A few days ago I gave a quick preview of the upcoming Kickstarter game Nilspace. The developers of the game, 1LookGames, agreed to answer some questions about the game via email and you can read their answers to my questions below. Enjoy!
TonyTGD: How long has the team been together and how did you guys get together?
1LookGames: The team has been together for a little over 3 years. After being tired of waiting for an SRPG that lived up to some of the classic Fire Emblem games, Scott (founder of 1 Look Games) decided to make his own SRPG. He started the project in the summer of 2016 and worked alone until early 2018. Once he had a demo for the game (an mvp) as proof of concept, he reached out on Reddit, game dev forums and game dev discords to build the team. We started out with writing to map out the game and get the themes of the game going. From there we brought on music and art over time. The core team is 5 devs and 1 marketing lead.
TonyTGD: Is this the first project you guys have worked on?
1LookGames: As a collective, yes, this is our first project. But we all have experience in our own skill areas from other projects that we have worked on.
TonyTGD: What games influenced your decision to get into game development and what are your favorite games?
1LookGames: Scott has always had the dream of developing his own game, but the catalyst for developing Nilspace was Nintendo and Atlus’ Fire Emblem x Persona project. Mainly because the project became Tokyo Mirage, which was a big disappointment as the majority of the game was just Persona. Scott and eventually the team, wanted to create a true combination of Fire Emblem and Persona that elevated the genres to new heights. Funny enough, a lot of people might think we got inspiration from Fire Emblem: Three Houses, but we started long before the game’s details were announced. We just wanted to make a cool game that we wanted to play and the community would want to play too.
Aside from the obvious favorites of FE and Persona, we’re also fond of visual novels, which is also a core part of the game. Some visual novel favorites include Tales of Symphonia, Journey, and Heavy Rain.
TonyTGD: How did you guys come up with the story for Nilspace?
1LookGames: Our original idea was to create something that blended two different worlds together within the game’s story. This developed into the real life world that is happening on campus and the unknown world of Nilspace (the mysterious app on campus, for which the game is named). We wanted to create a world and characters that were relatable to players, while at the same time creating a fantasy element that would get player’s saying “that would be cool if that happened to me in real life.”
We've gone through a tremendous amount of tweaking and reworking to really hone the story into something compelling. We're lucky to have amazing writers Bryce and Jono, who put a lot of work into building the narratives in both the main story and side stories.
TonyTGD: What video games or other media has influenced Nilspace?
1LookGames: Video game wise, Genshin Impact has given Nilspace some good influence over the past year or so. As for other media, we’ve definitely taken some story/art influence from animes like Sword Art Online and Kill la Kill. Although the characters definitely don’t show the same level of skin. We’ll leave that kinda stuff to the modders.
For our soundtrack we wanted to create something that had a "digital '' feel to it to really immerse the player in the app of Nilspace, so you could say we were influenced by some of those similar sounds from the 80s.
TonyTGD: Have you been able to implement everything you wanted in Nilspace or did you have to cut things?
1LookGames: Being completely honest, there never seems to be an end to the things we'd like to implement. Not in a feature overload sense, but in the sense that we're always tweaking and improving things, and we always think things can be improved. In terms of hard tangible features, due to the size of the team and not having much of a budget, we've had to postpone adding battle animations as well as other animations during Free Time and visual novel scenes. These are some of the things that we'd really like to implement if our Kickstarter is a success. We’ve also made a concerted effort to keep the game within a manageable play time, so there’s some storylines we’ve had to limit.
TonyTGD: If things had to be cut will you try to bring them back in DLC or as part of stretch goals?
1LookGames: You read our minds. Animations are something we'd really love to implement, which again, depends on if our Kickstarter is a success. We have some really cool battle animations in mind. As for DLC, this has really exciting potential. We plan on implementing as much fan feedback as possible and expanding storylines/adding characters based on that feedback. We also hope to grow a Discord community that will participate in various events and games that will have a direct impact on the direction of the game's DLC.
TonyTGD: Why did you decide to go through Kickstarter?
1LookGames: Short story - We have an extremely limited budget. Long story - We have full confidence that if we launch the game without raising any money, the game will be a great experience with smooth battle mechanics and fulfilling storylines. However, we aren't just trying to make a great game, we're trying to make the game that we've always dreamed of. That includes seamless art, a sleek UI, and animations that wow and bring new life to each character. The Kickstarter really comes down to art, art, art.
TonyTGD: What are you raising the money for specifically?
1LookGames: As mentioned above our primary use of funds will go towards battle animations, character animations, UI, and location design. If we exceed our goals, we have a lot more in store, but we want to keep that top secret for now.
TonyTGD: How far along is Nilspace?
1LookGames: Pretty darn far. The demo that’s currently available on our site has gotten to a high polish stage in terms of player experience. The full game is ~90% done overall with all the game features being done. The rest is all about tweaking and improving what’s there while getting the rest of the story and art done.We're on track to release the game in H2 2021.
TonyTGD: Which platforms do you hope to get Nilspace on?
1LookGames: Our primary platform will be PC and it will be DRM free. We’ll be working to get on other platforms in the future.
TonyTGD: How has the global pandemic affect the development of Nilspace?
1LookGames: We're a team from all over the globe (America, South Africa, Europe, and South America), so we have all been working remotely from the get go. The pandemic has definitely impacted our personal lives, but as for communicating with the team, it's been relatively smooth. In some cases it actually made development a little bit easier because we could end work and hop on a Discord call instantly without much friction.