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Symphony of Conflict: The Nephilim Saga is a retro-inspired technique RPG acquired a shock launch on June 10, 2022, for PC on Steam. We interview one of many builders of the sport, Phil Hamilton, of Dancing Dragon Video games in regards to the sport’s inspirations, gameplay mechanics, and future. This interview is a transcription of a stay recording, with some edits for conciseness; the total audio is accessible on the backside of this text.


Johnathan Stringer (RPGamer): Hiya, that is Johnathan Stringer from RPGamer.com and I’m interviewing Dancing Dragon Video games developer Phil Hamilton, who has only in the near past launched Symphony of Conflict: The Nephilim Saga. How are you doing right this moment, Phil?

Phil Hamilton (Co-Founder, Dancing Dragon Video games): Good, how are you?

JS: I’m doing nice. I’ve been enjoying his new sport after seeing suggestions on social media. It appeared prefer it’s proper up my alley, so I jumped in, and have actually been having fun with it up to now. I haven’t fairly crushed it but, however I’m most likely midway or a bit over midway by means of. I wish to toss it over to you to present us an outline and outline of the sport out of your standpoint.

PH: My companion and I’ve been making video games for twelve years on the aspect. That is the primary sport the place we’ve totally devoted our lives. I really resigned from my job and simply fully threw myself into this one. We began making an engine for a method RPG sport principally in RPG Maker, and other people’s jaws hit the ground after they hear RPG Maker, however it’s carried out after six years.

It took some time, and there’s little or no RPG Maker left within the sport. You possibly can barely discover that it was made within the engine as a result of it’s all simply been lined up by this practice engine that we’ve obtained now. It’s impressed by the greats; if I may identify a number of, we’ve obtained Ogre Battle as a extremely, actually large one. Persons are instantly clinging to as “oh, the devs most likely like this sport.” And sure, responsible as charged. We’ve obtained Soul Nomad and Vestaria Saga. We’ve obtained Advance Wars in there. We’ve obtained Heroes of Would possibly and Magic in there and, you realize, a really, highly regarded SRPG sequence that begins with F that everyone knows what that’s.

So, it ended up turning into type of its personal factor. I identify all these video games, however I feel lots of people have really realized that this isn’t an Ogre Battle clone, it’s simply Symphony of Conflict. It’s only a new factor, and the reception has been insane. You recognize it’s been actually, actually cool, so we undoubtedly know now we are able to proceed on and make extra, and make it an entire sequence so… that’d be nice, yeah?

JS: I’ve been enjoying it, and I undoubtedly see the Ogre Battle connections there, clearly with the battles and the best way that’s carried out. However, to me, such as you mentioned a sequence that begins with “F”; it actually feels most much like a Hearth Emblem sport in most facets, at the least from my standpoint.

PH: Yeah, relying on the individual you ask, you get that, you get Ogre Battle, generally you get Soul Nomad.

JS: Moreover your self, are you able to give us an outline of the event workforce and who did what to make this sport?

PH: Yeah, the idea was principally my imaginative and prescient, put to life by my companion Mithran. I actually name it not mine or his, however we got here up with it. It couldn’t occur with out him. However I did the story. I did the music. I did the extent design, principally quite a lot of design selections and all that stuff. And my programmer did the programming, the engine degree stuff, just like the below the hood stuff, proper?

I suppose largely after the story was written, the cutscenes have been made, the degrees have been made, the music was written, and all of the artwork was made, I principally then functioned as a venture supervisor. I used to be interfacing with contractors, principally artwork contractors, as a result of I can edit stuff fairly good and particularly as a result of I’ve to resize issues and edit issues to have them match into the sport as sport property. However authentic artwork is a ability that neither of us actually have when it comes to a extremely refined skilled ability. So, we employed out for that.

I handle these relationships, I handle the enterprise, and the connection with our writer Freedom Video games and all that stuff.

JS: So it’s principally a two-man present then?

PH: Yeah, apart from hiring out for sprites, portraits, and a bit little bit of voice performing, it’s virtually solely simply myself and him.

JS: Wow, so I suppose that’s why it took six years. That’s a ton of labor because it looks like a really giant wealthy sport with quite a lot of textual content.

PH: Yeah, we’re really engaged on translating it now, almost definitely, however there’s quite a lot of textual content in it so, that that turns into a monumental problem.

JS: What languages are you planning to translate it to?

PH: Nicely, I can’t make guarantees but, however the plan is French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese language. These plus English when all is alleged and carried out. I hope we are able to succeed on this this effort, however we don’t know but.

JS: So, you wrote the story, and moreover the inspirations we talked about already in Ogre Battle, Hearth Emblem, and Soul Nomad, are there some other inspirations or concepts for the story, setting, and the plot?

