Hello! First, let me say thank you for answering my questions. I know The White Raven is very much early in development as far as I can tell so you can just say you rather not spoil it yet and it would be totally understandable.
1st Turn: “Romance your enemies”…that tagline on your Kickstarter page intrigued me. Does that mean romance plays a key component in the game like even romancing your allies? Like a Jin x Banya pairing for example?
Dev: It does! This is very much inspired by both the Persona and Fire Emblem series whereby the more time you spend with your allies, the more your bonds will grow. This has benefits in both combat (characters that you have a higher support level with might save you from a death blow for example) and story elements (potential love interests that might bear fruit towards the climax of the story, potential characters that might otherwise perish if they don’t trust you 100%, etc.) so I’d very much say that it’s a core mechanic anchor in The White Raven.
2nd Turn: They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but the art, especially the character designs look very good. Can you tell us about the artist and how you came to work with them?
Dev: Hey thanks for the kind words! We’re actually working with a bunch of talented artists when it comes to crafting the world! We scoured Twitter to find some capable artists (luckily for us there were plenty!)
(Leaving a bunch of their Twitter handles)
The awesome anime art is done by Tekki (@SandiTK_gbf); I was very fortunate to be able to work with her to craft a ton of character designs as well.
The pixel art and animations are done in collaboration with a litany of equally awesome and talented artists (@zernek1, @Magical_Girl, @Entairon_Kizon, @desecratedlight, @cyan_square among many others just to name a few!) we’ll forever be grateful to them for taking a chance on something new!
3rd Turn: Forgive my ignorance, but I am unfamiliar with GatherRound Studios, the company developing this game. Could you tell us more about your company, your team, and what you hope to create besides the White Raven of course? I only know about August, the person from the email updates.
Dev: No worries! We’re a young Singaporean indie studio that was recently set up around the end of 2020. For now it’s just the 2 of us (August and WZ) with the help of part-time collaborators but we plan to expand the team (with the help of Kickstarter and future partners).
Just as the dawn of cinema quickly became the prevalent way we experience the narrative arts, we believe that games (and specifically its power of interactivity) will become the dominant form of Storytelling.
We’re just suckers for good stories tbh????
4th Turn: How many languages are you planning on releasing the game for besides English? Do you plan to include any voices in the game?
Dev: It’s definitely still too early to say, but as of right now we’re planning to include Simplified Chinese, Russian, Spanish – Spain, German, Portuguese – Brazil, and French. We’re certainly open to more languages that the community wants however! Talks with future partners will also affect these decisions.
As for voice-acting, we certainly would like to do so! But again, as with many of these things, the budget will be of significant influence.
5th Turn: Does “Settle spiritual grievances” refer to tribal grievances? Is there quarrel and/or alliances between the nation of “Tribe of the Eagle” or any you haven’t mentioned yet but would like to?
Dev: Without spoiling too much of the surprise, You play as Jin, a spirit medium that helps others navigate issues within the spiritual realm, but things get complicated throughout the story and you get thrusted into the political hellscape of the land.
The story changes depending on your actions (will you choose to save these people at the expense of your own goals? Or would you complete your objective, consequences be damned?).
My goal as the writer (among other things) is to place the players in constant dilemmas, always unsure of whether they’re making the right decisions; hopefully it’ll provide a compelling experience!
6th Turn: Do you have a timeline for the Kickstarter or possible other campaigns? If so, what is the best way to keep those interested updated?
Dev: As of right now, we’re looking at potentially launching the Kickstarter at the end of Q1 2022 (although a bunch of factors may also impact that decision).
The mailing list is the way to go for those interested! I’ll (August) be sharing some updates every few weeks + a bunch of behind the scenes developer diaries, so there will be tons to look forward to!
7th Turn: Looking at the several gifs and one trailer video, I have still don’t have too much insight about the gameplay other than it being a tactical role-playing game. But there is one gif I want to talk about. It is this one where someone hits an enemy and they are forced back and kind of juggled like in a beat-em-up game into Banya’s range where she unleashes an attack. Can you talk more about this?
Dev: I’d be happy to! so there are attacks that can either push or pull your enemies toward/away from you. This particular one is a shove of sorts, but if one of your allies happens to be in range, they’ll perform a follow-up attack! allowing you to deal more damage than you normally would. There are a few of these kinds of attacks that, should the player be savvy enough to take advantage of, could decimate enemies within a couple of turns!
We’ll definitely be showing more of how the game plays in the coming weeks too, hope everyone looks forward to it!
8th Turn: Is the storyline more or less finished or are do you still have plot points that you haven’t thought about yet?
Dev: The overall plot structure is there for sure, but many things are still being sorted out. I have realized that oftentimes what makes for a compelling story isn’t necessarily padding out the story with a ton of filler, but rather a tight-knit, carefully orchestrated web of interesting characters (that might not see eye to eye sometimes). This is…difficult but I can definitely see the home stretch writing-wise!
9th Turn: How long do you the estimate the game to beat?
Dev: We’re currently aiming for 25-30 hours for the main story.
10th Turn: I know you are probably busy making this game, but are there any games you are playing right now or excited for in the next several months? Again, I thank you again for answering my questions. I look forward to the game as a fan of the genre and concept of the game let alone reviewer.
Dev: I’ve been recently re-playing Persona 5 royal as of late (just totally in love with that game). There are a slate of games that I’m looking forward to personally (Horizon Forbidden West, Starfield, and Elden Ring is WZ’s pick! gotta say they all look awesome).
And hey happy to do this! You guys are doing the Indie gods’ work; always glad to contribute to it.
Extra Turn: Is there any particular character in the game that people working on the game seem to like or hate or even can relate to?
Dev: Our collaborators really seem to like Zaya (perhaps for his pretty boy looks?????), have to say that there is quite a bit more to his character however; his…insane character arc is one my personal favorites to be honest, really hope our fans enjoy this one!
To the readers, The White Raven is still in its infancy. Developed by GatherRound Studios located in Singapore, there isn’t too much information as reveals only go back a month or so. To keep yourself updated, follow them on twitter here. Sign up for their email updates on the official homepage and keep an eye on their Kickstarter page.