Tahira - Interview @ Final Round Gaming
Final Round Gaming has a new interview for Tahira: Echoes of an Astral Empire that asked various questions with the whole development team at Whale Hammer Games.
Is there a reason behind the 2D approach, what made you choose it over 3D?
Peter Caste: Once we got Pete (Simpson) on board, it was a no brainer; he is a very accomplished 2D artist. With 3D there is a lot of messing around before you get close to the result you’re looking for and it can be a real struggle to get a specific result when you factor in texturing, lighting and effects. When you work in 2D it is much easier to get the exact look you were aiming for. I think there is something very special about 2D art and animation, it feels more personal to me than 3D and makes the feeling of journeying through the world a more personal experience.Peter Simpson (Lead Artist): I’ve been drawing for a very long time, whereas my experience with 3D is only very recent. If you’re an experienced 3D artist you will be able to get the result you want because you’ve got all those years of knowledge and experience to draw from. With the 2D approach, having done it for years, I know what I’m heading towards from the beginning. Without the skills and experience in 3D – even if you feel you are getting there – you might model something and then texture it, but until it’s in the game engine and has been properly lit you don’t really know how it’s going to look. There are so many steps where you can make mistakes and you won’t know you’ve made them until you get to the final product, which adds a lot of doubt to process.
What influenced you guys into creating a turn-based tactical RPG?
Peter Castle: Tom and I grew up playing games like Fire Emblem, Advanced Wars, Golden Sun etc. We always really wanted to make a game like that. What always caught my imagination in those games was how they depicted the idea of a grand adventure or quest. Their structure works really well for presenting story and game play together because it is normally something like this: you battle, then some narrative, then another battle, and so on. It works really well because you’re not relegated to watching the action orientated parts of the game, you actually get to play almost all of those.
On the flip side, you have the more narrative heavy sections, which break up the battles and give them context. With Tahira we want to see how far we can push those parts, you can walk around a lot of the levels and have conversations with the characters you’re travelling with. Over the course of the game you will get to know them and some of their history. We’re putting a lot of work into fleshing them out.
A lot of the games I mentioned that were on the Gameboy had different character sprites to their portraits and matching the two required a bit of a mental leap. That is one of the reasons we decided to go for the detailed illustrated style of character animations. Our hope is that when you’re playing the game there won’t be a disconnect when you switch from the character sprites to their facial portraits during conversations. It should feel like a more cohesive experience.
Release: In development