PH: Yeah, I’m going to level to Hearth Emblem: Family tree of the Holy Conflict. In the event you’ve performed Symphony of Conflict, you undoubtedly see that is as Family tree of the Holy Conflict. You see a bit bit from different entries, however you know the way in Family tree you may have the holy blood, holy crusaders, and you’ve got totally different generations and this type of historical lore that’s tied on to these holy crusaders? That’s type of the linchpin for the entire story, as it’s simply unhealthy guys messing round with these bloodlines principally. And it isn’t like bloodlines as a lot as it’s only a type of a divine metaphysical facet of the characters.

The plot could be very comparable. It’s a political wrestle largely enhanced and within the backdrop of that type of divine wrestle between a god-like evil and a god-like good. For many of the sport, although, it’s largely only a struggle sport. You’re preventing a insurrection, then you definately’re preventing in a civil struggle, then you’re a insurrection for a bit bit, then you definately grow to be an enormous military and also you grow to be the massive boy across the block.

JS: The story is fairly partaking up to now, and I’m liking it. I don’t wish to spoil something although, for many who’ve but to test it out. You mentioned six years of improvement time, what have been a number of the greatest challenges you confronted and overcame?

PH: I feel the problem was simply how lengthy it took for the engine to really get carried out. You recognize, to jot down the script, and to make the cutscenes, and to jot down the music… principally every little thing I needed to do, it most likely solely took about two years. However the remainder of the engine was a bigger endeavor, to say the least. So, what occurred in these additional time in between was revision, after revision, after revision. So, this sport fortunately benefited from much more time.

I feel it normally is sweet for issues just like the writing, and the character improvement, and degree design. The extent design obtained numerous revisions in that point. And, you realize, writing, simply let me simply put it on the market, that I’m engaged on that ability. I’ve grow to be quite a bit higher on this sport, and so I feel within the subsequent sport you’ll see a giant enchancment there. That hasn’t been my focus earlier than this sport actually. I principally make a plot simply to be an excuse for the sport to occur, after which the gameplay is the meat the place the rubber hits the street.

Now preserving that in thoughts, the extent design has undoubtedly been a spotlight, and so I used to be capable of actually put tons and tons of my finest artistic power into the extent design half. So hopefully that comes throughout within the gameplay finish.

JS: I see that, and I feel it has come throughout. It appears like quite a lot of care has been given to it and I might say the writing has been strong up to now. Particularly when in comparison with quite a lot of this sport’s inspirations and 90s Japanese RPG tales. I feel this story has depth to it. I might say there are occasions it’s possibly hit and miss, and such as you mentioned, it’s you studying easy methods to be a author. However general, I really feel it’s very strong.

In all probability the one factor that, for those who don’t thoughts a critique as a part of this interview, can be the connection tales. Whereas a few of them are good, they appear a bit disjointed generally from the primary story. Perhaps it’s simply the character of these issues that it’s laborious to tie them in, however apart from that, I feel it’s an excellent job up to now.

PH: Proper, and I don’t disagree with that in any respect. I feel one of many challenges of getting this actually open-ended relationship system with a linear story is I needed to type of… so that you see, right here you may have an outdated dialog function, after which there’s some occasions within the story which really stop the bond from occurring due to story occasions. So that may be a problem to juggle that, however I feel what we wished to do is sacrifice a bit little bit of story, immersion, and suspension of disbelief to present the participant the last word flexibility in who they pair off with. However yeah, I might agree with that.

JS: I suppose spoiler alert, there are potential romances within the sport. Although I’m not likely certain how a number of the bonds occurred. As a result of I used to be simply enjoying alongside, I learn the convos, after every battle after they come up, after which out of the blue I had a romance and I’m with this individual, and I didn’t even know the way it occurred.

PH: So Hearth Emblem has, I feel, skilled quite a lot of SRPG gamers that you just type of must grind, like affinity, and there’s nothing like that on this sport. We actually give attention to eradicating issues that aren’t enjoyable, and I all the time thought that was not very enjoyable. And so, it’s very, quite simple on this sport. It’s simply story progress and progressing by means of the conversations. That’s actually it.

JS: So how would you decide which individual you romance? Do it’s important to be nearer to them in battle, or simply occur to click on on their tales?

PH: No, it’s actually simply story progress after which undergo the conversations. You get to Chapter 6, after which this dialog opens up, after which the situations for the bond is ultimately get to Chapter 18 or no matter, and then you definately’ve watched this dialog. That’s actually it. And when you bond off, then these two characters are excluded from anyone else for the remainder of the sport.

JS: I wish to leap again over to the gameplay. You mentioned quite a lot of consideration has been put there and the fight. To me, what all the time appears one of the vital difficult issues to do within the sport is AI. So how a lot effort was put into there and the way powerful was it to get the enemy AI excellent?

