VGB Feature: Dollar Dash Q&A with Candygun Games

DollarDash_0001

Competitive bank robber dueling with a Bomberman flair, Dollar Dash is a multiplayer arcade action romp that will have players thieving it out in free-for-all battles for cash to prove who is the top crook in town. With a hopeful December launch on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 digital storefronts in sight, the development team at Candygun Games kindly fielded some of our questions about the game.

VGBlogger: Where would you say Dollar Dash fits into the multiplayer game space? Is it mainly going for a quick pick-up-and-play party experience or is it more competitively robust than that?

Candygun Games: Dollar Dash is a great party game for up to four players can battle on one screen. The controls are easy so new players can jump fast into the gameplay, but the game is still competitive for experienced players. A huge amount of weapon and power-up combinations add a lot of “rock, paper, scissors” tactics into the gameplay.

VGB: How did the idea to do a thieving battle game come about? Did the team ever consider adding cops vs. robbers theme or has it been thief-on-thief from the beginning?

Candygun: Actually, the project started as a sneaky thief game where it’s more about breaking in, disabling alarms and avoiding guards. But sneaking means waiting for a lot of playtime and waiting doesn’t fit well into a multiplayer-arcade game.

As the prototype was still in an early state, we grabbed in the game design spice shelf and flavored it with a touch of Pac-Man and a bit of Bomberman. The prototype advanced and we realized that the battle between the thieves is much more fun than the fight against the cops and concentrated on developing this. Instead of fighting cops, it gives you so much more laughs if you hit your buddy with a booze bomb and make him run dazed with a full sack of money into an abyss.

DollarDash_0002

VGB: What match types does Dollar Dash offer and what is the main objective for each?

Candygun: There is the “Dollar Dash” mode where it’s the goal to collect and secure the most cash of all in a getaway car. Then there is “Hit & Run” in which each crook gets money for hunting his opponents down and finally “Save the Safe” where players have to battle for one safe that only one crook can carry by a time. The crook who is currently carrying it gets money on his account and, like in all game modes, the player that reaches a defined amount of money first, wins the game.

VGB: Does the game have any team-based gameplay or is it free-for-all PvP only?

Candygun: The game is PvP only. The aspect of everybody versus everybody fits better to a game where it’s all about grabbing the most cash. There is no honor among these little robbers.

VGB: How many maps are included and how interactive are the maps in terms of things like environmental hazards and obstacles?

Candygun: There are 18 unique maps in Dollar Dash with each having a characteristic setting and individual environmental interactions. Most of them can be played in different play modes, which makes a total of 31 maps.

Environmental hazards reach from trains that drive through the level and won’t stop for anyone, guards that kick the players’ butts and throw them right back to the starting points, water drains that flush players away and many other vicious hazards to make a robber’s life tough.

DollarDash_0003

VGB: What matchmaking options will be available? Can players create/join lobbies or is it all instant quick play?

Candygun: All options are available: Quick match as well as create or join a game.

Before every match the players will join a lobby in which they can customize their thieves. The game host then chooses the map and additional game settings like the available weapons and upgrades.

VGB: Does the game support couch play along with online multiplayer?

Candygun: Yes, online games can be joined by couch buddies at any time.

VGB: Will the game offer any form of offline content for single player? Perhaps a simple story mode to introduce the mechanics or solo play matches against bots?

Candygun: Players get introduced to the core gameplay by a tutorial and can play all levels against bots. The bots can be adjusted in difficulty which can make them challenging even for experienced players.

DollarDash_0004

VGB: How is progression handled as far as gaining new costumes, weapon upgrades, perks, etc? Is it all based on earning enough cash or is there a leveling system for unlocking upgrades before they can be purchased?

Candygun: The overall score of a player unlocks new items, which he can buy in the shop with the collected money. The overall score is his total collected money and doesn’t get consumed when spending money in the shop. This way the player unlocks items depending on his skill about every 2nd to 3rd match, but he can’t afford all of them by the time of unlocking.

VGB: Do customization pieces provide any benefits/stat bonuses during gameplay or are they just for show?

Candygun: There are both kinds. Hat and face customizations give the players individual looks for their robbers, while perks and weapon upgrades give players little bonuses in the way they prefer to play.

VGB: Offensive weapons like tasers, nukes, vacuum cleaners, boxing gloves and snowballs have been shown, but can you reveal some of the defensive weapons and power-ups for us?

Candygun: The defensive weapons have the cartoon classics like a bear trap where players get harmed when they step into or holes in which they disappear completely. There are also defensive weapons which effect the player movement like oil puddles which can perfectly be used to make other players slide over the edge of a roof. Power-ups have common effects like enhancing the player speed but can also have quite unexpected feature like the jelly which bounces projectiles back to the aggressor.

DollarDash_0005

VGB: How is inventory managed during gameplay? Are weapons/power-ups picked while a match is live or do players choose loadouts before a match begins?

Candygun: Weapons and power-ups get consumed after one to ten shots. This means that the players constantly need to pick up new weapons and power-ups during a match. This way the players will have many different weapon and power-up setups during a game and have to find the best tactic for their current combination.

VGB: Will you continue to support the game post-launch with downloadable content like new maps, modes, customizations?

Candygun: Yes, we plan to support the game and would love to deliver new content, but right now we are just focused on finishing and setting a release date.

VGB: What is the current release date target? And has a final price point been determined?

Candygun: We really hope to release in December, but as yet, no firm release date has been set. The pricing is 800 Microsoft points and $9.99 for PSN & PC.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!