the company in 2010. Bruce has focused his skills on broadening not only our marketing reach but also our contacts and relationships with our console partners. This has allowed us to gain approval for all major console platforms and build up the publishing side of our business much quicker than we anticipated.

Steven Ogden is our Engineer and he graduated from Charles Sturt University in Australia and worked with Nnooo since graduation. He has programmed a large amount of our library of software from the myLifeCollected series right through to Spirit Hunters Inc and now Blast ‘Em Bunnies.

Where did the idea come from to create Blast ‘Em Bunnies?

We had just finished Spirit Hunters Inc and escapeVektor both of which reviewed really well but for their own different reasons were hard to market. Spirit Hunters Inc was and AR (Augmented Reality) game which made it difficult to convey the gameplay through screenshots or video; while escapeVektor was a very abstract game making it also hard to understand through video or screenshots.

With this in mind we knew we wanted to utilise our skill in making cute, colourful characters like Spirit Hunters and we really liked the AR gameplay we had. So we set out to think of ways of using this learnings in a game we could market more effectively. The original concept was of you controlling an orbiting space station shooting cute aliens to stop them from attacking earth.

I decided that aliens and space might be a little too niche and set about thinking of a more popular creature which we could apply the same gameplay to. It was then that we came up with bunnies and really liked how you could use them for diverse range of enemies.

Runners, Burrowers, Flyers (bunnies with huge ears they have turned into hang gliders), Blockers, Bosses, Grenadiers (pop up and chuck turnip grenades at you) and so on.

The ideas really started flowing so we dived in and started prototyping.

Blast ‘Em bunnies is released on March 11th on the Xbox One. Can you tell us a little about the game and what we can expect?

Blast ‘Em Bunnies is an endless shooter. Players control a cute bunny who must defend their rabbit burrow against an onslaught of evil bunnies.

By shooting bunnies they will release coins which the player can shoot to collect. These coins can then be spent on purchasing new weapons, upgrades and ammo types. There are 4 weapons each with 4 different ammo types and a variety of upgrades.

The player can choose between Survival: Easy, Normal, Hard and Very Hard or Slaughter: Normal, Super and Ultra game modes each which unlocks as the player plays more of the game. There are also heaps of missions and medals to complete and collect, with some missions refreshing on completion and others refreshing daily.

We have also added a large amount of cosmetic DLC which the player can purchase individually or in bundles. We have chosen to keep the starting price low allowing for players to get the complete game play experience for a low price and then customise it with the purchasable DLC.

What game modes can players expect to experience in the game?

As you defend your burrow you will encounter a variety of different enemy types including Runners who sprint towards you weaving side to side; Burrowers who burrow under the ground only popping up occasionally for air; and Flyers who shoot into the sky and then try to dive bomb you! Players will have to keep their wits about them and utilise their radar to make sure they don’t miss any enemies as if one gets passed your defences you’ll probably lose a heart!

As I mentioned above there are also a large variety of weapons from Carrot Rifles to Runner Bean Lasers each with a different look and feel. It will take a while to collect and upgrade them all with each one changing how the game plays as well as how you approach each battle.

5. What kind of enemies can the player expect to defend their burrow from?

There are:
Walkers – Slow but they pack a mean punch
Runners – Who sprint towards you weaving side to side
Blockers – With their trusty shield which they can block bullets from. Destroy it and they’ll start sprinting towards you with a Pumpkin Bomb to throw!
Grenadiers – They sit back throwing Turnip grenades at you
Burrowers – Who sneak around underground trying to catch you unaware, only popping up for air occasionally
Flyers – Who shoot up into the sky and try to dive bomb you
Bosses – Who are huge and powerful. It might take more than a few hits to get them down
Golden Bunnies – If you can hit them enough they’ll start a Frenzy and you will be invincible for a short period of time, while loads of enemies spawn!
Throatslitters – They are holding your young hostage. Kill them in time or one of your offspring might cop it!

We know there is a variety of weapons to choose from in the game. What’s your personal favourite and why?

I really like the way all of them look and feel. However my favourite is probably the Runner Bean Laser with the Leek bullets equipped. I love the combination of a beam weapon with heat-seeking Leek shreds. Each shred not only looks cool but also hunts down nearby enemies and blast them with damage!

Alongside the launch of Blast ‘Em Bunnies, you will also be giving the players the option of customizing there experience with add-on skins. Can you give us some information about these and prices if available?

We have a wide variety of cosmetic DLC in the form of Skins and Arenas. We also have some shortcut type DLC for people who don’t want to collect coins to unlock all of the weapons, ammo, upgrades and utilities.

Skin Packs (each one contains 21 skins for the enemies (3 for each enemy)) US$/ € 1.99
Clown Skin Pack
Ninja Skin Pack
Luchador Skin Pack
Urban Army Skin Pack
Zombie Skin Pack

Arena Packs (each one contains an arena, 3 new music tracks and a full day to night system) US/€ 2.99
Clown Arena Pack
Ninja Arena Pack
Luchador Arena Pack
Urban Army Arena Pack
Zombie Arena Pack

All Skins and Arena Bundle (contains all of the skin and arena packs) US$/€ 9.99
Mega Bundle (contains all skin and arena packs and all the multipliers) US$/€ 14.99
Super Mega Bundle (contains the game, all skin and arena packs and all the multipliers) US$/€ 19.99

NOTE: The Super Mega Bundle is only available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Xbox One.

Multipliers (Each one allows the player to collect coins much faster, these can be applied cumulatively)
2 x Multiplier – Free
5 x Multiplier – US$/€ 4.99
10 x Multiplier – US$/€ 9.99

Weapon Unlocks (Unlocks all a particular weapons upgrades and ammo as well as the weapon itself)
Carrot Rifle – US$/€ 2.99
Watermelon Machinegun – US$/€ 4.99
Turnip Mortar – US$/€ 4.99
Runner Bean Laser – US$/€ 4.99

NOTE: The weapon unlocks and multipliers are not required for gameplay and are provided purely for those who want to unlock things much, much faster than normal. The game has been balanced around NOT having these equipped.

Do you have any plans to expand the burrow with DLC for Blast ‘Em Bunnies?

We don’t currently have plans for more DLC post launch as we created a huge amount for release and as a team of 2 it was more practical to make sure it was supported well out of the box than have to potential deal with patching in DLC as we went on.

However if the game and the DLC prove popular we will definitely consider adding more!

With a variety of games already released from Nnooo, like Cubemen 2, Spirit Hunters and Escape Vector, can we look forward to any of these coming to the Xbox One or do you have any future projects for the Xbox One in the works?

We don’t have any plans to bring any of our back catalog to Xbox One but we have just announced some new games we are bringing to the platform! You can find out more details on where we have announced Anodyne, Majestic Nights and Rogue Singularity all for Xbox One and PlayStation 4!

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