PH: Yeah, the AI was type of the frosting on the cake. It was the one of many final options that we had going pre-launch. And it’s nonetheless on our street map to refine the AI. They nonetheless do a few bizarre issues, like select odd assault sorts and all that. However I really assume that AI went swimmingly nicely. We created a tough draft, after which we went into early beta testing, and gamers appreciated the tough draft quite a bit. So, we type of went with the tough draft and continued to iterate on it. We did make quite a lot of enhancements to it earlier than the top of the closed beta. So these did make it into the total launch, however yeah, an vital level that the street map is continuous AI refinement, in order that it will get smarter and the sport will get a bit tougher.

JS: Nicely you may have the menace mechanic which is meant to assist determine, if the AI have a number of targets, which of your troops the enemy will assault, appropriate?

PH: So that’s really one thing you possibly can predict, virtually with absolute certainty, primarily based on the menace ranking of a squad. If the enemy can go for the bottom menace, it should. It’s principally a measure of how scary the squad is to different individuals. Am I going to go assault this 20,000 menace ranking versus this 5,000? Yeah, after all I’m going to go to the one with 5,000. So that’s an absolute predictor at the moment.

JS: Does your menace decrease if one of many items in your occasion dies?

PH: Yeah, it adjusts. And there’s an merchandise known as the Noisy Cricket, which adjusts down the menace ranking artificially in a type of hidden approach so {that a} actually excessive menace squad has the potential to draw extra assaults than it usually would have.

JS: I may inform if one in every of my items begins to get beat up a bit bit they only swarm them, the enemy swarms them and kills them off.

PH: Oh yeah! They’re already fairly merciless, and on tougher difficulties we plan to make them far more merciless. They’re going to really make sacrifices simply to go after a squad with extra healers, for instance. They’re going to be actually imply and actually intelligent.

JS: One factor I wish to discuss with the Ogre Battle references. I’m an enormous Ogre Battle fan, Ways Ogre and Ogre Battle 64

PH: Proper on!

JS: The fight, for these of chances are you’ll not know, as a substitute of simply having one character be a squad, you principally have the character as a frontrunner and then you definately fill in that group with as much as eight different items. The squad can broaden larger if that chief has the next management ranking, and in case your items have the next loyalty, then their management prices will likely be much less. So I actually like which you could you possibly can develop your workforce with growing management. I feel that’s a extremely cool mechanic and is one thing new, a brand new wrinkle added.

However the factor I wished to ask is in regards to the positioning within the three rows. Why are there no totally different assaults for lessons within the totally different rows?

PH: Nicely, once we designed this method, one of many foundational pillars of the design, was that we all know that we now have squads, and so we additionally know that there’s going to be quite a lot of micromanagement. So, what we did was we made each character class — and there’s an entire lot of character lessons — do one factor, and on very uncommon events they do two issues. Like you may have a valkyrie or a paladin who can heal if any person is beneath 50% HP, in any other case they’ll assault. You’ve got a samurai who has a bow, so for those who’re from vary he makes use of the bow and for those who’re up shut he makes use of his spear. However the overwhelming majority of the lessons simply do one factor, and so we strictly stored to that design precept of it doesn’t matter what you do with this class, regardless of the place they’re, they may simply do this one factor.

After which the opposite a part of why we did that… As a result of, you realize, Ogre Battle has these positional adjustments, however a piece in progress is we now have aggressive, cautious, goal chief, and pressure give up ways that you should use. At the moment, apart from forcing a give up as it really works simply high-quality, the opposite ones are simply stats adjustments. We wish to change that solely so that they’re not stat adjustments in any respect. Nicely, most likely we’ll hold some, however they may change what sort of assault everybody does. So, a healer won’t heal, and may really attempt to inflict a standing debuff for those who’re doing a really aggressive maneuver. Cautious may make it in order that your heavy infantry solely assault as soon as, however then they’ve a giant harm mitigation in that change for instance. So that may be a main function plan for the long run, subsequently, we didn’t wish to add yet one more layer of positional primarily based assaults onto that. We thought that will be too complicated, too micromanagey, realizing that the ways ultimately will change these.

JS: One facet of it’s I can defend a unit if I transfer them again, however then they lose an assault. It’s type of a danger/reward factor to maneuver them round in your group. However for probably the most half, proper now, positioning is simply extra of who’s protected against melee assaults, proper?

PH: Proper, and there’s a pair different concerns there, like if you’re going up in opposition to quite a lot of fireplace mages, you possibly can assemble your self in a skinny line. As a result of they sideswipe assault there, and you probably have your guys organized in a pleasant, neat row for them to burn down, proper? So, you possibly can have a look at the map beforehand and see, oh, there’s a bunch of fireplace mages right here, so as a substitute of being a large three columns, I’ll be two columns. In order that approach these fireplace expertise solely hit two at a time or one after the other, proper?

JS: Proper. So, most items get 2 rounds of assaults, proper? I feel the gunners initially solely get one, until you spec him out to get one other. Is there any consideration with a few of these improve lessons to, you realize à la Ogre Battle, get three assaults as a substitute of two, or get one group vast assault upgrades like that?

