When mercenaries are super cool!
Usually when videogames talks about the future there is nothing to laugh about. Now it’s not my actual intention to try to explain why our vision of the future is often so grim. I could just say that, from a playful point of view, it is surely funnier to have to fight for a better world than just sit down and watch an idealized reality.
In other words we – the true players! – are not able to just stand still and enjoy the commodities of a bright future: in every self-respecting turn-based lovers there is the spirit of adventure, the Odysseus’ soul!
I don’t know exactly why I’m raving like that, but I can tell you for sure that Troubleshooter, even if is a pessimistic game, well it’s a damned good one.
When you look at some videos the first thing you realize it is how it looks like the X-com series. Both of them seem to share the same futurist setting and the same combat system, but troubleshooters it’s not a mere clone. The game has its own identity and tries to tell a special story: the destiny, the emotion and the future of a very peculiar kind of mercenary, a Troubleshooter!
Now, if you want to learn more about the game, all you have to do is just sit down and read my latest interview.
1st Turn) Why have you decided to develop a Futuristic Tactical RPG? Aren’t you afraid of comparison with a masterpiece like the X-Com saga?
Our previous goal of our project was to develop a typically classic JRPG style game like ‘Final Fantasy Tactics’. However at the early stage of our development, we had a chance to encounter ‘XCOM: Enemy Unknown’ and the way the game builds up its battles was shocking. We thought that this battle style could provide us some new challenges.
It is true that there is some pressure on us to be compared with such a masterpiece beyond the fact that XCOM is beloved by a number of users. Nevertheless, because our team was composed of only six members, we didn’t take such pressure too seriously. We could easily progress if all six members agreed on an agenda and therefore we could reach this point by doing our best.
2nd Turn) Which are the main sources of inspiration for your game and where did you get the idea for a team of freelance mercenaries with cool superpowers?
At the early development phase of the game, our inspiration came from the experience of our team members. Each of our members had spent his lifetime playing various kinds of turn-based games and is still experiencing many games until now.
The reason we had the chance to encounter XCOM: Enemy Unknown after we decided to make a classic JRPG game was that one of our members tried this game right after it was released and said that it was a ‘super cool’ game. Thus, at the early development phase of our game, we were mostly inspired by what other senior developers of turn-based strategy games have already accomplished.
After the release of the early access of our game, however, most of the inspiration came from our users’ feedback. Thanks to them and to their comments we can constantly improve our game in the direction they suggest. Instead, the idea of freelance mercenaries with cool superpowers came from our process in modernizing the concept of classic JRPG. It started from this question “What if the warriors and magicians of classic JRPG games came out to the real world?” and this formed the current game setting.
3rd Turn) As I said before, the comparison with X-Com is quite obvious, but your game seems to give greater importance to the story and to the relationships between the “Troubleshooters”. Are there other important differences between the two games?
The biggest difference between the two games is the genre. XCOM is a ‘strategy’ game where you have to manage soldiers as a commander, while ‘Troubleshooter’ is an RPG game where the characters have their own stories.
Since XCOM is a strategic game, the penalty for making a wrong decision is heavy.
Instead, in Troubleshooter there are hardly ever penalties for making a wrong decision. The main characters of the story get stronger even if they fail and they can make up their failure in the past by getting stronger.
We chose to develop our game in this way because we wanted to make the players to develop their characters in diverse ways. Since the characters can get totally different from one another depending on how the players choose to grow that character, the players are not penalized for their decisions. To that extent, the players can try various different things and it is the fact that the players can choose different styles and settings throughout the game that makes our game dissimilar to XCOM.
4th Turn) Your company comes from Korea so for me is rather spontaneous to ask you how hard (or how easy) is to develop an indie game in your country?
When I entered this industry 10 years ago, there were almost no indie game developers. These days, however, many indie games are being developed in Korea. It is true that many of the indie games in Korea are following the route of famous masterpiece indie games but one thing that is certain is that many developers are constantly releasing new indie games. This is a huge improvement compared to what it was like 10 years ago.
5th Turn) Considering the importance of the relationships between the “troubleshooters”, are you thinking to add a romance option in the game?
That option is not considered yet but there are events that create synergies between characters. We are currently trying to enhance that synergy part of the game. We cannot give a clear answer to the question on romance but that’s because of our limits in our capacity. We want to give it a shot if we can afford to do so.
6th Turn) Ok now let’s talk about weapons, items and loot, in general. What can we expect in this regard (e.g. special/unique or magical items)?
The items are following the typical rules of RPG. The items have its rank and there are set items and legendary items. Furthermore, players can craft items and certain items can only be crafted by earning specific materials from monsters. You can think of it as the style that Diablo II has.
7th Turn) How many types of tactical missions are in the game?
There is a total of 40 scenario missions until now and 30 missions are repeatable.
Nine of the 30 repeatable missions are criminal cases in which numerous strong enemies exist.
We are planning to have 42 scenario missions for our official release and eight more repeatable missions will be added so that there will be a total of 80 unique missions in the game.
8th Turn) The game offers many ways to personalize the characters. Can you tell us more in this regard?
We have a small development team, so we are not providing external personalization of our characters. We are only doing that by providing costumes. However, we are trying to do our best in providing varieties through the character’s class. Majority of the players are actually choosing their unique mastery builds and operating their characters based on their preferences. It’s always a shame as a small team to be unable to provide external customization to our users.
9th Turn) In the final version of the game, the missions will be all pre-designed or there will be space also for randomly generated ones?
Due to our technical limits and the way we designed the game, there won’t be any random maps but we are trying to add random factors in monsters arrangement aspect and add random events.
10th Turn) Almost two years in Early Access with updates almost every week. When do you think the game will be content complete?
We were initially trying to release the final version of the game at the end of this year. However, with the current version of the game, we thought that our goal would not be attainable since the contents that we initially planned to add have not been completed yet. We will release the official version when that content is complete and we are estimating that date to be around January of 2020.
11th Bonus Turn) Before leaving you, just a bonus question. Which is the latest turn-based game you’ve played or still playing?
I recently had a great time playing Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden and Fire emblem: Three houses but the game I am still playing until now is Civilization 5.
And that’s all for today. I just want to thank the developers very much. They are very nice and humble guys and I wish them the best of luck. Obviously we will continue to follow their project!
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And remember, if you are interested, you can buy the game on Steam (EA).