By Quentin H. / June 10th, 2016
Guardians of the Rose is a game that, at first blush, looks like an average hack-n-slash throwback title with pixel-art. However, this game asks a simple question of the player and expects an answer that will alter everything from the main campaign, to what side quests are available, to what ending you get:
What will you do, and how far will you go, to achieve peace in the kingdom?
Be good. Save a village. Be evil. Ally yourself with the world’s villains. It’s up to you. Just do whatever it takes to restore order.
I caught up with Mr. Broc Copeland of Pixel x Pixel Games to talk about his game that is currently being Kickstarted. We discussed Guardians of the Rose, some of the background to him creating and developing the game, about the Kickstarter process, and, of course, how your character’s morality alignment is a major part of the game.
Interview by Quentin H.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Operation Rainfall: Hello, my name is Quentin H. with Operation Rainfall, and I am here today with?
Broc Copeland: Broc Copeland with Pixel x Pixel Games.
OR: You are currently making a game called Guardians of the Rose. What is the basic story line behind this game and who are you playing as?
BC: The character hasn’t been named yet. I poll people on Twitter a lot to get people’s opinions, and most likely [he] will be named ‘Thorne’. You’re playing as him, but I’m assuming most people will put in their own name. The main story line of the game is [that] you’re a kid that is a member of the royal guard, who are the law-keepers of the kingdom. [In the] beginning of the game, you discover that the upper echelon of the royal guard have been ‘tainted’ [because] they used witchcraft secretly. They have allowed the great witches to kill the king and his family, and [they] have taken over the kingdom. Your goal is to restore peace to the kingdom by any means necessary.
“There are two really big elements to the game, and [your morality alignment] is one of them.”
OR: On your Facebook page, you said that this is like a “modernized, fast-paced version of old-school Zelda and Gauntlet games with the RPG elements of the Elder Scrolls series”. That’s quite an ambitious statement. What elements are you borrowing or being inspired by from these classic franchises for your game, and how are you putting your own ‘spin’ on it?
BC: Starting with the first one you’ve mentioned, Zelda, if look at the artwork for the game, it’s obviously heavily inspired by old-school Zelda games and GameBoy Zelda games where it’s the traditional top-down 2-D pixel art graphics. [Also] much like A Link To The Past, the Nintendo 64’s Ocarina Of Time or Majora’s Mask, [and] a lot like Elder Scrolls, [another] big thing we got from [those] games, is the open world exploration where you get to choose where to go and what to do, and pretty much how you do whatever you want to do. The story line is sort of in the backdrop to your own personal exploration.
If you remember the past couple Elder Scrolls [games], you leveled up mainly by – you [could] jump all day, and it would level agility [and] the more you use magic or the more you use physical attacks, the more leveled that skill [would become]. It’s like in Morrowind, where you can customize your stats when you level up and your skill points every time you level up. So you can invest in strength if you want to do more melee and wear heavier gear. You can invest in agility if you want to run a little bit faster and dodge more attacks, and attack a little faster. Intelligence if you want more skill-based magic combat, to be able to cast magical buffs faster, or whatever. A big part of the Elder Scrolls inspiration was the character customization.
OR: Another feature of this game is that you can choose to be good or evil.
OR: A trap that a lot of games fall into where morality is a factor is that there are no real consequences to choosing one way or another, or the benefits are tilted so heavily towards one end of the [morality] spectrum that the player does not have reason to explore the other [moral] side. How are you planning on implementing morality into you game and what consequences [does your choice have] upon the story line and the world around your character?
BC: Yeah, it definitely effects everything in the story line and everything around the world. How the NPCs talk to you- like if you go completely evil, you can ally with some of the biggest bosses in the story line [versus] if you were good, you would face some of those bosses.
[Your morality alignment is] one of the biggest parts of the game. There are two really big elements to the game, and [your morality alignment] is one of them. Basically, it effects everything in the game. It effect side quests you can pick up and what the campaign even looks like. If you’re evil, you might have to destroy a village where you have to save it if you had been good. And if you’re good at that village, maybe – no, we’ll go ahead and spoil it: At this particular village, you have to either destroy the village or save it from goblins. If you’re good, you’ll get a bonus from defeating the boss that you won’t get while you’re evil. But there’s a very similar thing with the evil quest that you can’t get if you’re good. So it changes the end of the game. There’s a couple endings of the game that are a LOT different than the other endings of the game, just depending on what choices you make.
I don’t want to give away more – I think the biggest part of this game is going to be ‘wow’ moments, where [the player] doesn’t expect stuff to happen.
OR: Can you play as a morally ‘gray’ [character]?
BC: Of course. The alignment system is based upon a points system from zero to one-hundred. I don’t think I’ll make [the points] actually visible in the game, maybe just [have] a bar of good to bad. So at zero, you’re completely evil. At one-hundred, you’re completely good. Doing good stuff in the game increases your points. Doing bad stuff decreases your points. So if you want to stay more morally neutral and maybe experience more side quests because you can – you can really manipulate the points system- let me kill a bunch of villagers just to get a side quest, but then it’s going to be a pretty difficult to get back to good. But you can get back to morally neutral to allow you to get some of the good-ish sidequests.
OR: You said a moment ago that there were two major [elements] to this game. One of them was the morality system, what is the other one?
BC: The other one is you’re basically the Guildmaster of the secret society after you get about one-fifth [of the way] into the game. You become the Guildmaster of the Guardians of the Rose – that’s what you call it- it’s basically a secret society that’s set it’s only goal [to be] to bring peace to the land, and you can do that however you want to. You can recruit evil people into your secret society and try to destroy everything, for example.
Pages: 1 2Broc CopelandGuardians of the RoseIndieKickstarterMother 4Pixel x Pixel GamesRPG