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HomeRPGThe Nephilim Saga Interview – RPGamer

The Nephilim Saga Interview – RPGamer

Symphony of Battle: 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 recreation’s inspirations, gameplay mechanics, and future. This interview is a transcription of a reside recording, with some edits for conciseness; the complete audio is on the market on the backside of this text.

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

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

JS: I’m doing nice. I’ve been taking part in his new recreation 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 overwhelmed it but, however I’m most likely midway or somewhat over midway by. I wish to toss it over to you to present us an summary and outline of the sport out of your perspective.

PH: My companion and I’ve been making video games for twelve years on the facet. That is the primary recreation the place we’ve absolutely devoted our lives. I really resigned from my job and simply fully threw myself into this one. We began making an engine for a technique RPG recreation mainly in RPG Maker, and other people’s jaws hit the ground once they hear RPG Maker, nevertheless it’s performed after six years.

It took some time, and there’s little or no RPG Maker left within the recreation. You may 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 recreation.” 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, very talked-about SRPG collection that begins with F that everyone knows what that’s.

So, it ended up changing into sort 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 Battle. It’s only a new factor, and the reception has been insane. You understand it’s been actually, actually cool, so we positively know now we are able to proceed on and make extra, and make it a complete collection so… that’d be nice, yeah?

JS: I’ve been taking part in it, and I positively see the Ogre Battle connections there, clearly with the battles and the way in which that’s performed. However, to me, such as you stated a collection that begins with “F”; it actually feels most just like a Fireplace Emblem recreation in most facets, no less than from my perspective.

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

JS: In addition to your self, are you able to give us an summary of the event group and who did what to make this recreation?

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, mainly quite a lot of design selections and all that stuff. And my programmer did the programming, the engine stage stuff, just like the below the hood stuff, proper?

I assume 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 mainly then functioned as a undertaking 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 recreation property. However unique artwork is a talent that neither of us actually have when it comes to a extremely refined skilled talent. 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, aside from hiring out for sprites, portraits, and somewhat little bit of voice appearing, it’s nearly fully simply myself and him.

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

PH: Yeah, we’re really engaged on translating it now, most probably, 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: Properly, 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 claimed and performed. 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, Fireplace Emblem, and Soul Nomad, are there another inspirations or concepts for the story, setting, and the plot?

PH: Yeah, I’m going to level to Fireplace Emblem: Family tree of the Holy Battle. For those who’ve performed Symphony of Battle, you positively see that is as Family tree of the Holy Battle. You see somewhat bit from different entries, however you know the way in Family tree you might 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 sort of the linchpin for the entire story, as it’s simply unhealthy guys messing round with these bloodlines mainly. And it isn’t like bloodlines as a lot as it’s only a sort of a divine metaphysical side of the characters.

The plot could be very comparable. It’s a political wrestle largely enhanced and within the backdrop of that sort of divine wrestle between a god-like evil and a god-like good. For many of the recreation, although, it’s largely only a struggle recreation. You’re combating a revolt, you then’re combating in a civil struggle, then you’re a revolt for somewhat bit, you then turn into an enormous military and also you turn into the large boy across the block.

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

PH: I feel the problem was simply how lengthy it took for the engine to truly get performed. You understand, to put in writing the script, and to make the cutscenes, and to put in writing the music… mainly every part I needed to do, it most likely solely took about two years. However the remainder of the engine was a bigger enterprise, to say the least. So, what occurred in these additional time in between was revision, after revision, after revision. So, this recreation fortunately benefited from much more time.

I feel it often is nice for issues just like the writing, and the character improvement, and stage design. The extent design obtained plenty of revisions in that point. And, you realize, writing, simply let me simply put it on the market, that I’m engaged on that talent. I’ve turn into quite a bit higher on this recreation, and so I feel within the subsequent recreation you’ll see an enormous enchancment there. That hasn’t been my focus earlier than this recreation 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 highway.

