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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Mars - Interview with Jehanne Rousseaun

Default Mars - Interview with Jehanne Rousseaun

April 27th, 2013, 03:49
Gamingnexus has an interview with the CEO Jehanne Rousseaun of Spiders Studio.
You’re calling “Mars: War Logs” a short story, what does that mean? Is that a comment on the length of the game or that it’s part of a much larger story?

When creating an RPG you can start with the idea of making a trilogy, or like the baldur's Gate series, a 100 hour game. We knew we didn't had the funds and means to do so, and we're not found of DLC adding some story part after part… So we tried to create a complete story, but a shorter one. The main quest is about 15 hours of gameplay, there are a lot of side quests and a big part of the game can be played again as the choice you'll have to make at the end of chapter 2 will completely modify the story. That's why we call it a short story, designed for downloadable platforms.

How deep of an RPG is Mars War Logs? What kind of attributes will players have to customize in the game?


The players can choose between a lot of different skills that will impact the way they will fight (stealth, melee, distance, technomancy), they'll be able to choose some feats too (that will more impact the social abilities and the craft), to craft their own equipment improvement, to choose their companions, and of course thanks to the dialog choices modifying the story itself.

Could you talk about the combat system in the game? Is it strictly weapon based or are there other abilities that players will get to use?


In Mars you shouldn't use always the same attacks, as your enemies will parry them more easily. You have plenty of possibilities, you should try them all : aside from the melee attacks, you can use a nailgun, you can sneak, create grenades and traps and later in the game you'll gain access to technomancy (lighting attacks, electric weapons etc).
More information.
Last edited by Couchpotato; April 27th, 2013 at 04:02.
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April 27th, 2013, 03:49
Waiting for some solid info on the combat system and controls to decide if I want to buy.

Good keyboard mouse support is a must for me. I don't use controllers.

Is it more of a third person shooter or is it more melee? And what kind of melee? Is it More like dead island ( mindless slashing), more tactical like risen or more rhythm based like batman and sleeping dogs?

Also with the c&c, is it just 1 big decision like he mentions in the interview or are there also other smaller decisions that shape the story?
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April 27th, 2013, 11:03
It is looks like Deus Ex or maybe Witcher 2 from the mechanics point of view. They say that it contains stealth elements, too.
Last edited by Zagorin; April 27th, 2013 at 11:57.
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April 27th, 2013, 12:49
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Also with the c&c, is it just 1 big decision like he mentions in the interview or are there also other smaller decisions that shape the story?
Actually there are some more c&c elements (protecting mutants or "hating" them for example in chapter 1), but nothing that'd completely change the course of the story.

I'm now on the final chaper (yea, already). There are some small story stuff to put as a minus (badly written ending on some sidequests like coin killer and utterly silly executed romance). Bugs with crafting feats (requirements are met even if you don't upgrade but just try to upgrade without components, 10 crafted items won't count on two nail/med packs of 5 items but you have to craft 1 by 1 item 10 times) is a minor thing but well… You know me when I go nitpicking. The biggest minus IMO are bloody mobrespawns in the game, if that was removed, the game would be at least 10 times better.

But overall I have to admit I had so much fun with the game (in first 3 chapters), more than with some popular and famous titles. It's not great or awsome game by any means, but it's really good. I wish someone out there will see what devs made there with not much funds and will give them a chance to make something bigger. They've shown they can.

Originally Posted by Zagorin View Post
It is looks like Deus Ex or maybe Witcher 2 from the mechanics point of view. They say that it contains stealth elements, too.
Yes, it has stealth, but it's not DX:HR stealth mechanics. In fact the game here encourages you to use every possible means available, you can't just use stealth everywhere and that's it, as in DX:HR there are bosses here where you can't win with stealth only. So you will combine stealth with bombs, nails, mines, electricity.