PH: Yeah, in order that’s one other function of the Ogre Battle sequence that we’re conscious of, that we actually didn’t wish to embody as a result of we now have the morale function. Which as you’ve most likely skilled already, when it’s a bit bit excessive, or very excessive, you may have an elevated likelihood of additional assaults. We didn’t wish to then trivialize that function by simply giving an entire bunch of additional assaults to a category.

JS: Do you get the additional assaults in case your morale is simply excessive, or do you get them in case your morale is greater than the enemy?

PH: You get them if it’s excessive. It doesn’t contemplate the distinction and the enemy additionally has an opportunity for prime morale additional assaults.

JS: Attention-grabbing. One other factor I observed is in the best way you may have fight not carried out by an initiative or a velocity ranking. It’s extra Hearth Emblem; your aspect will get to go, their aspect will get to go, in that regard.

PH: Proper.

JS: But additionally, even in battle, the attacker all the time assaults first, so it’s type of an attacker’s benefit I’ve observed. In Ogre Battle, it looks like until you simply have a superpower squad, squads must battle one another a number of instances earlier than you actually begin killing one another. In Symphony of Conflict, it feels extra like Hearth Emblem the place you assault them, you do quite a lot of harm, and you may simply wipe their squad/unit out in a single assault or two assaults, possibly three at most. Fill us in on that design determination and a number of the ideas you had behind it.

PH: We’re most likely going to proceed to do steadiness patches that tackle the supposed quantity of exchanges that we would like gamers to do. That mentioned, you realize with the Steam evaluation ranking the best way it’s, we’re very cautious to mess with it. I imply, we actually don’t wish to… you realize… the individuals have spoken. The key sauce is in, proper? So, if we alter it. They could go, this sport was good, now it’s not, so thumbs down, proper? However I feel there’s undoubtedly an ongoing precedent for us looking at what number of volleys it takes for that fight to resolve, realizing that there’s such a heavy benefit to whoever section it’s. You will see that that for those who don’t correctly put together for the enemy section, and on greater problem ranges with permadeath on, I’ve gotten myself into conditions the place like oh, by no means thoughts, I simply misplaced half my guys.

 

JS: Oh, it’s undoubtedly simple to lose your guys in that regard, that’s true. Particularly if you’re preventing cannons and gunners.

PH: Yeah, yeah, particularly firearms troops which have the initiative, simply don’t be on the mistaken aspect of these ever and also you’re high-quality.

JS: I suppose I didn’t imply that to sound as a criticism in any respect, however extra of what was the thought course of within the design determination?

PH: I feel the thought course of was, and no I didn’t take it as a criticism, that’s type of one of many elementary core loops of Hearth Emblem that we didn’t intentionally take away. And in Ogre Battle, you may have the agility stat which does combine up who will get to go first. On this sport, we didn’t have that.

We’ve what’s principally a volley-based system. So you may have your archers and mages go first, after which your melee goes. Yeah, it’s simply type of the best way it turned out, and I feel sooner or later gamers ought to attempt to count on we are going to almost definitely rein in a few of these, actually highly effective offensive ways that the participant can do in the event that they mass a specific amount of items. Which, proper now, appears to be dragons and mages that simply get unhealthy you probably have two to 3 in a squad. They’re laborious to get. They’re costly late sport items with uncommon sources which can be required, however when you do get three of them in a single squad, they only steamroll stuff actually laborious. And the enemy additionally has some squads which have three mages and three dragons in them too, and they’re actually powerful to take down. I feel sooner or later it’s most likely that we’ll rein in a few of these tremendous overpowered mass ways, and/or enhance the max HP of enemies on greater difficulties. Simply in order that it’s a bit bit tougher to alpha strike your solution to victory each single time.

JS: Yeah, I’ve some mages in my events and if you improve them, they’re very satisfying to make use of. So, my ice mage simply goes and blasts individuals, and the animations that come up are fairly cool. I obtained a kick out of the primary time that occurred and simply that one mage decimates teams generally by itself.

PH: I feel a few of my favourite animations are the mages, particularly the fireplace mage and the way he does that swipe after which the wall of fireplace goes throughout. I get to brag a bit bit about that as a result of I didn’t do it. That was an especially proficient sprite artist that made that.

JS: I noticed some discuss within the Discord right this moment in your dev-blog that there’s been criticism of the portraits. And if we’re speaking about artwork and such, I do just like the sprite work, it’s actually good. One of many issues I actually love, and it type of jogs my memory of Ways Ogre and Remaining Fantasy Ways, are a number of the background artwork. I feel there’s one in like an inn possibly or round a bar. I like a few of these background still-art items, and the sprite work, however are you able to touch upon a number of the artwork route adjustments you have been speaking about within the dev-blog?