Now preserving that in thoughts, the extent design has positively been a spotlight, and so I used to be in a position to actually put tons and tons of my greatest inventive 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 seems to be like quite a lot of care has been given to it and I’d say the writing has been stable up to now. Particularly when in comparison with quite a lot of this recreation’s inspirations and 90s Japanese RPG tales. I feel this story has depth to it. I’d say there are occasions it’s possibly hit and miss, and such as you stated, it’s you studying how you can be a author. However total, I really feel it’s very stable.

In all probability the one factor that, should you 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 somewhat disjointed generally from the principle story. Perhaps it’s simply the character of these issues that it’s onerous to tie them in, however aside from that, I feel it’s an ideal 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 sort of… so that you see, right here you might have an outdated dialog characteristic, after which there’s some occasions within the story which really forestall the bond from taking place due to story occasions. So that could be a problem to juggle that, however I feel what we needed to do is sacrifice somewhat little bit of story, immersion, and suspension of disbelief to present the participant the final word flexibility in who they pair off with. However yeah, I’d agree with that.

JS: I assume spoiler alert, there are potential romances within the recreation. Although I’m probably not positive how a number of the bonds occurred. As a result of I used to be simply taking part in alongside, I learn the convos, after every battle once they come up, after which instantly I had a romance and I’m with this individual, and I didn’t even know the way it occurred.

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

JS: So how would you decide which individual you romance? Do it’s a must 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 circumstances for the bond is ultimately get to Chapter 18 or no matter, and you then’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 stated quite a lot of consideration has been put there and the fight. To me, what at all times appears one of the crucial difficult issues to do within the recreation is AI. So how a lot effort was put into there and the way robust was it to get the enemy AI good?

PH: Yeah, the AI was sort 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 highway map to refine the AI. They nonetheless do a few bizarre issues, like select odd assault sorts and all that. However I really suppose that AI went swimmingly nicely. We created a tough draft, after which we went into early beta testing, and gamers favored the tough draft quite a bit. So, we sort 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 tip of the closed beta. So these did make it into the complete launch, however yeah, an essential level that the highway map is constant AI refinement, in order that it will get smarter and the sport will get somewhat tougher.

JS: Properly you might have the risk mechanic which is meant to assist resolve, if the AI have a number of targets, which of your troops the enemy will assault, right?

PH: So that’s really one thing you’ll be able to predict, nearly with absolute certainty, primarily based on the risk score of a squad. If the enemy can go for the bottom risk, it should. It’s mainly a measure of how scary the squad is to different individuals. Am I going to go assault this 20,000 risk score 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 risk decrease if one of many models in your celebration dies?

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

JS: I may inform if certainly one of my models begins to get beat up somewhat 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 way more merciless. They’re going to truly 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 you might not know, as an alternative of simply having one character be a squad, you mainly have the character as a frontrunner and you then fill in that group with as much as eight different models. The squad can broaden greater if that chief has a better management score, and in case your models have a better loyalty, then their management prices shall be much less. So I actually like that you would be able to you’ll be able to develop your group 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 needed to ask is in regards to the positioning within the three rows. Why are there no totally different assaults for courses within the totally different rows?

PH: Properly, once we designed this method, one of many foundational pillars of the design, was that we all know that we have now 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 a complete lot of character courses — do one factor, and on very uncommon events they do two issues. Like you might have a valkyrie or a paladin who can heal if any individual is beneath 50% HP, in any other case they’ll assault. You might have a samurai who has a bow, so should you’re from vary he makes use of the bow and should you’re up shut he makes use of his spear. However the overwhelming majority of the courses simply do one factor, and so we strictly saved to that design precept of it doesn’t matter what you do with this class, regardless of the place they’re, they may simply try 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 have now aggressive, cautious, goal chief, and power give up techniques that you should use. Presently, aside from forcing a give up as it really works simply tremendous, the opposite ones are simply stats adjustments. We wish to change that fully in order that they’re not stat adjustments in any respect. Properly, most likely we’ll maintain some, however they may change what sort of assault everybody does. So, a healer won’t heal, and would possibly really try to inflict a standing debuff should you’re doing a really aggressive maneuver. Cautious would possibly make it in order that your heavy infantry solely assault as soon as, however then they’ve an enormous injury mitigation in that trade for instance. So that could be a main characteristic 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, understanding that the techniques ultimately will change these.