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April 27th, 2013, 13:54
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
I'm now on the final chaper (yea, already). There are some small story stuff to put as a minus (badly written ending on some sidequests like coin killer and utterly silly executed romance). Bugs with crafting feats (requirements are met even if you don't upgrade but just try to upgrade without components, 10 crafted items won't count on two nail/med packs of 5 items but you have to craft 1 by 1 item 10 times) is a minor thing but well… You know me when I go nitpicking. The biggest minus IMO are bloody mobrespawns in the game, if that was removed, the game would be at least 10 times better.
Maybe its worth going to their technical forum and report these bugs to improve the game:

http://forum.mars-warlogs.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=44
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April 27th, 2013, 15:57
No need for that really. You'll definetly make enough nails/nailpacks as those are OP (assuming you upgraded that skill as early as possible) so this small bug some probably won't even notice. As for upgrades, you'll also definetly make three needed very soon on your outfit so the exploit won't bring you to some godlike character.

I really wish someone invested some more cash in that game, there is enough material there to widen the story and give more space to drugs, mutants, relics, etc. But then again, this game can be a start of a new sci-fi RPG franchise, as we all can remember how short FO1 was and what happened with that world afterwards.

I've finished it and while chapter 2 seemed too long because of mobrespawns, somehow after chapters 3 and 4 which are much shorter and without so many respawns, I wish there is more to the game. Since I've saved the game on the faction branch, I'll probably replay it from there tomorrow.

I can also add that they've made a good job with sidekicks, although somewhat silly and cheesy, although each is totally different, somehow I got attached to all of them. Completely different experience from the one I had with metacritic 82% DA2.
Perhaps I should visit the official forum, not to bragg about irrelevant bugs but to ask them to make the next war logs game as soon as possible. A game, not an add-on, not DLC!

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Last edited by joxer; April 27th, 2013 at 16:11.
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April 27th, 2013, 21:12
You describe all that cool stuff that can be done but you've finished the game one day after buying it. What's the point?
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April 27th, 2013, 21:27
I'm unsure what is your question about.
We all knew the game is short as it was written all over internet that you need about 16 hours to finish it. It's weekend so I could spend much time on the game and then I finished it in 2 days. I'm really not getting the point question.

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April 27th, 2013, 21:51
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
I'm unsure what is your question about.
We all knew the game is short as it was written all over internet that you need about 16 hours to finish it. It's weekend so I could spend much time on the game and then I finished it in 2 days. I'm really not getting the point question.
Thank your Joxer for your comments and feedback on the game - all sounds good to me. Moreover, the fact that you actually finished the game is also good news

Regarding the game length, I am happy with 15-20 hours of gameplay and focused story than a 100 hour un-interesting hiking simulator. Spiders also mentioned in the interview that the game has good replay value due to the decisions made in the game and faction alignment. Happy with that as well.

Plan on playing it next weekend as I have a lot of work this week.
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April 27th, 2013, 22:16
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
Regarding the game length, I am happy with 15-20 hours of gameplay and focused story than a 100 hour un-interesting hiking simulator.
I admit it was interesting to me. Perhaps I was too hungry for a sci-fi or any new RPG without "evil dragons" in it.
Also I'm writing what I felt with it, it's not that I always bless and praise games from small teams, you may check my posts about also small dev team game Inquisitor, while the story was intriguing, I stopped playing soon because I couldn't bare so many respawns I had to deal with instead of chasing that story.

I do understand ppl who don't want to play a short game no matter how fun it is and this game is definetly not for them. For them, the last epic in terms of story, areas and length sci-fi they should get if they haven't played it yet is - F:NV.

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April 27th, 2013, 22:25
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
I do understand ppl who don't want to play a short game no matter how fun it is and this game is definetly not for them. For them, the last epic in terms of story, areas and length sci-fi they should get if they haven't played it yet is - F:NV.
Played it last year and Steam says that I spent 112 hours on it (without the DLCs). One of the best rpgs that I played - even now I can still remember many of the characters and stories in the game which is rare for me. Solid interesting stories and companions, factions and choices and consequences, hardcore mode, Obsidian .. I should stop there .

