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Game Developer insights: Exclusive look at “Cyberrun” and unidice gaming

Cyberrun is a “cooperative game with a blend of puzzling, strategy, and luck”(Rando, Game Developer).

“It’s a futuristic game with roguelike influences so each run will feel different. As you do more runs you will get more insights and tactics and will be able to fight your way through alien and cyberpunk enemies.” (Nils, Game Designer)

“I would describe Cyberrun as a an exciting futuristic tactical game, using the unidice as a new type of gaming console that immediately draws you in with its intuitive battle controls.”(Cynthia, concept artist)

Currently this exciting game – which can be played in Single Player and Co-op – is in the early playtesting stage and expected to be released in early 2023. Let’s hear for the first time – directly from game developers and designers from unidice Team (Isabella, Cynthia), Leonardo(artist) and Nils&Rando from Extra Nice – on how the first unidice sci-fi game Cyberrun came to be!

Cyberrun Header: left: female looking elf casting flashes, right: sprinting human in futuristic armour. the unidice is lying in the front.

What was the first idea behind Cyberrun?

Isabella (Game Developer):“With Cyberrun I wanted to create a game that lets the unidice shine. In my opinion, the best way to let it shine are hybrid games – with the unidice as a game master.

Since I personally enjoy cooperative games much more than competitive ones, I decided to go for a co-op game. Additionally using one health pool for the whole team eliminates the possibility of one player dying and having to wait until the mission is done.

The core mechanic also included rolling the right icons in the correct order. Players are able to deal extra damage or chain effects  to enemies when successfully rolling.

Based on these first concepts, I wrote a software program to balance everything, simulating millions of playthroughs.”

How did unidice game developers meet Extra Nice?

Isabella: While playtesting was a lot of fun, it also became obvious that there was much more potential in the game. Unfortunately, I had quite a lot of stuff to do at the time – I hadn’t even finished university. Therefore, it was a relief for me to give my initial thoughts and designs to the game developers and designers from Extra Nice.

Nils(Game designer): Rando and I saw the pitch on the website and as game developers, we were really enthusiastic about the possibilities. So we talked about it with Isabella and pitched some additional ideas we had. Isabella was really excited and gave us the creative freedom to explore these and turn them into mockups and designs. Rando and I really liked the potential of different strategies and replayability. With different upgrades and items each run would feel unique and different.

A phone with the Cyberrun App. In front of it: the unidice.

What are the most interesting Cyberrun Game Mechanics?

Nils: One angle that makes Cyberrun an awesome game is the way encounters are fought. Each enemy has its own queue of actions it will perform. These can be seen on the companion app on either a tablet or phone screen, giving insights as to what comes next. The players can cancel actions and change the queue of their enemy by using specific categories. You can discuss to either go for the current weapon that the player rolled or rerolling to trigger a specific category, which is super interesting!

Rando: Another interesting feature would be the inventory mechanic that each player draws from when rolling the unidice. It’s like playing with a deck of cards. The third game mechanic that comes to mind is the augmentation system. Each augmentation a player gets changes how their individual character works, distinguishing them from the rest of the team.

Cyberrun Characterdesign

What is the concept of the world and its characters?

Cynthia(concept artist): I was first inspired by Leonardo’s concept of an alien elf. So I was really happy when I was asked to help building this alien world setting for this character to exist in. Of course, the robots had to become part of the Cyberrun world, too. Everyone from the game development department agreed that robots are a must for this game. Furthermore I tried to create the setting in a way so we can explore the stories of all races in the future!

Leonardo(artist): We wanted the Cyberrun characters to be full of details and as interesting as possible while not giving them too many peculiar aspects. This way every player can choose their own story and background.

Rando: The classes represent the various species that inhabit the world – from regular humans to robots and alien mutants. One of the alien species is a symbiont that merges with humans and other species, granting them psychic abilities and causing rapid mutations.

Nils:  From a game developer’s view, I think it’s super interesting that most builds are achievable from the start. Yet the classes are still very distinguishable which sets the tone for early to mid game. I think that the different races and types really give a lot of flavour, both from gameplay and story&world perspective.

What are your favourite Cyberrun Classes?

Leonardo: The Combat Medics are the ones I had the most fun working on and I think they have the most interesting shape out of all. The round but sturdy frame is great for a support character.

Rando: My favourite class concept at this point is the Drone Operator. It is a machine itself and can remotely control drones that assist in combat.

Nils: I think from the graphics angle my favourite is the robotic Drone Operator. From a gameplay angle in RPGs I would probably play my preferred role: the Hacker or Utility class.

Cynthia: I absolutely love the body shape of the Medic class and the design of the Drone Operator. I usually play aggressive classes like the Brute, though!

Isabella: I adore the design of the Runner, but gameplay wise I would pick the Hacker – I ALWAYS play Hacker in pen&paper games!

Finalized Cyberrun characterdesign of 3 different beings

Are there more unidice Projects we can look forward to?

Rando: Another unidice game concept I’m involved with is a fast-paced survival scavenging game. To keep it short, it is about collecting resources in a zombie infested town. Another is a dungeon crawler with light puzzle elements. It’s still in very early stages so I can’t say very much about it.

Nils: We are also exploring small games and Dungeons & Dragons puzzles, using the unidice as a puzzle device. Escape Rooms are definitely inspirations for these kinds of experiences.

Cynthia: I’m currently working with Isabella on a new cute tile board game. The first tabletop board game which we are specifically developing for the unidice. The unidice community feedback is very important to us, so when the mockup render for this game got so much positive reactions from fans, we decided to make it a reality!

What are your thoughts on the Cyberrun changes as a game developer?

Isabella: The first idea of the game was much simpler than the version nowadays. They redesigned the game a bit, so it became more complex but also more automated. Extra Nice has managed to follow through with my initial idea of playing a group of “runners” whose quest is to destroy the underground bosses and gave it their own touch. I think they are doing an amazing job, and I am sure the Cyberrun game will be a lot of fun for the unidice community!


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