PH: Nicely, so the portraits… have you ever’ve heard of Legends of Runeterra? And I’m certain you’ve heard of League of Legends. So, the man who did the portraits really does splash screens for these video games, however he did them six years in the past earlier than he began engaged on these video games. And so, there’s, I feel, a ability hole between then and now. That’s why he ultimately simply stopped working for me as a contractor, as a result of he obtained these jobs. However, I feel there’s type of an inconsistency. I feel the feminine heroine sprite is an instance of 1 that appears nice. I like how that one appears, after which you may have some others that aren’t fairly as high quality as her. So, that’s my private greatest gripe with how our portraits at the moment are, it’s simply the inconsistency.

Some of us are saying that it’s a stylistic conflict. I’ll admit that may get a tad… nicely, you realize it’s a portrait suite, what number of video games fully exchange their portraits, proper? It’s fairly an costly and time-consuming endeavor. Largely time consuming at this level, as a result of it will take three to 6 months at the least, to get that kind of job carried out. So, it’s principally consideration for the long run, and searching on the several types of artwork types. Like these portraits are painterly. They’re not line-art, they’re not cel-shaded, they’re simply… you are taking a extremely, actually, high-resolution painterly base, which is 5,000 pixels tall, and then you definately interpolate it all the way down to squeeze it into the sport. I feel quite a lot of the unique high quality type of will get misplaced. Whereas, for those who go along with a line-art model, or a cel-shaded model, then it appears extra video gamey. I feel that’s the phrase I wish to go along with as a result of individuals name it pixelated. Nicely, you don’t actually need it to be pixelated or sharp, nicely generally sharp is just not good. So what we’re on the lookout for is video gamey!

An instance is Hearth Emblem: Path of Radiance. It has very a lot a line-art model. It’s not anime, it’s simply the Hearth Emblem model. Cartoony, I feel, can be one other good descriptor of that. And that will far more intently match the model of the animated sprites. No person doesn’t like these, everyone seems to be gaga over these.

JS: They’re good, and I might say from my standpoint I don’t assume the portraits are unhealthy on their very own by any means. It’s simply I can see the place it does really feel like a bit little bit of a conflict generally. Or so at first it extra catches you off guard, however now that I’ve been enjoying the sport, I don’t even actually discover it anymore. So, I feel possibly it’s simply extra of a primary impression.

PH: Lots of people have mentioned the identical factor. They’re used to it. So now I’m like, hey, if we’re going to be wanting right here, if we discovered that good artist who can do these line-art portraits and say we really redid those from this sport, I feel at this level it’s too late. I feel individuals would really be like “Oh no, we appreciated the previous ones.”

JS: One different factor I used to be going to ask that I haven’t seen a lot of but. Do you may have any plans, possibly for this one or the long run, possibly I’m lacking it, however are there any secrets and techniques or unlockable sort issues to seek out?

PH: Nicely, so the distinctive mercenaries are type of a Pokémon “Gotta catch’ em all” scenario. There’s an entire bunch of them in there and you may probably not discover all of them in a single run. So, that’s a bit little bit of RNG-based “what am I going to get?” There are two totally different endings, with an entire bunch of various outcomes primarily based on the way you paired off your characters. So, there’s a bit bit extra of these type of discoverables. By way of like secret lessons? Not likely. I imply, there’s unlockables just like the firearms tree and the dragon rider tree, that are explicitly advised to you within the tech tree. Not within the conventional sense, when it comes to secrets and techniques, however it’s actually extra only a large quantity of stuff which you could get that you just received’t essentially get in each play. Some of us may name it a crapshoot. I wish to name it simply extra of a enjoyable playing facet. Such as you’ll get Cloudrender Athelis, which is among the finest distinctive mercenaries, in Mission 6, and he’s a silver dragon rider with loopy excessive stats. So he’ll fully change the sport for you for a lot of, many missions, or generally you’ll by no means see him.

JS: Nope, I by no means noticed him and didn’t get him in my playthrough.

PH: Very uncommon, very uncommon.

JS: So, no Ogre Battle treasure “discover out,” huh?

PH: Similar to those that don’t even present up on the map? No, nothing like that. You possibly can see all of them.

JS: You talked about earlier the reception has been nice. I feel as of right this moment it has “Overwhelmingly Constructive” critiques on Steam with 1,300 critiques. How has the reception general been for you? And, clearly no must reveal gross sales numbers, however has it met expectations, far exceeded, or possibly you hoped it was higher? What’s your feeling proper now?

