Our interview with David Jones from Awe Interactive about Bullets Per Minute


I had the opportunity to write with David Jones, Game Director at Awe Interactive. It was about the game BPM: Bullets Per Minute, which I was able to test recently.

Tobias (Game-Releases): “Can you please shortly describe what Bullets Per Minute is about?”

David Jones: “BPM is a rhythm-action first person shooter. You must shoot, jump and dodge to the beat of rock music written for the game. Every footstep, animation and AI behaviour is linked to the beat of the music! It’s also a roguelike so it has a lot of replayability and a high difficulty level!”

Tobias (Game-Releases): “Do you have any plans for expansions or a new game (even if it is maybe a little early to talk about)?”

David Jones: “Sure, we can’t talk about what we’re up to but we’re certainly making new stuff. We like rhythm games and especially BPM. We’d love to share what we’re doing but we’re not going to be talking about it until it’s ready to talk about.”

Tobias (Game-Releases): “Was it planned from the start that it will be a rhythmic shooter?”

David Jones: “Yeah. Immediately from thinking about DOOM and Crypt of the Necrodancer it made sense to make a rhythm shooter. The very first thing we did was a crosshair made of chevrons similar to the final crosshair where the crosshairs come in from the sides. The next thing we did was make the game play a 4/4 drumbeat and a character animate to that beat. We then set about making all the rhythm-actions the player does feel good when locked to the beat. It took a while and a lot of tricks but eventually it clicked.

Once we had the basics of a rhythm game we started on designing the boss fights in the hope that they would help us understand what a rhythm action fps played like.”

Tobias (Game-Releases): “How was the process of making BPM for you?”

David Jones: “We really loved making BPM. It was very freeing because we were dedicated to the idea. We wanted to make the decisions that showed what a rhythm shooter should look like. A good example is reloading. From the initial idea reloading to the beat is something that we wanted to do, even though it makes the game much more hard. This dedication to the core idea we think made a game that makes a lot of sense. It’s consistent. But it also made it really hard.”

Tobias (Game-Releases): “I have read an interview where you talked about having Doom and Crypt of the Necrodancers being great influences for your game. Were there also other games that were important for your design or gameplay choices?”

David Jones: “Binding Of Isaac was important because we have a similar grid based floor of rooms. Similar to Isaac we have only the cardinal directions North, East, South and West. It was also super important because we liked the way that Isaac allows you to break the game with overpowered item combinations. DOOM (1993) was a huge influence to the game. Probably more than DOOM (2016) as our game is based on that sort of aesthetic. Overwatch and League of Legends also surprisingly had a big impact. League of Legends had a big impact because it’s all about 30 minute play sessions where you equip items to scale your character’s abilities. BPM has a lot of those sorts of mechanics. Overwatch, similarly to BPM, has “ultimate” and “secondary” abilities which are changed between characters.”

Tobias (Game-Releases): “Are there any plans to release the soundtrack on CD or Vinyl? (Because I only found it as an download)”

David Jones: “We’ve released a tab-book for guitarists here: LINK

We’d love to make a Vinyl! There’s currently a worldwide shortage of Vinyl though so when we’ve been looking into it the wait has been over 6 months. We’ll see what happens but hopefully people can get BPM on Vinyl in the future!”

Tobias (Game-Releases): “How important is contact with your community for you?”

David Jones: “Super important. I’m personally a ghost when it comes to the community, but we are reading what people are saying even if we don’t respond.”

That ended the interview. If you are interested, you can visit the official Twitter page.

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Hi, this is Tobias. I'm currently studying and I like to spend my free time cooking and gaming. I prefer games with a good story, long-term motivation or a couch co-op mode.

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