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

PH: Proper, and there’s a pair different concerns there, like in case you are going up towards quite a lot of hearth mages, you’ll be able to assemble your self in a skinny line. As a result of they sideswipe assault there, and in case you have your guys organized in a pleasant, neat row for them to burn down, proper? So, you’ll be able to take a look at the map beforehand and see, oh, there’s a bunch of fireplace mages right here, so as an alternative of being a large three columns, I’ll be two columns. In order that method these hearth abilities solely hit two at a time or separately, proper?

JS: Proper. So, most models 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 courses to, you realize à la Ogre Battle, get three assaults as an alternative of two, or get one group broad assault upgrades like that?

PH: Yeah, in order that’s one other characteristic of the Ogre Battle collection that we’re conscious of, that we actually didn’t wish to embrace as a result of we have now the morale characteristic. Which as you’ve most likely skilled already, when it’s somewhat bit excessive, or very excessive, you might have an elevated likelihood of additional assaults. We didn’t wish to then trivialize that characteristic by simply giving a complete 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 think about the distinction and the enemy additionally has an opportunity for prime morale additional assaults.

JS: Fascinating. One other factor I seen is in the way in which you might have fight not performed by an initiative or a pace score. It’s extra Fireplace Emblem; your facet will get to go, their facet will get to go, in that regard.

PH: Proper.

JS: But additionally, even in battle, the attacker at all times assaults first, so it’s sort of an attacker’s benefit I’ve seen. In Ogre Battle, it seems like until you simply have a superpower squad, squads must battle one another a number of occasions earlier than you actually begin killing one another. In Symphony of Battle, it feels extra like Fireplace Emblem the place you assault them, you do quite a lot of injury, 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 meant quantity of exchanges that we wish gamers to do. That stated, you realize with the Steam overview score the way in which 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 modify it. They may go, this recreation was good, now it’s not, so thumbs down, proper? However I feel there may be positively an ongoing precedent for us looking at what number of volleys it takes for that fight to resolve, understanding that there’s such a heavy benefit to whoever part it’s. You’ll find that should you don’t correctly put together for the enemy part, 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 positively simple to lose your guys in that regard, that’s true. Particularly once you’re combating cannons and gunners.

PH: Yeah, yeah, particularly firearms troops which have the initiative, simply don’t be on the unsuitable facet of these ever and also you’re tremendous.

JS: I assume 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 sort of one of many elementary core loops of Fireplace Emblem that we didn’t intentionally take away. And in Ogre Battle, you might have the agility stat which does combine up who will get to go first. On this recreation, we didn’t have that.

We now have what’s mainly a volley-based system. So you might have your archers and mages go first, after which your melee goes. Yeah, it’s simply sort of the way in which it turned out, and I feel sooner or later gamers ought to attempt to anticipate we’ll most probably rein in a few of these, actually highly effective offensive techniques that the participant can do in the event that they mass a specific amount of models. Which, proper now, seems to be to be dragons and mages that simply get unhealthy in case you have two to a few in a squad. They’re onerous to get. They’re costly late recreation models with uncommon assets which are required, however when you do get three of them in a single squad, they only steamroll stuff actually onerous. And the enemy additionally has some squads which have three mages and three dragons in them too, and they’re actually robust to take down. I feel sooner or later it’s most likely that we’ll rein in a few of these tremendous overpowered mass techniques, and/or improve the max HP of enemies on greater difficulties. Simply in order that it’s somewhat bit harder to alpha strike your strategy to victory each single time.

JS: Yeah, I’ve some mages in my events and once 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 somewhat 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 in the present day 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 sort of jogs my memory of Ways Ogre and Ultimate 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 course adjustments you have been speaking about within the dev-blog?

