Hey everyone! I’m Diego Ordoñez, a lead programmer at Rubber Duck Games. Our humor-filled action RPG Evil Wizard is out now on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One and I wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the game and how it came to be!
When starting to work on Evil Wizard, I wanted to create a game that had humor and funny moments throughout the game. Additionally, I always felt very intrigued by characters that use magic like mages and wizards. The concept of magic is great from a narrative perspective because it allows the designer to create the rules needed for the gameplay or story to make sense. Finally, I wanted to have a hook, something innovative I could use to close everything together. I decided to go with a twist and tell the story about what happens to a final boss after he’s been defeated. This setting gave me the opportunity to explore humor in a different way. Every gamer has played a game in which the protagonist is a hero and has to defeat an evil wizard. Because of this, I felt players would immediately comprehend the setting of the game and the context of the story.
Finding the Humor
Once the setting was fleshed out, I started writing jokes in the form of dialogues between the characters. These can be found throughout the entire game. The Evil Wizard makes fun of the NPCs, enemies chat with other enemies in funny cinematics, and there are instances when the Evil Wizard talks directly with the player. Breaking the fourth wall was always interesting to me and the video game medium offers a very unique way to do this since the player is controlling the protagonist.
As we started production, we found humor in other parts of the game in addition to dialogue. Ruben Gómez was in charge of the aesthetics of the game and he happens to be a very funny guy as well. He implemented a lot of funny moments throughout the game in the form of environmental art and collectables. These can be found in almost every level in the game, like having hanging underwear at the roof of the castle, paintings of the Evil Wizard with pop culture characters, and a lot of rubber duck collectables referencing pop culture characters that we know and love.
Additionally Pablo Pérez, our pixel art animator, did a wonderful job of creating funny animations with enemies and NPCs. These are everywhere, from the concept art (like a chef that attacks by swinging a frying pan with red hot chili peppers) to the way most enemies die.
But What About Action?
When developing Evil Wizard, we knew we needed to give players a good action RPG that complemented the humor and setting of the game. We wanted to develop a good combat system and exploration design for the players that didn’t find Evil Wizard very funny. We started by making combat a centerpiece of the game. This is another pillar of the game and comes in the form of huge bosses, optional mini-bosses, a very broad system of spells and elements, and melee combat with risk and reward systems. Taking inspiration from other action RPGs and metroidvanias, we made the entire world an intertwined castle of different rooms that the player needs to explore to reach the final level. We filled the levels with secrets, puzzles, random combat encounters, and funny cinematics to balance the experience between combat, exploration, and humor. Gonzalo Banki Martínez, our producer, managed most of the initial design of the castle rooms. Each room has a setting; the castle patio, the armory, the lab, the dungeon, and more. We made several connections between these rooms so players can find secrets while exploring and defeat optional mini-bosses that are hidden throughout the map.
I hope that you enjoy the weird and wonderful world of Evil Wizard and we’d love to hear from you about your experience. Get ready to play the bad guy for a change! As part of a special launch promotion, you can buy Evil Wizard for 10% off until June 1, 2023! Stay Evil!
E-Home Entertianment Development Co., Ltd