Saga Heroes Short Q&A
Saga Heroes is a game on Kickstater this month looking to get funded. The developer is called Wasatch Games, and they are asking for $10,000. I had the chance to talk to the Stuidio Head Eric Wiggin, and ask a few questions about his game, and kickstarter.
RPGWatch: Thank you for taking the time to do the interview. Can you tell us a little about your game Saga Heroes, and your studio Wasatch Games?
Wasatch Games: You are very welcome, thank you for this opportunity. Saga Heroes is an action/adventure RPG with a heavy emphasis on adventuring and exploration. One of our main focuses was to create an immersive world for our players. We try really hard to make the game not just about combat, and more about discovery, exploration, mood, immersion, and storytelling. The game was also designed to be taken in bite-sized chunks so you don't have to dedicate an entire day just to get into the game, but you sure can if you want!
The game actually came out of a 24 hour "competition" I created for myself to see if I could complete something with a beginning and an end in that short amount of time. Unfortunately, the page I put that up on long ago is lost, but it was completed and played pretty well all things considered. I just kept building on top of that casually until last year, when I decided it was time to bring it to full production.
Wasatch Games used to be called BlueOrb Studios back when we worked on the original SAGA. We recently decided to change the name to something closer to our roots and community, mainly because I just didn't like the name, haha. Unfortunately, SAGA stopped being profitable enough to support us, so we had to look for contracts elsewhere. We actually partnered up with another local studio called React Games and did contract work for them until the beginning of this year. It's just me here now, but the team is eager to get back together and create some magic thanks to Kickstarter and all our friends there.
RPGWatch: What sets your game apart from others in the genre, and why should people back your game?
Wasatch Games: I'm not even sure which genre to categorize Saga Heroes in exactly. It's got some elements from the Diablo style, traditional ARPG, but is actually closer to the old action/adventure games on the SNES. In fact, I would call it a successor to those games. When attempting to recreate the nostalgia of that era, most games tend to be 2D pixel games and try to stick to the mold. A lot of them also seem, mostly on mobile, to lack the care and attention-to-detail that those old games had, mostly due to budget constraints, or they spend their time on adding more features, which I feel bloat the game, only giving you the illusion of depth. We are trying to keep the game simple at its core, adding modern features like a skill-tree, achievements, and user-friendly UI.
Also, I am not a fan of quest-grinding or handholding, and there will be none of that in Saga Heroes. Instead of accepting quests without, reading them, our game will require you to talk to NPCs and most of them will state a concern and you'll get a journal entry update. This is a much more immersive experience, and requires you to read a little more, but not too much. We don't want to focus on dialogue for the people who don't want to read a lot. What we really want to focus on is gameplay, immersion, and story-telling.
RPGWatch: So why chose to use crowd-funding, and can you share your opinion on Kickstarter?
Wasatch Games: I chose to crowd-fund the game mostly because I am a huge fan of it. You'll see that our Kickstarter account has backed many projects in games and film. I am a fan because interacting with the community is extremely important to me, and I love how it cuts out a lot of the middle-man, which keeps costs down and lets us focus on the game more. Also, we are an extremely small and sort of new studio and do not the connections necessary to find traditional funding ourselves without a huge time and money investment because of all the hoops they make you jump through in that world.
RPGWatch: Your only asking for $10,000 will it be enough to fund, and complete your game?
Wasatch Games: Our game is participating in OUYA's #FreeTheGames fund, and what that means is OUYA will match each pledge dollar-for-dollar. So, what we're actually asking for is actually $20,000, but only half of that needs to be raised with Kickstarter. That's an amazing deal and was too big to pass up, I wish I had mentioned it in my video, but as you could probably tell, I was a little bit nervous. Programmers are not made for the silver screen!
We will detail our budget out in a future Kickstarter update, but yes, we feel that $20,000 will get Saga Heroes completed to a state we are happy to release it. Now, of course, we want the game to be bigger! We want to make a 20 hour game with amazing boss battles, complex puzzles, really cool equipment (Zelda-style), randomly generated content, an open world, customizable characters, next-gen console support, etc, etc. I could go on forever. But we knew that not many people had ever heard of Wasatch Games before this Kickstarter, and we knew we wouldn't have a huge grand-opening of the floodgates with oceans of cash flowing all around. So, we had to be realistic, start from the bottom, and work our way up.
RPGWatch: Can you talk your writer Jason Faller? I have seen all three of his movies on DVD, and on the Syfy Channel. How will he influence the game story?
Wasatch Games: I have known Jason Faller for about 8 years now. For those that don't know, he was the Executive Producer for the original SAGA RTS that Saga Heroes is based on. He wrote both the story and the original design for SAGA. Jason now works in film, which is what he went to school for, and now owns a quickly expanding film production company called Arrowstorm Entertainment. He writes a lot of script and story for the movies he creates. For Saga Heroes, we have been working with him to create a compelling story arc that we won't go into much detail on until the game is released.
RPGWatch: I noticed the game is a QUYA exclusive first. What other platforms are you targeting, and how you will handle the release of each one?
Wasatch Games: We have to follow some rules set by OUYA's FTG fund, which is basically: for each $10,000 funded, we owe them a month of exclusivity for up to six months. This exclusivity period does not include PC, Mac, or Linux and so they will probably be launched together. iOS, Android, maybe Windows Phone and Windows RT will be launched just after the exclusivity period ends. Then, depending on the success of the game and Kickstarter, we will hopefully be able to make PS4, Vita, and Xbox One releases.
The game will function exactly the same on all devices, given the inherently simplistic nature of the gameplay. Input on mobile will be virtual joystick and buttons, with controller support. We really want to make our PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, and Xbox One versions to look a lot better than the mobile platforms, and we'll do what we can in that area.
RPGWatch: That' s all for now and I wish you a successful kickstarter. This is the part were I ask you do you have anything you would like to add before we finish?
Wasatch Games: I just want to thank you and RPGWatch.com for being so supportive and helpful throughout this experience. This is the first time we as a studio have ever done anything like this, and are grateful for all the wonderful people that have helped us so far.
I'll finish the interview by saying I wish them success. I also hope you enjoyed, and found the interview informative. Keep the suggestions coming for future interviews.