PH: Exceeded expectations for certain. The Steam critiques… so my different sport, that did considerably nicely, known as Skyborn. It’s a JRPG from again in approach historical historical past. In 2012 we put it on Steam. It Nonetheless has about 500 critiques at round 88 to 90% constructive. So, a small hit, however not a success like this. I’m completely shocked on the reception that this sport has obtained. Figuring out now that there’s so many individuals that have been simply ravenous for Ogre Battle-model, squad-based auto-battler core loop. I suppose there was only a starved market. If you consider it, there actually hasn’t been a substantial amount of large improvement studio love given to this style in any respect. And even taking a look at Hearth Emblem, despite the fact that that is I feel farther from Hearth Emblem than it’s near Ogre Battle, is type of getting away from what I contemplate peak Hearth Emblem. My favourite Hearth Emblem entries are a bit bit up to now… Awakening, Path of Radiance, Radiant Daybreak, and Family tree. After all, that’s very historical Hearth Emblem, however Three Homes didn’t actually resonate with me.

I suppose simply this entire factor has been not uncared for solely, however definitely not given sufficient love by established studios, and so we type of slid into that area of interest at simply the suitable time. And we’re tremendous stoked and undoubtedly going to embrace that. I would like individuals to know that due to the reception, due to your assist, we’re going to do much more enhancements to Symphony of Conflict than we had initially deliberate. We’re going to proceed to do what we initially deliberate, however we’re going so as to add some extra campaigns, like DLC campaigns, sooner or later. Sport modes are coming, like post-game and new sport plus sort stuff. We don’t know precisely how we’re going to do this. That’s going to be simply a part of the free common patch updates, content material updates. However entire new campaigns, like a wholly totally different principal story, which is clearly a a lot larger endeavor. I didn’t plan on doing a kind of, however I undoubtedly am now. I feel it’s simply very applicable, so that will be my alternative to thank the neighborhood. Clearly, it’s due to you, and due to your assist, that we are able to make Symphony of Conflict a sturdy ongoing sequence.

JS: I suppose you’re type of on a developer excessive proper? You created this factor after years and other people prefer it. There’s not far more rewarding than that, huh?

PH: Completely! You don’t go into indie sport improvement pondering you’re going to make an entire bunch of cash. Perhaps there’s a sport that you just want any person else had made they usually simply didn’t get made, ever. And so, you’re like, screw it, I’ll make it, and that’s really one of many causes behind this sport. It doesn’t exist, so let’s simply make it. And yeah, getting individuals saying that this scratches an itch they haven’t had, and didn’t even know they’d. Or “I haven’t had an Ogre Battle sort expertise for years, thanks. Lastly, you made this.” That’s so rewarding. That’s large. I may go on endlessly about simply that, listening to the impression on individuals, however I’ll cease myself.

JS: I’ve seen you very a lot engaged in the neighborhood Discord with all of the followers which have jumped on. And even since I joined there, day by day the final chat will get spammed with extra new individuals coming in. So, it’s actually catching on and spreading. What would you attribute the recognition it’s recieved? I do know indies have a tough time getting observed on Steam. There’s simply so many indie video games. How did how did Symphony of Conflict catch on?

PH: Nicely, I’ve to present props to our writer companion Freedom Video games, when it comes to the way it was launched, and when it was launched, throughout that IGN spot. It was a shock launch, which matches in opposition to the intuition of quite a lot of established trade requirements. However we simply determined to do it, and type of not a lot a Hail Mary, as a lot as a calculated danger. So, we embraced that, and we did it. I do additionally assume that it’s actually simply an underserved market that was on the market. They have been hungry for one thing like this.

Frankly, I obtained to confess, once I first obtained my fingers on the engine, once we lastly have been capable of put it right into a playable factor, I used to be like that is actually enjoyable. I didn’t even count on it to be so. I did like simply the truth that you don’t have to regulate the battles, you simply set it up within the house base section, and then you definately simply watch it play out. And it performs out in a approach the place you possibly can really make sense of what’s occurring. Like Advance Wars, you conflict, you possibly can inform what’s occurring, however it’s not turn-by-turn this occurred and this occurred. What we’ve carried out is quick paced, however you possibly can nonetheless inform, okay, my mages did this, my archers did this, after which my melee troops did this. So, it was virtually a contented accident. Mithran, the companion, was like, “oh, that is enjoyable” and this was possibly a yr earlier than we launched. We have been within the very early section of the particular sport coming collectively. Name it a contented accident if you need, I don’t care, that’s high-quality, it simply turned out.

JS: That’s superior. Quite a lot of gamer devs dream that they make a sport they love as a ardour venture, however that can also be profitable, proper? It’s nice to listen to and congrats on that.

You began answering a few of my future questions already, which is what’s subsequent for Symphony of Conflict? And lots of people are going to ask for a console launch. Is it simply going to remain on Steam, or do you may have different platforms you may be trying to discover?

PH: So, that’s killing me. We’re at the moment at a little bit of a lifeless finish on console launch. It could be on Swap, and I feel it will do very nicely, and performance very nicely on Swap. I’m at the moment attempting to determine easy methods to bridge the hole between these techniques, and I very a lot hope for a miracle breakthrough on that one. I might say individuals ought to count on no sooner than mid 2023 for a Swap launch. Although, don’t watch for Swap, simply purchase it on PC. But when we are able to, completely. We are going to pour, quite a lot of blood, sweat, and tears right into a Swap launch. I suppose the silver lining there’s it’ll have that rather more time to get bug fixes out and extra quality-of-life options in earlier than it hits the Swap.

