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Graywalkers: Purgatory Interview

by Couchpotato, 2014-02-18

We had the opportunity to ask Dreamlords Digital Russell Tomas a few questions about their upcoming game Graywalkers: Purgatory. Their original Kickstarter campaign did not make it, but they intend to be back in March with a new campaign.

RPGWatch: First of all thanks for agreeing to this short interview. Can you tell us briefly about Graywalkers: Purgatory?

Russell Tomas: It is our pleasure to do this interview and we are honored to be here. Graywalkers Purgatory is a new gaming experience: on surface, it is a Turn-based tactical RPG inspired by XCom, Jagged Alliance and Fallout combined, while underneath it runs an emergent strategy system that runs a dynamic and unscripted world where factions and their economy run independently of you but can be influenced by your actions just like in Mount & Blade. Despite its strategy elements, the game is still a supernatural post-apocalyptic RPG set in a world where Heaven and Hell have merged with Earth. In the game, you play the leader of a group called the Graywalkers. Your job is to find and recruit the 36 Hidden Ones, divinely gifted individuals who will help you unite the lands of Purgatory against, and start the war to reclaim the world from its supernatural invaders.

RPGWatch: I remember back in one of the early updates the topic of "Emergent" Gameplay. At first I was skeptical as it sounds good on paper, but soon came to realize the potential of the idea. Is it still a part of the game, and can you give more details about it?

Russell Tomas: Yes, the Emergent part of the game is one of the core elements so it will definitely be in the game. It is one of the features we have that makes it different from the typical strategy turn based RPG.  The most important things to remember with our emergent gameplay is that:

  • The world continues to move on its own with or without your help. It’s not static. Towns will rise and fall, people will live and die, and change is guaranteed.
  • There are critical points in the world where your action (or inaction) will affect it drastically.
  • Examples of effects that can be seen would be some settlements appearing  and disappearing , some quests will be generated based on the needs of the settlement/faction, settlements will consume resources, each settlement will have primary motivations and this guide which actions are available to them and man more.

Just from these alone, your gaming experience will be exciting, unpredictable, and challenging.

RPGWatch: Do you think Turn-Based Combat has a place for RPGs nowadays? From the games description this is one of the options for combat. I see the larger studios moving away from this, and going all action based nowadays?
Russell Tomas: Actually, now is the best time for Turn-based Combat games. Before Wasteland 2 and the return of the classics, turn-based games were virtually non-existent in the industry. Publishers were definitely not open to the idea for the past 10+ years. With the success of the new XCom, and the high profile status of games like Wasteland 2, Shadowrun, and many others, there is now again a commercial market for it. Maybe not as big as the FPS or action games market, but it is at least back and we’re hoping it will continue to grow as this generation of gamers are introduced to this type of gameplay.

RPGWatch: My next question deals with your choice of platforms for release? Some of our readers still think your game is a phone port? Can you give more information on the targeted platforms.

Russell Tomas: Our primary platform is for PC which includes Windows, Mac and Linux.  It’s funny that people think it’s a phone port when there was zero mention of any such thing. We specifically mentioned we were porting only to Tablets, and high-end tablets only at that. This means the game will probably only support Ipad 3 and up and the new generation of Snapdragon generation android tablets. With the current setup of our game engine (Unity 3D), we are now open to exploring doing console ports as well for Ouya, Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One. These aren’t sure but we’re already doing preliminary research and inquiries to make this happen. People might say that we will be spreading ourselves to thin but in reality, the beauty of Unity is you build it once, and then you can port it to the other platforms with minimal work.

RPGWatch: I was wondering if you can talk about your future goals since the game was unsuccessfully funded? You mentioned the game might be relaunched, or you might search for private investors?

Russell Tomas: Our main goal is centered around making sure this game gets built soon. With our kickstarter campaign being unsuccessful in reaching its goal, we will definitely try again and will be relaunching tentatively on March 2014. In addition, we will also be offering PayPal options on our website so that people can directly support us now and not need to wait till February. If we raise a decent amount from this till March, we can even lower our goal then to make the new target for the next kickstarter lower. We also are continuing to look for potential private investors.  There have been some interested parties and hopefully one of them will pan out.  In the meantime, we are simply trying to continue building the game on our own, not only for our next kickstarter but also to move the game forward in its development.

RPGWatch: Can you share any of your experience about what you learned? It would help to get insight for backers to better understand how it works behind the scenes.

Russell Tomas: We definitely learned a lot of new things especially about Kickstarter, its community and the new realities that exist within them.

  • Preparation is very important. We didn’t prepare enough and it led us to always scrambling to get things done. A smoother campaign would have happened if we prepared in time. All materials should be ready even before the campaign, including updates. Do press efforts weeks before launching. We did this only post launch and It hurt us badly.
  • Timing is critical. From what we gather, if we came out earlier like in early 2014, our game would have probably made a $100K easy and maybe much more. With delivery failures from funded KS campaigns, to negative press, KS fatigue, ongoing launches of next gen consoles, Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, I think we were lucky we even made $43K
  • Co-market with the other KS projects. They are mostly nice folks and everybody just wants to reach their goal so working together just makes sense.
  • Make short videos and great gameplay. It’s a must.

RPGWatch: I wish you guys success in whatever you decide to do next.Do you have anything you want to add before we finish?

Russell Tomas: We would like to invite everybody to check out Graywalkers Purgatory. We currently  are trying to get ourselves Greenlit on Steam and are pretty close. Your help would be great to get us over and have us ready by the next KS.
Also we will be re-launching on March so be sure to support us then as well. We will be showing new stuff, many of which are the result already of the feedback we got from the first KS including what people are expecting from the game.

Box Art

Information about

Graywalkers: Purgatory

Developer: Dreamlords Digital

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Combat: Turn-based
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced

Regions & platforms
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· To be announced
· Publisher: Dreamlords Digital

More information

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