Tried the old world blues for about half an hour and it was helarious, and the locations and setting was uniqe. Could not finish it unfortunately and had to delete the game to save my marriage and sanity .
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April 27th, 2013, 22:47
Originally Posted by CraigCWB View Post
You describe all that cool stuff that can be done but you've finished the game one day after buying it. What's the point?
Most games in other genres can be finished in a day and still cost $50-$60. This is a $20 game.

I'm perfectly happy getting a short RPG once in awhile. I don't want every game I play to be 50+ hours long.
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April 27th, 2013, 22:54
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
…had to delete the game to save my marriage and sanity .
Wives are evil!
Okay, which next RPG is about that?

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April 28th, 2013, 19:41
I suppose you guys who are "OK" with being able to finish an RPG in one day consider yourselves hardcore RPG fans, and not the Walmart customers that Brian Fargo was complaining about in one of the other posts on this website, right?

I predict here and now that a lot of these studios that are trying to make AAA niche games using kickstarter for funding are going to start dumbing them down, if they haven't already.
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April 28th, 2013, 20:01
Dunno about others, but I'm definetly not a hardcore RPG fan. If I was, I'd probably adore endless mobrespawns that make some games impossible to finish under 8347568346584 hours.

Fargo was talking about something that doesn't exist in my country. Walmart.

M:WL game was not an AAA title that got dumbed down, was not a result of Kickstarter project and won't have an impact on studios that are making AAA games.

Oh and… I'm usually able to finish adventure games in one day and am still buying and playing them. Does their short life in my hands make them worthless? Of course not. A day of breaking quality puzzles is more enjoyable to me than months of grinding.

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April 28th, 2013, 21:31
If I was, I'd probably adore endless mobrespawns that make some games impossible to finish under 8347568346584 hours.

What games would those be? Or is that just your impression of sandbox games? I spent months (each) on Fallout 2 and Baldur's Gate 2 (though I admit I have no idea how long it took me to finish one playthrough, because I tend to restart a lot) and I don't think that even comes close to describing what those games were like. I can't think of any games that match that description, actually, except MMOs. Now in addition to suspecting your casual status (now confirmed by you), I'm starting to doubt your your experience in this hobby. Are you new to gaming, too? You're qualifying yourself as a mass market lowest common denominator demographic in every detail, aren't you? Not that there's anything wrong with that…
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April 29th, 2013, 09:40
I loved they made this a short game. I love short games.. the products problems are different. If it was flawless I'd probably play it for a month straight.

Nowadays they haven't managed to do a good writing or good quest matrix for any such project.
Or as alternative, the Diablo/Dark SOuls type of approach.. where you feed bits and pieces of story with each playthrough.

THe combat system they managed to make it highly replayable with Of orcs and men.. having 2 characters with different skilltrees was neat.

That said, Mars war logs has made a few steps forward with writing, but not with the combat.
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April 29th, 2013, 10:12
Games like this should be 30+ hours for me to invest in them. I can't be bothered to immerse myself in a world that I can experience in its entirety in less than 24 hours.

Well, maybe if you're Bioshock Infinite and not an RPG, but not this.
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April 29th, 2013, 10:54
So you're saying you can't enjoy short stories , you only dig novels. I don't understand this, but heck, we're a weird species
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April 29th, 2013, 10:59
I dunno, I think it's OK that there are shorter games out there, if their price (as here) reflects that. I haven't played this, but if I get a good story, and even some choices and consequences fpor replayability, then I'll consider buying it.
Sometimes a story I can finish in a few session is just what I want, sometimes I want to immerse myself in a sandbox that can basically last for however long I want it to, and sometimes I want that finely crafted long and convoluted story. All of these exist for good reasons.
Length is really the worst possible indicator of quality, it only makes sense if you talk about the quality of the experience at the same time.
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