Jack Davison and Mike Blundell of the Network affiliated Potshotpete and Mike’s Pad YouTube/Twitch channels respectively, took to the former’s Twitch abode in a live tête-à-tête with Broc Copeland yesterday, the 13th of June at 8 P.M. BST. Under the moniker of Pixel x Pixel Games, Copeland is at the helm of Guardians of the Rose; a retrospective, high fantasy themed arcade adventure that is currently at the final week of what has been a fairly well-performing Kickstarter campaign so far.
Set many years after a fictitious Great War — one against the clutches of Witchcraft upon an old Kingdom — Guardians of the Rose narrates a young adolescent’s quest to quell prevailing corruption of the Royal Guard by remnants of the Great Witches and their subsequent rise to power. To this end, players must make use of their power of choice, medieval gear, witchcraft, NPC interactions and recruitment itself to build themselves as the Guild Master of a Secret Society whose ultimate goal, regardless of alignment with good or evil, is world peace.
Yes, the game’s biggest emphasis lies in decision making and exploration — where the NPC’s they recruit to their side, the quests they complete and choices they make during that course, affect not only the Kingdom’s reaction and behaviour towards players but also influences the type of ending their journeys attain. Further featuring a fleshed out lore and equally creative quests in its Open-Ended design, customizable stats and a skills system, Guardians of the Rose promises to leave very little out of player control — as they choose to incite revolution from the shadows or wage all out war.
This is all of course set to be conveyed by Copeland’s affinity for pixel art, chip-tune and directorial sensibilities; a stay at home dad whose foray into game development began with Flash and eventually translated into his working on Guardians for over a year now, Copeland has been fostering a Kickstarter campaign for the sole purpose of sustaining his full-time toil since the 24th of May this year. His sights remain set on a PC, Mac, Linux and an eventual PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release for 2017, the foundations of which have already laid by the game’s Green-lighting on Steam earlier this month.
In conversation with the duo of Davison-Blundell, the once game designer and web developer explored the game’s inherent influences of RPG classics such as that of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Legend of Zelda, before going on to reflect upon the game’s current pre-alpha status.
‘I read a lot of High Fantasy books and have always liked Legend of Zelda — and I guess it was just random day in bed when I decided to put the together and said, “Let’s do it”‘, he states during the course of the podcast.‘The biggest RPG influence though would be — The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind — when I played that game, it changed my life really. It’s world was open unlike any other I’d played before.’
Speaking of the true role and function of decision-making and NPC interaction with respect to game-play, the developer also revealed that the game will run for a meaty tenure of 12-15 hours, will be sold at a price of $15 on Steam next May and will also descend into a Beta period in August, this year. ‘There’s going to be a lot of stuff going on in-game that those playing for the first time won’t even realise they’re making decisions — unless they begin to think early on if they do want go good or bad’, explained Copeland.
‘Most of the quests in the game won’t even have an obvious outcome — it sort of plays as if the choice that you made was the only choice offered by the game.’As for DLC and related future expansion of the game’s lore, he expressed that while he does have things in mind, their coming to fruition would solely be dependent on how the game does upon release.
The trio then dabbled in discussing each one’s gaming preferences, E3 reveals and perceptions towards Alpha/Beta releases — before letting viewers pitch their own array of questions. ‘It’s all skill-tree based; There’s NPC’s you can learn skills from, bosses you can pick skills from by killing them — you’ll then have a limited number of skill points to invest into the skill-tree’, divulged the developer in response to one such question that enquired about the roles players will be able to play in-game.
He then continued in context by stating that a Game Plus mode was something he hoped he could get in in due time — one where players’ skills carried over to a new play-through of the game that featured subsequently harder quests, enemies and more. A final question moved him to reveal that while 60% of the game’s plot was now fleshed out, he was still contemplating how to convey certain multiple endings.
‘There’s no voice acting, only cut-scenes. I’m animating all cut-scenes by hand so I’m hoping I’ll be able to do all of the ones I want to do,’ he went on. The reason all of this is based in pixel art of course, stems from both his love for the art form and the fact that it happens to be the the default style in which he draws.
Guardians of the Rose’s Kickstarter campaign ends on the 23rd of June — and is only $1,700 short of its $7,500 goal at the time of this article. Be sure to visit the same for a complete breakdown of Backer Achievements, Updates and Copeland’s overall goal.
Pixel x Pixel Games was automatically put in touch with one time Higher Eclectic Ground members Jack Davison and Mike Blundell under the Network’s terms on the developer’s reaching out at the time. As of 18th June, 2016, they are no longer affiliated to or endorsed by the Network.