PH: Properly, so the portraits… have you ever’ve heard of Legends of Runeterra? And I’m positive 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 may be, I feel, a talent 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 may be sort of an inconsistency. I feel the feminine heroine sprite is an instance of 1 that appears nice. I like how that one seems to be, after which you might have some others that aren’t fairly as high quality as her. So, that’s my private largest 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 substitute their portraits, proper? It’s fairly an costly and time-consuming endeavor. Largely time consuming at this level, as a result of it might take three to 6 months no less than, to get that kind of job performed. So, it’s principally consideration for the long run, and looking out 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 you then interpolate it all the way down to squeeze it into the sport. I feel quite a lot of the unique high quality sort of will get misplaced. Whereas, should you go together with a line-art type, or a cel-shaded type, then it seems to be extra video gamey. I feel that’s the phrase I wish to go together with as a result of individuals name it pixelated. Properly, you don’t actually need it to be pixelated or sharp, nicely generally sharp is just not good. So what we’re searching for is video gamey!

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

JS: They’re good, and I’d say from my perspective I don’t suppose the portraits are unhealthy on their very own by any means. It’s simply I can see the place it does really feel like somewhat little bit of a conflict generally. Or so at first it extra catches you off guard, however now that I’ve been taking part in 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 stated the identical factor. They’re used to it. So now I’m like, hey, if we’re going to be trying right here, if we discovered that excellent artist who can do these line-art portraits and say we really redid those from this recreation, I feel at this level it’s too late. I feel individuals would really be like “Oh no, we favored 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 might 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: Properly, so the distinctive mercenaries are sort of a Pokémon “Gotta catch’ em all” state of affairs. There’s a complete bunch of them in there and you may probably not discover all of them in a single run. So, that’s somewhat little bit of RNG-based “what am I going to get?” There are two totally different endings, with a complete bunch of various outcomes primarily based on the way you paired off your characters. So, there’s somewhat bit extra of these sort of discoverables. When it comes to like secret courses? 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, nevertheless it’s actually extra only a large quantity of stuff that you would be able to get that you just received’t essentially get in each play. Some of us would possibly name it a crapshoot. I wish to name it simply extra of a enjoyable playing side. Such as you’ll get Cloudrender Athelis, which is likely one of the greatest 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 may see all of them.

JS: You talked about earlier the reception has been nice. I feel as of in the present day it has “Overwhelmingly Constructive” critiques on Steam with 1,300 critiques. How has the reception total been for you? And, clearly no must disclose 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 positive. The Steam critiques… so my different recreation, that did considerably nicely, is named Skyborn. It’s a JRPG from again in method 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 recreation has obtained. Understanding now that there’s so many individuals that have been simply ravenous for Ogre Battle-type, squad-based auto-battler core loop. I assume there was only a starved market. If you consider it, there actually hasn’t been quite a lot of large improvement studio love given to this style in any respect. And even Fireplace Emblem, regardless that that is I feel farther from Fireplace Emblem than it’s near Ogre Battle, is sort of getting away from what I think about peak Fireplace Emblem. My favourite Fireplace Emblem entries are somewhat bit prior to now… Awakening, Path of Radiance, Radiant Daybreak, and Family tree. In fact, that’s very historical Fireplace Emblem, however Three Homes didn’t actually resonate with me.

I assume simply this complete factor has been not uncared for fully, however actually not given sufficient love by established studios, and so we sort of slid into that area of interest at simply the correct time. And we’re tremendous stoked and positively going to embrace that. I need individuals to know that due to the reception, due to your help, we’re going to do much more enhancements to Symphony of Battle 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 recreation plus sort stuff. We don’t know precisely how we’re going to try this. That’s going to be simply a part of the free common patch updates, content material updates. However complete new campaigns, like a wholly totally different most important story, which is clearly a a lot greater enterprise. I didn’t plan on doing a type of, however I positively am now. I feel it’s simply very acceptable, so that will be my alternative to thank the group. Clearly, it’s due to you, and due to your help, that we are able to make Symphony of Battle a sturdy ongoing collection.

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

PH: Completely! You don’t go into indie recreation improvement considering you’re going to make a complete bunch of cash. Perhaps there’s a recreation that you just want any individual 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 recreation. 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 that they had. Or “I haven’t had an Ogre Battle sort expertise for years, thanks. Lastly, you made this.” That’s so rewarding. That’s enormous. I may go on endlessly about simply that, listening to the influence on individuals, however I’ll cease myself.