Within the meantime, we’re persevering with to work on Symphone of Conflict 1 [the current PC release], and the present venture is the UI/UX redesign. We’re vastly lowering the quantity of clicks it’s worthwhile to do, type of rearranging the menus. We’re going to blow it up so there’s more room for extra data. We’re going so as to add extra center mouse button performance in order that it might probably work on any window as proper now it’s a web page up web page down perform. We’re going to most likely add click on and drag performance from the bottom organized menu, so as a substitute of getting to enter squad operations, you possibly can simply click on on a man in your reserves and simply drop them off in your squad. That’s the most important venture now.

Then, as I mentioned, DLC campaigns. One thing we didn’t plan on doing sooner or later, however we undoubtedly will likely be now. I’m speaking like a wholly new story, such as you begin from sq. one. And that will be concurrently with post-game options utilizing your present save, so for those who clear the sport, then you are able to do both some type of new sport plus function or an additional laborious closing boss mode sport mode. Or some type of sandbox mode, like an infinite rogue-like mode, or a protection mode, or one thing like that. We’re enjoying round with quite a lot of concepts on that.

JS: This makes me assume to ask, again on the Swap factor. What’s the limiting factor, or the wrestle there simply getting it ported over? What’s the set again there or the problem?

PH: The engine. There may be an engine layer down on our engine that we’re utilizing that looks like it’s out of manufacturing in the mean time, and so we might both must revive that to be able to bridge the hole between the Swap Dev Equipment, or we must discover, I suppose you’d name it, a port studio to select up the items of that program and determine what it does and the way it works, which is troublesome to do. Or rebuild the complete sport in a unique engine. Clearly, we would like the primary choice to occur, as a result of that’s the one which’s by far the simplest, and presents minimal technical boundaries. I’ve obtained to say that’s killing me as a result of this sport can be such a enjoyable sport on Swap, and I actually wish to get it on there, and I can’t definitively say if we are able to or not at this level.

JS: I feel it will be a success on there, and to me, can be a extremely good candidate to pair up with a Restricted Run Video games for a bodily launch and that type of energetic promotion. I feel this type of sport is made for a partnership with the individuals like Restricted Run, at the least in my view.

PH: Sure, completely, yep.

JS: You’ve talked about these updates and adjustments to the primary, however I’ve additionally heard you speaking some about your plans for Symphony of Conflict 2. A pair questions there. The place do you do the reduce off between enhancing, or including, to the primary sport as a substitute of simply pushing that effort into the second sport.

PH: We’ll must make that decision. By way of including to 1, I feel we’re going to reduce it off at principally the sport modes and the quality-of-life adjustments that we wished to place within the 1st place earlier than launch. The UI/UX redesign, the sandbox/new sport modes, that kind of factor. Then, I already even have an entire bunch of the script for Symphony of Conflict 2, and quite a lot of the cutscenes already carried out. However there are some unit sorts — and I suppose I’ll tease this, undead, that don’t exist in Symphony of Conflict 1, that we’d wish to presumably embody in only a gaiden story, or a wholly new marketing campaign in Symphony of Conflict 1. Simply to have the ability to introduce that solely new meta in Symphony of Conflict 1 in order that it might probably already be skilled up within the participant base for Symphony Conflict 2, with out having to particularly give attention to an undead a part of the Symphony of Conflict 2 principal story. Is that making sense?

 

JS: It does, yeah. Would you say these new tales can be associated to the primary sport in simply gameplay, or sequels, or in the identical world? How do you envision that taking place?

PH: An excellent query. The second sport, what I’ve already made, really takes place about 100 years after the top of this sport. The characters that exist on this sport have aged out of that timeline. However it’s a direct timeline sequel, so I suppose you possibly can name it a sequel sequence slightly than a direct sequel. We’re going to strive our greatest to not retcon very a lot. Symphony of Conflict 1 is in the identical sport universe of all of our previous video games, however it’s been retconned crazily to adapt to what we wished to do on this sport. We’ll attempt to hold that to a minimal for the subsequent one.

JS: After which how do you keep away from stealing concepts, or borrowing out of your DLC campaigns, versus the storyline you take note of for two and tying these all collectively? What’s your thought course of or technique on that?

PH: Nicely, like I mentioned with the DLC that I wish to do on Symphony of Conflict 1, I haven’t even written it but. I may benefit from the truth that Symphony of Conflict 2 does begin 100 years after Symphony Conflict 1 ends. So, quite a lot of issues can occur in between there that don’t essentially must outline what occurs in the way forward for he sport world.

JS: Considered one of my final questions right here. You’ve seen quite a lot of suggestions and Symphony Conflict 1 what are a number of the issues, moreover what we now have already talked about, that you’re contemplating doing updates on?

