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The History and Making of PlaceRebuilder’s Reason 2 Die

October 21, 2014

by JacksSmirkingRevenge


We’re always excited about talking with popular game developers about their successes on ROBLOX. And in the case of Reason 2 Die, there’s a lot of exciting success to discuss: it has stood the test of time, it has remarkably fun gameplay that is ingenious in its simplicity, it has a smart monetization scheme, and it has kept players hooked by leveraging the latest developer features and incorporating fun holiday-themed re-skins. One of the game’s strongest assets is that you’re always participating — while you spawn as a human and work cooperatively to survive, even upon “losing” the game continues. You turn into a zombie, and respawn as one of a range of super-powered flesh eaters, each with unique abilities. There’s almost no downtime. You can even purchase rounds as special zombies if you’ve got ROBUX in your pocket — a brilliant addition that has been earning PlaceRebuilder considerable cash, which he’s using to supplement his busy life as a college student.

“In 2009 there was another ROBLOX game, I don’t remember what it was called,” PlaceRebuilder recalls. “It was a parody of Left 4 Dead 2, and I thought it lacked certain critical features. So I [messaged] the maker of the game with my advice. He didn’t respond and I decided to rebuild the game from scratch.”

And so the PlaceRebuilder account was born, and Reason 2 Die went into Beta, where it rocketed up the popular games charts. Although this was long before the existence of the Developer Exchange, PlaceRebuilder realized early on that the popularity of Reason 2 Die gave him several opportunities to monetize the game. He implemented purchasable classes and weapons, and started earning major ROBUX — though the addition of purchasable things didn’t change the core mechanics of the game. He explained his “credits” system to me.

“I made it so that it’s fully possible to beat the game without buying credits,” he tells me, referring to the fact that players can also earn credits by playing well. “Buying credits for ROBUX just makes the game a bit easier. The main source of income is the weapons. They’re more pricey and people always go to buy an AK-47 early, rather than play for an hour to actually earn it in game.”


PlaceRebuilder keeps a detailed log of every change he makes, and shares it on R2D's main page.

PlaceRebuilder keeps a detailed log of every change he makes, and shares it on R2D’s main page.

PlaceRebuilder is transparent about the development of the game, which is still a work in progress. If you check out the game’s page, you’ll find a constantly updated log of changes and enhancements that have been implemented, as well as the latest custom art, which he also creates from scratch. All of the updates he’s working on right now will eventually power new gameplay mechanics that he’s developing, including a “terminator mode” and a weapon attachment system.

“I want weapon attachments to give players the ability to turn a handgun into a chainsaw-wielded axe of doom!” he says with a laugh. “Seriously though, attachments will allow players to create their own customized weapons suited for the needs of whichever level they find themselves in,” he says. “I’m not quite ready to talk about Terminator mode yet — it’s still in the planning stage but I’m working towards it, and it’s going to be awesome.”

Play Reason to Die for a bit and you’ll notice an array of maps with varying degrees of complexities — some are more vertically oriented, making for tense standoffs in large, multi-floored buildings. Other levels involve helicopters and downtown fire fights. The seemingly random nature of each map is part of what makes R2D so compelling when you play. When I asked him about the maps, he attributed other builders who have submitted them on their own accord.

“I may be a good scripter, but I’m not so good at building,” he tells me. “I’m very fortunate to have a passionate community of builders who just want to contribute. R2D’s community have created maps, escape vehicles, gun textures. Without them each map would look like Campfire Chaos. All of these things are thanks to the awesome builders in the ROBLOX community.”

Builders are attributed before the start of each round. PlaceRebuilder, currently 21, is in college studying to earn a degree in Electrical Engineering, and is set to resume his studies in the spring. For now, he considers ROBLOX game development his full time job — one which will allow him to pay his educational expenses when he goes back to school. He represents the full developer picture, and has turned his passion into a massive hit title. The proof is in the pudding. Being fueled by ROBLOX is awesome. Here’s his advice:

A successful game doesn’t need that much scripting, it’s the gameplay that matters. –PlaceRebuilder

I would first like to emphasize the importance of learning how to script. Once you’ve got the basics down, make something unique or funny, and do it to the best of your ability. A successful game doesn’t need that much scripting, it’s the gameplay that matters. Also make persistent updates! If you can do all these things, I’m sure we’ll see your game on the front of the Games page in the future! Good luck!