The Quest interview with Games in Asia

As we venture into the mobile free-to-play platform and self-publishing our own games, we are also returning to our roots in Southeast Asia. Our Technical Director and game designer Jay talk about our upcoming game, The Quest, in an interview with Games in Asia!


More details about Boomzap’s The Quest revealed
By Vincent Haoson

After our reveal last week of Singapore-based Boomzap Entertainment’s upcoming title, The Quest, I had the opportunity to talk to technical director, Allan Simonsen, and designer, Jay Gavarra, about the game’s origins, its development and how the game’s battle system—its main selling point—came to be.

Origins

The idea for The Quest scame from a brainstorming session between Simonsen and Chris Natsuume, Boomzap’s creative director. What they wanted was a short but fun game that could be played during a long commute from work. They wanted a game playable with only one hand so commuters won’t be inconvenienced playing it while in transit. That session became the seed that started things for The Quest. The prototype was created over the December holiday and The Quest has now been in development for three months.

The Quest revolves around the story of a band of heroes out on quests to save themselves from the troubles they’ve gotten themselves into. The game’s soft launch will present three hero classes: a Valkyrie, a Paladin and a Mage. According to Simonsen, they will also include another hero, the Rogue, sometime in the future.

The team behind The Quest decided not to go with the usual hero plot device of saving the world. It wanted characters that players would be able to relate to. Gavarra says: “These are good guys, but they’ve fallen hard, and now they’re looking for a way out. That’s the quest.”

Battle System

The Quest’s battle board system has been heavily influenced by the trading card game Magic: The Gathering. But the team wanted to have a faster-paced game, so they had to improvise and made a game that’s a mix of Final Fantasy XII’s license system and Dungelot’s battle system.

Jay Gavarra explains that the The Quest “is a turn-based RPG with your hero facing a number of enemies […] on the top part of the screen and a board […] below it.” You have the option to either use moves you already have at the start of the turn or open tiles on the board that may provide you with stronger attacks. Opening tiles will also unlock adjacent tiles, providing you with extra options. Each action you take ends your turn, so you are limited to either opening new tiles or performing one immediately-available move per turn..

Monetization

According to Simonsen, The Quest will be free-to-play on release. The game will not use a stamina system. Instead, Boomzap will sell booster packs that provide extra items and equipment.

The reason behind the decision, Gavarra shares, “is that that one of the concerns raised when we were shopping this around is that mid-core gamers are more sensitive to the free-to-play model,” He adds that “Boomzap is looking at ways to play with the free-to-play model that are more supportive of gamers.” That is why it has gone for a monetization model that it hopes gamers will like (and will be able to afford).

So what’s in store for The Quest now?

Simonsen said that Boomzap still doesn’t have a concrete release date for the game. However, its current goal is to reach beta by the Game Developer’s Conference 2014 in California. This means that The Quest only has two weeks or so left, since GDC 2014 starts on March 17.

Both Simonsen and Gavarra have high hopes for The Quest and shared that they have a lot of content being developed that will last them for a “good while”. Neither Boomzap representative elaborated on how long exactly that meant, but they both promised that the game will have continued support even after release in the form of game patches, character updates and game improvements. Players won’t have to worry the game will be forgotten by Boomzap once it’s available for download.

Even though it releases on iOS, The Quest will not be an App Store exclusive. The team behind The Quest views the iOS release as a learning experience, so that they can do better for the Android port.

We’ll be keeping an eye on further developments for The Quest as they come.

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