The original Mr. Runner on iOS has sold over 5 million downloads. The endless runner was rife with pop culture references and those are amped up in the recently released follow-up, Mr. Runner 2. We talked to Ding Ye, Founder and Creative Director, Zing Games, about the best things left on the cutting room floor, those obscure cultural references that go through the game and why there's no damn jump button.
Gamenguide.com: The game is littered with pop culture references. What’s the most obscure reference?
Ding Ye: The most obscure reference…hmm…that was a great question! I think it really depends on what kind of cultural background you have. You may easily spot some references that are familiar to you but another person with a different background and taste may have no clue if he is not an expert in that area. So if you ask me the most obscure one, I can only speak of myself. I studied filmmaking at Rochester Institute of Technology and during that time I watched a lot of early black and white silent films. There was one film called Metropolis, a 1927 German expressionist sci-fi film that became my favorite. So I used some element from that film in one of the levels of Mr. Runner 2: The Masks. See if you can find it.:-)
Gamenguide.com: The game can get pretty hard in the later levels. What’s a high-level pro-tip?
Ding Ye: This is a skill based game so it is very challenging and engaging. If you want to be good at it, you really need to spend a lot of time playing and polishing your skill. One general guidance I can give is - Haste makes waste. Dash forward at the most opportune moment! It is about being in the right place at the right moment.
If you don’t have a lot of time, you can consider using some of the special capability costumes and power ups. They may help you overcome some barriers easier.
Gamenguide.com: Mr. Runner says a lot of clever things. Roughly how many lines did the writers come up with for the Mr. Runner? What’s the best one that got rejected?
Ding Ye: There were more than 300 lines that we came up with. Very few were rejected. They were simply classified as “Not appropriate for this version” and reserved for future use. The original Mr. Runner included Yo Mama jokes but some people found them offensive so we removed them. However, other people liked them and asked about them even after they were removed. Right now Mr. Runner 2: The Mask is more of a “clean” version. We may create a special version with more jokes like the Yo Mama ones.
Gamenguide.com: Why is there no jump button?
Ding Ye: We deliberately eliminated the jump button because we wanted the control to be minimalist. This is an auto-running game. The sole focus is the speed – you control the speed to be at the right place at the right moment. Jumping is a distraction to that core gameplay, so it was left out.
Gamenguide.com: What are your DLC plans?
Ding Ye: We are going to launch more levels and contents soon. We want to encourage our gamers to tell us what cool new costumes, masks and cultural references they want to see in the game. Please feel free to leave your suggestions and opinions on our Facebook page.
Gamenguide.com: How long did it take someone to beat all the levels after the game came out?
Ding Ye: If you are really good, it may take about 4-5 hours to go through the current levels. Of course, if you want to collect all the masks and costumes that will take much longer. We are also considering adding more levels and content.
Gamenguide.com: What’s the next game you plan to release?
Ding Ye: Right now we are so occupied by enhancing Mr. Runner 2. There is a ton of data that we need to collect and analyze to make the game better. We also plan to add more content and new gameplay features to the game. Hopefully Mr. Runner 2 can be enjoyed by more than 5 million gamers like Mr. Runner did!
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