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We recently had the opportunity to interview Mike Gale from Disaster Cake Games about their upcoming JRPG Soul Saga which will be hitting the Wii U eShop later this year! And we managed to learn quite a bit more about the game! Without further ado here's the interview in its entirety:
Hello! Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, we really appreciate it!
[DisasterCake]: No problem! I'm excited to be able to share Soul Saga's progress with you!
How long has Soul Saga been in development?
[DisasterCake]: "The idea of me wanting to make an RPG started when I was in elementary school. I pondered many different stories over time, but I got very serious about it 6 years ago and started Soul Saga. I was a very young developer at the time, and I used Soul Saga as motivation as I taught myself about every aspect of game development so I could act as the lead programmer, producer, and director on my own game project one day. In 2013 Soul Saga had a successful Kickstarter campaign that allowed me to reboot the production and make it significantly better.
Even though the Kickstarter was successful, the amount it raised was only a fraction of the cost it took to make a professional, polished, 3D JRPG like Soul Saga, so a lot of sacrifice had to go into the development. Personally, I've worked ~100 hours a week for almost 3 years now. After a lot of hard work and sacrifice, Soul Saga is finally reaching the finish line of production, and I'm hoping to share it with everyone in the middle of this year."
Can you tell us a bit about the unique gameplay features of Soul Saga?
[DisasterCake]: "Oh boy, where do I begin?!
Well there's the airship exploration, which takes place in a 3D roaming environment and is very Skies of Arcadia inspired. I spiced it up a bit by adding a boosting effect that allows the player to travel much faster after they've progressed through the game and upgraded their airship. I haven't talked a lot about that yet, but I'll be getting into it more in the next update soon.
The airship combat is done in a live-action style from a side view where you'll be able to actively dodge the enemy attacks while firing off your own weapons. It's paced a little differently from a normal shooter game, and your airship and the enemies have HP instead, so it's more akin to an Action RPG styled combat, but in an airship. Your airship can be outfit with different shielding, engines, boosters, and your weapon rack can carry up to 3 different weapons so you can cycle in combat to use the weapon best for the situation.
For example, a Grumplin balloon will bounce projectiles back at the player, but not the flame thrower. Or an enemy might have an attack that's very dangerous close up, so you'll have to use a rail gun to fire from a distance. At the moment there's about 10 weapon types planned for the airship in total, and this number may adjust as testing progresses.
On the field, combat is very classic turn-based JRPG inspired. The difference between older RPGs is that in Soul Saga when it's your turn you can choose the exact order your members act in so you can have the flexibility for maximum strategy. There's some really cool additions I'll be making to the combat system that will be announced later on.
On the field there's also the lunchbox system, which allows each character to fill their own lunchbox up at a cooking point, and then they use those items for healing in and out of combat. This helps limit the amount of healing items available so you can strategically decide which you carry and adds in the fun of crafting and customization.
There's the "shenanigan" system, which allows you to take different actions under certain circumstances. It's used often in boss battles for extra features related to defeating the boss, and it's also used to revive party members when they fall. So instead of just throwing a reviving item on them, you use Shenanigan to help them get back up. If they keep falling, then you'll need to use the Shenanigan skill more times to revive them.
There's also difficulty modes that can be changed at anytime for both Airship Combat and Field Combat. The 3 modes are: Cake, Vanille, and Jacked. There's a 4th locked mode that is reserved for a New Game+ tailored for the most experienced players.
There's weapon crafting and enhancements. Right now in the beta there's just a placeholder system, but a more robust one will be announced and implemented soon.
Another unique thing outside of the game is with the actual development of Soul Saga. Soul Saga's backers have a forum at http://forums.disastercake.com where they can create polls to suggest gameplay features. I'm VERY open to fan feedback and am constantly communicating with fans to make sure their needs are met to the best of my abilities. I wouldn't be where I am without Soul Saga's amazing fans, so I care about them deeply!
There's even more features in Soul Saga I'll be revealing later. I can't wait to share them with you!"
We've heard that you've got some talented voice actors/actresses and
talented musicians that have been working with you on Soul Saga. Who
are these talented individuals?
[DisasterCake]: "Soul Saga's soundtrack is one of its most endearing qualities. I feel that music is one of the most important things for a JRPG, so I spent a lot of time working with several very talented composers to make sure you only get the best tunes!
We have a lot of music from the famous Steven's Universe composers Aivi Tran and Surasshu. Here's some of their contributions:
Home Above The Clouds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXERGlTPabs
Journey of the Flying Koi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaWw5KWNrZI
Into the Wild: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0e0dgYeRQ4
Our biggest contributor to the music is Ryan Camus, who is working hard on fleshing out a robust soundtrack for you. Some examples of his contributions to Soul Saga are the airship battle themes and world map music:
Rough Sailing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH1EQL6hfmE
To Adventure!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMGwPADjd1s
Max Altitude: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUY7hEtuLp8
Right now we're still planning to utilize the original Mithos and Elise voice actors: Todd Haberkorn (Natsu from Fairytail) and Kira Buckland. Voice acting is one of those things you deal with at the very end of game development. It's really the final seal of quality placed.
The reason you deal with it at the end is because once the Voice Acting is done, it's very difficult to go back and redo it if any dialogue gets touched up or scenes adjusted. Once I'm closer to the end of development we'll get all the other actors cast and announced. Very exciting times!"
Approximately how long would you say the main story of the game will be?
[DisasterCake]: This is something that is constantly increasing as I add more content to Soul Saga. I'll definitely let you know closer to release how much I was able to squeeze in for you!
Can you tell us anything new regarding Soul Saga?
[DisasterCake]: "Soul Saga fans have recently voted on a goblin-like species race name in the forums. Their voices have been heard and we're now calling this race "Grumplin"! A clever portmanteau between grump and goblin which fits well with their overall demeanor. Great work, guys! Here's some concept art of the Grumplins:
And their musical theme by Aivi Tran:
What games are your inspirations for Soul Saga?
[DisasterCake]: Wow, that's quite a list! Breath of Fire, Skies of Arcadia, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Suikoden, Super Mario RPG, and the list really just goes on and on to all those awesome classics. Soul Saga is a love letter to all the classics that I grew up with, and I think you'll see a lot of that inspiration in here when you get to play it.
When can we expect the Wii U port of Soul Saga to hit the eShop?
[DisasterCake]: The Wii U port should be coming a few months after the Desktop version is complete. I'm hoping to release the Desktop version in June, so hopefully the Wii U version will be out within a few months after that! I'll definitely let you know more details as I get closer to those dates.
We enjoyed interviewing you, hopefully we'll get the opportunity to do
it again sometime!
[DisasterCake]: Thank you very much for your time! I'm super excited to share Soul Saga with you and can't wait to hear what you think! If you're a JRPG fan, please give me a follow on Twitter @Disastercake or on Facebook at http://facebook.disastercake.com. I love to chat with other fans!
What did you think of our interview with Disaster Cake Games? Did you learn anything new about Soul Saga? Will you be downloading the game when it hits the Wii U eShop later this year? Be sure to let us know in our comments section below!
#DevelopersInterview #SoulSaga #DisasterCakeGames #WiiU #eShop
Last edited by Ichigofan on January 28th 2016, 9:50 pm; edited 2 times in total
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