John Ribbins

Last week, we asked Gameological readers to submit questions that we could pose to developers on the E3 2014 show floor. We picked four of our favorites (and carried over one from last year’s batch); those questions constitute The Gameological Questionnaire.

John Ribbins is the creative director at Roll7, a small studio in London that broke out earlier this year with its fantastic PlayStaton Vita (and eventually PlayStation 3 and 4, and PC) skateboarding game OlliOlli. Roll7 teamed up with lovable oddball publisher Devolver Digital for their next game, Not A Hero, in which you murder a slew of gangsters at the behest of a purple anthropomorphic rabbit with mayoral aspirations. I played the game—poorly, for the most part—and got Ribbins’ answers to the Questionnaire.


The A.V. Club: If you had the power to add an extra button that served a single function specific to your game, what would it do?

John Ribbins: We should do this anyway. It would instantly record the last five seconds of what happened, basically. Quite a lot of the time, something awesome happens in this game, and you’re like, “Aww, I wasn’t—” Like when you blew the one guy up, then you slid through the door, and you shot the other guy, and you’re like, “I thought I was dead. But I just killed everybody.”

AVC: If my résumé included a whole summer spent just playing your game, how should I spin it as valuable experience?


JR: You have excellent perseverance and anger management.

Not A Hero

AVC: How do you feel about the current trend of games being released in early access?


JR: We’re not doing it, but I kind of think it’s cool for a lot of developers who maybe have a great idea for a game, and they started the game, and they need the funds to finish the game, but there’s probably an audience there. I think that’s the way to get the funds to finish to it. I know a couple developers who are doing that. I think it’s probably a nice thing to get feedback when your players go, “It’d be cool if it did this.” “I hate this.” “Can you fix that?” I think that’s also probably maybe the downside. I think it adds managing a forum to development as well—having to keep in touch with people.

AVC: What’s the most fun glitch or bug that has come up in development so far?

JR: Infinite punch. So, if you run into a bad guy in this game, they punch you backward. But if you get a bad guy on either side of you—you don’t die when they punch you, they just punch you backwards—so you’ve got a guy on either side of you, they just play tennis with you, punching you back and forth forever. As yet, we haven’t figured out how to fix it, so we’ve added a thing where if you get punched more than 10 times, this thing comes up on the screen that says, “You’re fucked. Hit restart,” and you have to hit restart. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.


AVC: If your game had a super-deluxe version that cost $1,000, what would be in the box?

JR: Gwyneth Paltrow’s head.

AVC: [Laughs.] All right.

JR: I’m pleased with that, c’mon. All right, what would be in the super-deluxe version? Jeez. It’d be kind of fun to say in the super-deluxe version, if you paid $1,000, you can ask me for whatever you want in the box, up to the value of $1,000. Or Gwyneth Paltrow’s head.


AVC: That head one could get you in trouble.

JR: Okay, this is my answer: One of the boxes has her head, and all the other ones are empty.