JS: I’ve seen you very a lot engaged locally Discord with all of the followers which have jumped on. And even since I joined there, on daily basis 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 seen on Steam. There’s simply so many indie video games. How did how did Symphony of Battle catch on?

PH: Properly, 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 fits towards the intuition of quite a lot of established trade requirements. However we simply determined to do it, and sort 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 suppose 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 arms on the engine, once we lastly have been in a position to put it right into a playable factor, I used to be like that is actually enjoyable. I didn’t even anticipate it to be so. I did like simply the truth that you don’t have to manage the battles, you simply set it up within the dwelling base part, and you then simply watch it play out. And it performs out in a method the place you’ll be able to really make sense of what’s taking place. Like Advance Wars, you conflict, you’ll be able to inform what’s taking place, nevertheless it’s not turn-by-turn this occurred and this occurred. What we’ve performed is quick paced, however you’ll be able to nonetheless inform, okay, my mages did this, my archers did this, after which my melee troops did this. So, it was nearly a contented accident. Mithran, the companion, was like, “oh, that is enjoyable” and this was possibly a 12 months earlier than we launched. We have been within the very early part of the particular recreation coming collectively. Name it a contented accident in order for you, I don’t care, that’s tremendous, it simply turned out.

JS: That’s superior. Loads of gamer devs dream that they make a recreation they love as a ardour undertaking, 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 Battle? And lots of people are going to ask for a console launch. Is it simply going to remain on Steam, or do you might have different platforms you may be seeking to discover?

PH: So, that’s killing me. We’re at the moment at a little bit of a useless finish on console launch. It could be on Change, and I feel it might do very nicely, and performance very nicely on Change. I’m at the moment making an attempt to determine how you can bridge the hole between these methods, and I very a lot hope for a miracle breakthrough on that one. I’d say individuals ought to anticipate no sooner than mid 2023 for a Change launch. Although, don’t anticipate Change, 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 Change launch. I assume the silver lining there may be it’ll have that rather more time to get bug fixes out and extra quality-of-life options in earlier than it hits the Change.

Within the meantime, we’re persevering with to work on Symphone of Battle 1 [the current PC release], and the present undertaking is the UI/UX redesign. We’re drastically decreasing the quantity of clicks you have to do, sort 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 will 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 an alternative of getting to enter squad operations, you’ll be able to simply click on on a man in your reserves and simply drop them off in your squad. That’s the most important undertaking now.

Then, as I stated, DLC campaigns. One thing we didn’t plan on doing sooner or later, however we positively shall 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 should you clear the sport, then you are able to do both some sort of new recreation plus characteristic or an additional onerous last boss mode recreation mode. Or some sort of sandbox mode, like an limitless rogue-like mode, or a protection mode, or one thing like that. We’re taking part in round with quite a lot of concepts on that.

JS: This makes me suppose to ask, again on the Change 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 intervening time, and so we’d both must revive that in an effort to bridge the hole between the Change Dev Equipment, or we must discover, I assume you’d name it, a port studio to choose up the items of that program and determine what it does and the way it works, which is troublesome to do. Or rebuild all the recreation in a special engine. Clearly, we wish the primary choice to occur, as a result of that’s the one which’s by far the best, and presents minimal technical limitations. I’ve obtained to say that’s killing me as a result of this recreation can be such a enjoyable recreation on Change, 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 might 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 sort of lively promotion. I feel this type of recreation is made for a partnership with the individuals like Restricted Run, no less than 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 Battle 2. A pair questions there. The place do you do the reduce off between enhancing, or including, to the primary recreation as an alternative of simply pushing that effort into the second recreation.

