Transistor - Interview @ GamingBolt
GamingBolt interviews Creative Director Greg Kasavin about the move to a more a turn-based strategy format, the studio’s relationship with Sony, and how PC compares to the PS4.
GamingBolt: Transistor is Supergiant Games’ first title since Bastion released in 2011. How did you decide upon the concept and why did it take so long to bring a new game out?
Greg Kasavin: Bastion originally came out for Xbox LIVE Arcade and PC shortly after in the summer of 2011, and thankfully it got a really good reception. As a result it kept us pretty busy for over a year after its first release, as we continued supporting it and bringing it to new platforms from Linux to iOS. At the same time we were starting preproduction on Transistor, first just by getting a lot of seemingly disconnected ideas from everyone on team onto a page then seeing what common ground there was.
After creating this weird fantasy world for Bastion we were interested to see what we could do in a science fiction setting this time around, and we also had a lot of ideas about trying to synthesize the feel of turn-based and tactical games in an action RPG context. It of course took a while for these ideas to take shape, and we also didn’t want to reveal the game before we felt it was in a solid playable state for the public.
GamingBolt: The game will be a turn-based strategy title but with free movement in real time, in which the player will plan out actions and then dodge enemies to refill the action meter. Given that Bastion was real-time with its combat, what was the reason for switching over to something more methodical?
Greg Kasavin: We consider Transistor an action RPG, with a deeply integrated strategic planning mode that’s core to the moment-to-moment play. We were interested in developing a deep and open-ended combat system for this game that created a lot of opportunities for expressive play and for dramatic tension. So, by giving players the ability to stop the world around them at almost any time and plan their next set of moves, we found that players became more invested in the outcomes of their tactical decisions, and enjoyed some of the surprises there as well.