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The Banner Saga - Interview @ GameInformer

by Couchpotato, 2013-12-31 05:05:58

GameInformer interviews Stoic Game’s co-founder Alex Thomas.

What inspired the development of this game?

Thomas: I think every developer out there has a stable of games in their hip pocket they want to make one day, it's probably why they got into game development. For me, this was always the old turn-based strategy games that started with X-COM and went on to Final Fantasy Tactics, Shining Force and others in the turn-based genre. It also happened that this was something we were able to do with a small team. The three founders of Stoic; myself, John Watson and Arnie Jorgensen, all worked together at BioWare and knew that if we were ever going to do something on our own this was probably the only time we'd get that chance.

Where did you guys come up with the original idea for the world.

Thomas: I left BioWare a little earlier than the other guys and started working on the story and the main design systems. The advantage here was that having complete control over both of these things let us really make them work together. As the story developed we were able to build gameplay around that, and vice versa, so that there was some real synergy between the story that was unfolding and what you'd be doing as a player. I think this is a huge advantage over having a pre-defined genre like “first-person shooter” for example, and then having to attach some kind of narrative to that. A good example of this is that the turn-based genre lets us have a large cast of characters and in response to this we're able to make them come and go, get killed off or make their own decisions in a way that feels like how things would really play out.

What made you turn to Kickstarter for support?

Thomas: We were actually right in the middle of doing our announcement trailer when some friends from a local indie studio told us they had gotten some donations from a modest Kickstarter they ran and they convinced us to make a pitch so we could get a couple extra animations and sound support. We were halfway through building a pitch at the exact time that Double Fine launched their campaign and blew the doors off the crowdfunding model. Suddenly people were expecting our game to be a much bigger deal than we had imagined. When we launched our page we met our goal within the first day and it kept going up from there. We were shocked.

Information about

Banner Saga

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released