Encased Campaign Updates, Interview

Dark Crystal Games' Kickstarter campaign for their Fallout-inspired RPG Encased is currently sitting at $94,264 with eight more days to go. Seeing how the initial goal is set at around $100,000, it's pretty much a certainty at this point that the game will get funded.

So, with that in mind, let's have a look at what the developers have been up to since we last checked. Update #15 talks about social media goals, update #16 introduces us to the game's story and some of the people working on it, update #17 unveils new stretch goals, update #18 describes the game's robust "Justice System," and update #19 once again reminds us about the social media goals. Check out the video portion of update #16:

On top of that, Chris Picone recently had a chat with Dark Crystal Games' creative director Viacheslav Kozikhin and then turned it into one of his insightful interviews. If you'd like to learn a thing or two about Dark Crystal Games and the people working there, you really should check it out. An excerpt:

CHS: Where did the name Dark Crystal come from? It seems unusual for a Russian company to have an English name.

Slava: Yeah, there is a small story behind it. Basically, we all play a lot of RPGs, including some of the multiplayer ones - World of Warcraft, Lineage 2, EVE Online and many others. When we were thinking about the company name, we really wanted to find something medieval or noble or epic, with fantasy or sci-fi vibes, because we focus on making games with interesting worlds and stories. We were thinking for a while, and then someone proposed Dark Crystal, because Dark Crystal is one of the most famous magical sets of equipment in Lineage 2, and several of us spend a lot of time in this game. So we just added Games at the end, and that was it.

CSH: Tell us a bit about your team? Do you have all bases covered, or will you need to call in outside help for voice acting, localisation, that sort of thing?

Slava: The core team is actually more than 15 members now. Those are split up into code, art and design areas. Since we are indies anyway - some people wear several hats and know how to do multiple things. Our mentors and experts are mostly from the design and writing departments. The game is being developed in Russian (with English in mind) and there are multiple writers and narrative designers which help us to adapt it for an international audience and make it really smooth. Several other indie RPGs from our region were struggling to do this, so I had it in mind from the very beginning. There are also talks with other people who are very experienced and will add high-level project expertise, but we will announce that later.


CSH: Has Encased been influenced by this extensive life experience in any way?

Slava: The key word here is "experience". We believe that we need to know those things that we mention and depict. And here our past helps us: our people are experienced with gunfire – how it sounds and its impact in reality. We know a little bit about military structure, how to disassemble AK-47s, and how 4-stroke generators are different to 2-strokes. We know how manufacturers compete with each other (sometimes with questionable methods). There are people who have experienced how the morning in the desert feels, and know that it there is more to a desert than just sand - there are also flowers, wild and beautiful. There are people who have seen how Pripyat looks like after Chernobyl disaster. I can go on.

CSH: Life experience is so often undervalued, but it is crucial if authenticity is the goal. As if we weren’t excited enough already. Tell us a bit about Encased?

Slava: Well, that’s easy in some sense. We are just making a perfect “Fallout 2.5”, if you wish. There is nothing wrong with later games of the series but we are building our own alternate timeline, where Van Buren did not happen and Fallout 3 didn’t exist yet. We analyse and take all the best aspects from the original games and then return to our reality and implement those features with all our soul and best efforts, keeping in mind that this is 2018 and certain things need to be modernized a little bit.

And the more formal description is: Encased is a post-apocalyptic isometric role-playing game in the setting of science fiction and post-apocalypse.