PH: We’ll must make that decision. When it comes to including to 1, I feel we’re going to reduce it off at mainly the sport modes and the quality-of-life adjustments that we needed to place within the 1st place earlier than launch. The UI/UX redesign, the sandbox/new recreation modes, that kind of factor. Then, I already even have a complete bunch of the script for Symphony of Battle 2, and quite a lot of the cutscenes already performed. However there are some unit sorts — and I assume I’ll tease this, undead, that don’t exist in Symphony of Battle 1, that we’d wish to presumably embrace in only a gaiden story, or a wholly new marketing campaign in Symphony of Battle 1. Simply to have the ability to introduce that fully new meta in Symphony of Battle 1 in order that it will probably already be educated up within the participant base for Symphony Battle 2, with out having to particularly give attention to an undead a part of the Symphony of Battle 2 most important story. Is that making sense?


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

PH: A superb query. The second recreation, what I’ve already made, really takes place about 100 years after the tip of this recreation. The characters that exist on this recreation have aged out of that timeline. However it’s a direct timeline sequel, so I assume you can name it a sequel collection slightly than a direct sequel. We’re going to strive our greatest to not retcon very a lot. Symphony of Battle 1 is in the identical recreation universe of all of our previous video games, nevertheless it’s been retconned crazily to adapt to what we needed to do on this recreation. We’ll try to maintain that to a minimal for the following one.

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

PH: Properly, like I stated with the DLC that I wish to do on Symphony of Battle 1, I haven’t even written it but. I may make the most of the truth that Symphony of Battle 2 does begin 100 years after Symphony Battle 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 recreation world.

JS: One among my final questions right here. You’ve seen quite a lot of suggestions and Symphony Battle 1 what are a number of the issues, moreover what we have now 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 recreation plus. I don’t suppose we’re really going to finish up doing a conventional, straight-up new recreation 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 principle marketing campaign. So, let’s say you needed to coach up a few of your B-list squads, or your youthful squads. You possibly can have some skirmish or barracks coaching mode that wouldn’t be essentially a strategy to grind, per se. As a result of we don’t like making gamers really feel obligated to grind, as that reveals 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 can simply be restricted from bringing these. We haven’t actually discovered the small print but, nevertheless it’s going to be not one thing that you have to wait to beat the sport to do. It’s going to be a part of simply your first play. You go into your house base, I’ve obtained my enviornment tokens, possibly I wish to try this, or possibly I wish to do the skirmish mode and prepare up a few of my lagging squads, and possibly I’ll simply try this.

JS: Because you’ve already began on the second recreation, or some concepts with it, any issues you’ll be able to share so far as main gameplay adjustments or models 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 courses and simply altering issues up?

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

JS: Sure, oh sure.

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

JS: Sandro!

PH: What’s that?

JS: Sandro, he was at all times 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 modify between those that provide you with higher necromancy after which those that simply have higher lively magic. I’d similar to to combine it up somewhat 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 might work, it might have a necromancer. And you then would have a skeleton minion of that Necromancer in a special tile. After which as you kill stuff, you add extra individuals to that skeleton tile so it turns into two skeletons, three skeletons… Which really presents a really fascinating counter to the give up meta, which exists now, as a result of should you give up any individual, you’ll be able to’t kill them and take their our bodies and make them into skeletons. I feel that simply the truth that you realize we’d 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 towards actually quite a lot of these undead, after which absolutely you’d be given the choice to make your personal undead models.

JS: So, that’s for 1, however for, say, Symphony of Battle 2 you’d have possibly somewhat extra company to make adjustments should you felt prefer it, proper? Is that being thought-about 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 Battle 2, I even have naval ships that I needed to get in there. You’ve obtained rivers and lakes in quite a lot of the maps in Symphony of Battle 1. In Symphony of Battle 2, I’m going so as to add extra maps the place you’ve obtained the open sea. You’ll be capable of have naval ships that go in that you would be able to really design and customise, similar to you’ll be able to 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 admire your time Phil. Once more, Phil Hamilton of Dancing Dragon Video games. Symphony of Battle: 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 recreation and any information for a future Symphony of Battle 2.

PH: Proper on, thanks.

We’d lke to thank Phil for setting apart time to reply our questions on Symphony of Battle: The Nephilim Saga. You may take a look at this new technique RPG impressed by the classics now on PC through Steam.



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