Zoria: Age of Shattering Developer Diary on Making RPGs
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Tiny Trinket Games successfully crowdfunded their squad-based tactical RPG Zoria: Age of Shattering several months back. And now, we get this here Kickstarter update acting as a developer diary that tells us why this particular team loves RPGs and which of them served as major inspirations for their upcoming game.
Check it out:
Making an RPG game is a huge challenge, regardless of the studio's size. It involves creating an immersive world, meaningful stories, and interesting, multi-dimensional characters.
We spent years playing, or rather consuming games before we decided to start making our own. We're talking about thousands of hours spent gaming ever since childhood or the young teenage era. Can you guess which games influenced us the most? 😜
Fane's absolute favorite, with more than 3,000 hours spent in-game, World of Warcraft has a stylized, cartoonish look but obviously made for a mature audience. In WoW crafting, animations, effects, and events, everything has its place and works beautifully. Garrisons' system from Warlords of Draenor expansion is a bit of a crowd-dividing topic (some love it, some absolutely hate it), but it sprouted an idea of outpost management that could've been done better.
Another game that approached outpost management in a different but interesting way was XCOM. In this tactical, turn-based RPG, you come back from a mission and can manage sections of your base and order tasks for your party members. You can tend to their wounds if they get wounded or exhausted, or let them stay and rest while you choose another character to go with you to the next mission.
When it comes to the gameplay, we were absolutely enchanted by Heroes 3, which we played almost religiously on LAN parties back in the day 😜 One of the first concepts for Zoria: Age of Shattering actually had a lot of similarities to the Might and Magic title! However, as our team improved, the concept evolved to more temporary solutions.
What we liked the most about Heroes 3 was the tempo of the game and the fact that it wasn't hard to jump into, especially in comparison to games such as Divinity: Original Sin, which has a very high entry threshold, endless tutorials, and extremely lengthy encounters. Don't get us wrong, it's a wonderful game, but we want to avoid daunting complexity. That said, we aim somewhere between these two – not too simple, but not over-complicated.
Neles fell in love with Morrowind's world-building and world diversity reflected through the quests and dialogues – a charm he can't find in Bethesda's later installments to the Elder Scrolls franchise. The sense of wandering around a vast and divergent open world was astounding. It gave the feeling of being a part of something big and something alive; Being a hero to the story that matters.
Witcher 3 also showed how important it makes us feel when our choices matter. And we don't mean million possible endings, but rather small things that we do in one mission that come around much later in the game as a result of our actions.
Lastly, we all agree that when it comes to art direction, we wanted something stylized, in places even cartoonish, but not crossing the line of childish. The art style of games such as WoW, Divinity: Original Sin, or Diablo 2 (but not 3! 😛) has this perfect balance that we love looking at. It's just a style that appeals to us the most 😃
Which games influenced you the most? Let us know in the comments below or over our Discord.
Until next time,
Tiny Trinket Games