PH: It’s largely been UI/UX suggestions that individuals are asking for, and that’s our focus proper now. And a few of us have requested for like new sport plus. I don’t assume we’re really going to finish up doing a conventional, straight-up new sport plus, the place you simply replay the very same marketing campaign, however everybody’s ranges are greater. We wish to do one thing that’s really a sandbox mode that’s in the primary marketing campaign. So, let’s say you wished to coach up a few of your B-list squads, or your youthful squads. You can have some skirmish or barracks coaching mode that wouldn’t be essentially a solution to grind, per se. As a result of we don’t like making gamers really feel obligated to grind, as that exhibits that possibly there’s a weak spot within the core gameplay. We would like it to be an additional factor that you just wish to simply do. Perhaps it restricts you from bringing distinctive characters into it that sometimes are going to be very highly effective out of the gate, such as you see along with your Dianas, and your Lysanders, and your Beatrix. Perhaps you possibly can simply be restricted from bringing these. We haven’t actually discovered the main points but, however it’s going to be not one thing that it’s worthwhile to wait to beat the sport to do. It’s going to be a part of simply your first play. You go into your private home base, I’ve obtained my enviornment tokens, possibly I wish to do this, or possibly I wish to do the skirmish mode and practice up a few of my lagging squads, and possibly I’ll simply do this.

JS: Because you’ve already began on the second sport, or some concepts with it, any issues you possibly can share so far as main gameplay adjustments or items that you just’re including? Or is it going to be extra of the identical as 1, however with new story and property, or do you’re feeling such as you’re constructing upon the gameplay and lessons and simply altering issues up?

PH: The key addition to any DLC we do with Symphony Conflict 1, can be new lessons and a brand new story. The gameplay loop I don’t actually wish to mess with that an excessive amount of. It’s type of the key sauce that individuals are liking. However the truth that new items are coming in do inherently current a change within the gameplay meta. Like I mentioned, and I’ve been open with this in Discord, undead is what we wish to add. With undead you may have… you’ve performed Heroes of Would possibly & Magic?

JS: Sure, oh sure.

PH: Yeah, each me and the opposite developer are large undead Heroes of Would possibly and Magic nerds, and we wish to draw…

JS: Sandro!

PH: What’s that?

JS: Sandro, he was all the time the undead hero I picked in Heroes of Would possibly & Magic.

PH: Oh yeah, I don’t keep in mind which hero I picked. I feel I alter between those that offer you higher necromancy after which those that simply have higher energetic magic. I’d identical to to combine it up a bit bit.

For this one, it’ll take quite a lot of cues from that, in that you just’re elevating a military of skeletons from the issues that you just kill. I feel how it will work, it will have a necromancer. And then you definately would have a skeleton minion of that Necromancer in a unique tile. After which as you kill stuff, you add extra members to that skeleton tile so it turns into two skeletons, three skeletons… Which really presents a really attention-grabbing counter to the give up meta, which exists now, as a result of for those who give up any person, you possibly can’t kill them and take their our bodies and make them into skeletons. I feel that simply the truth that you realize we might add necromancer and skeleton minions would current a wholly new meta of gameplay.

JS: Would you be the unhealthy man, or would you continue to be the hero protagonist in a narrative like this?

PH: I feel that you just’d nonetheless be the hero, however you’d be dealing with off in opposition to definitely quite a lot of these undead, after which certainly you’d be given the choice to make your personal undead items.

JS: So, that’s for 1, however for, say, Symphony of Conflict 2 you’d have possibly a bit extra company to make adjustments for those who felt prefer it, proper? Is that being thought of in any respect, or do you’re feeling prefer it’s going to be extra of 1 once more with some new stuff enhanced?

PH: I feel we’re most likely by no means going to mess with that core loop, however we’re simply going to proceed so as to add extra dimensions to it. For Symphony of Conflict 2, I even have naval ships that I wished to get in there. You’ve obtained rivers and lakes in quite a lot of the maps in Symphony of Conflict 1. In Symphony of Conflict 2, I’m going so as to add extra maps the place you’ve obtained the open sea. You’ll have the ability to have naval ships that go in which you could really design and customise, identical to you possibly can design and customise your squads. They will carry squads throughout the water, they will bombard after all, they usually can shoot at different ships.

JS: I respect your time Phil. Once more, Phil Hamilton of Dancing Dragon Video games. Symphony of Conflict: The Nephilim Saga is at the moment on Steam proper now, go and test it out. You’ll hear additional information by following them on their Discord. Observe their web site for additional information on updates to this sport and any information for a future Symphony of Conflict 2.

PH: Proper on, thanks.


We’d lke to thank Phil for setting apart time to reply our questions on Symphony of Conflict: The Nephilim Saga. You possibly can try this new technique RPG impressed by the classics now on PC by way of Steam.

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