Published on May 29th, 2020 | by Michael Newman0
Talking The Revenant Prince With Lead Developer Darrel Wijaya
Recently I spoke with Lead Developer Darrel Wijaya about his game.
What were some of the challenges you encountered while programming
the game utilizing RPG Maker MV? Are there unique advantages to utilizing
this particular game engine?
One of the main challenges was primarily the flexibility of the engine itself. We had to custom code the majority of the game into the engine and
at some point during development, the engine, albiet still retaining its core functions and features wasn't the engine I worked with in the start. Most of thecommands and event starters were custom scripts we had to build in. However, in terms of unique advantages, is that for a budget game like
this, orchestrating the game and making it move is far more simple and concrete. Other engines are more flexible, however that creates what we call the gamers block, a brush in an empty canvas does not know where to
land, and it often causes issues with developers as well artists alike. To
put it simply, the engine gets things done fast, and without worry. The idea was to make the most out of our constraints.
The Retro look seems to continue to grow in popularity. Why do you feel that is?
Retro and pixel art games are a timeless medium I feel like. Perhaps inthe next ten or so years pixel art gaming will still be a thing, however deeply evolved.
Some games utilizing the unreal engine use pixel art and complex shadersgiving the game a much more unique feel. Overall, I’d say it is the feeling of nostalgia and contrast which makes a pixel/retro game all the more interesting to look at.
Furthermore, 3d stock assets can be a big hit ormiss. Pixel art when done right and put under the correct settings can last quite a long time, wherein 3D art may be more inclined to change.
Also,take note that nintendo, and wholesome – PG friendly games are what’s making bank these days. Pixel art is a subset of that category I’d say.
What games did you draw inspiration from when designing on The Revenant Prince?
I remember telling the artist I had loved the old games such as Grandia. A mix of paint and pixel just creates this bizarre and unique atmosphere which I find very soothing.
Also, I drew its universal/lore aspect from games such as mother. I believe games like these coupled with its explorative narrative give players something to always do.
A great game is where players are always on the lookout for details, no matter how small or minute it may be. I hope that this game fulfills that in some way or another.
What else can you tell us about the Revenant Prince? (spoiler free)
I can tell you this, keep looking around and you’ll find weird hidden secrets. Both good, and bad.
There are also somethings in this game which are rather dark and unpleasant; and, you find them through unpleasant means.
I wouldn’t say this is a horror game, it’s a mixed bag. But all I can say is, to those would be explorers, keep an eye out for detail.
Many developers and teams are working remotely these days due to COVID-19. Have your team had to adjust to this and if so what sort of challenges have you encountered along the way?
To be honest I made this game without ever meeting a single team member. All I did was pull some strings and orchestrated people to work to get there remotely.
Even if there is a pandemic of this nature going on, it wasn’t at all challenging to get the game together. The only challenge I would say most game dev’s would have when working remotely is the challenge of conveying ideas.
Being there in person with a programmer or artists makes a HUGE difference. Remote working, I feel, lacks personality. A lot of creative minds can work better if they were all personal with one another.
However in this case, I simply had to pull through. Call me crazy, but I had my own struggles getting a rag tag team of developers to help me on this, and I’d likely already wasted quite a bit of money doing so! For new dev’s I insist on starting with a friend, or someone you personally know.
(Gareth did the questions below)
GVK: I will add in what is the background and setting of the game?
The story takes place in a mysterious world filled with oddities, and players who venture around the world do not know the reason behind it until much later.
I sort of threw the players inside just like dark souls had always done. The sheer mystery and unknown behind the journey makes the game all more compelling I feel.
GVK: How much customization is possible?
Players can customize their stats through points earned through battle.
This allows for players to build the main character in a certain way. Either having more health more defense like a tank. Since you can equip three shields in this game (really!).
Or be a glass cannon with three dual blades and quick attacks with high critical chances… the customization I’d leave to the players to decide their play style since enemies hit HARD.
GVK: What are some of the enemies players will face and what weapons will be included?
There are a variety of nasty enemies, and although you can talk to enemies and spare them, there are some enemies that are just overwhelmingly powerful that must be put down at all costs. There are enemies such as a ghost umbrella, a sleeping large bison-thing, and even a cow asking the player whether or not he’s vegan. Enemies talk and there are a few variations of them around the game world. There are, I believe, 6 variants of weapons in the game. You can equip 3 variants at the same time and even switch them mid battle. There are, staffs, Great Swords, Dual Swords, shields, spears, and gun. Each have their own timing and perks.