Welcome to another Special Indie Week with me along with a special guest
Chris: Would like to introduce yourself
Eric: My name is Eric Blomquist - I am the founder of Chicago based Enlightened Games and leader designer/art director/animator for The Song of Seven.
Chris: Can you tell us about the game
Eric: The Song of Seven is at heart, an adventure game. Inventory based puzzles, interesting characters, deep narrative, and a unique world. Think Grim Fandango, Walking Dead, Broken Age.
The story is about a young Aurochi teenager - Kiba - who lives in an isolated forest village surrounded by danger and illness. No one knows what caused everything to fall apart, but their existence is diminishing. They do their best to stay positive while they continue with their lives, but are mostly anxious and depressed about everything. They have more or less accepted their fate. While Kiba falls in line with their rules, deep down inside he feels there's something more. More beyond the walls of Kami Village.
Very early on in the story while Kiba is fixing the fence that surrounds and protects the whole village - he meets a young girl named Emma, who is on the other side of the fence. Stunned, but curious Kiba is convinced by Emma to sneak out of the village and go on an adventure with her. On their quest to get to know one another they embark and discover something lost. Something much bigger than either of them....
It's a story about leaving your comfort zone, facing your fears, and getting to know your true self.
Chris: What games inspired you to make the Song of Seven
Eric: I'm pretty sure everything inspires me at this point. I try to enrich my life with as much art as possible. As far as games are concerned there are a few titles that have really stood out in my life: Wind Waker, Ico, Final Fantasy IX, The Souls series, Shadow of the Colossus, Braid, Fez, Popful Mail (I'll be shocked if anyone knows this game. If you do, email me so we can be bffs), FF Tactics, Metriod Prime...I could go on lol. :D
Chris: Part from your own game, anything you’re looking forward to or enjoyed this year
Eric: I just finished Ori and the Blind Forest, which was possibly the most beautiful thing I've ever interactively experienced. The designs are incredibly inspired. I'm really looking forward to The Witness this year; everything Jonathan Blow touches is gold to me. He is a pioneer for games. OH and Broken Age Act 2!!!
Chris: I’ve got two questions from one of our member Luke Summerhayes
What is it that separates the great 3D platform games from the ones that don't work? Often the feeling is quite intangible to a player.
Storytelling in video games seems to have three paths before it; the interactivity of Bioware and Telltale, From Software's trademark subtle in-the-world story elements and the traditional cinematic stories with gameplay between cutscenes. Do you feel any one or the other is the right path for the medium or do all three have a part to play?
Eric: I always feel less is more. A quote I live by is, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." The Soul's series for example, resonates with this and has had quite the influence on me as a designer. Their ability to subtly tell a story without interrupting the experience is mind-blowing. It's like -' oh you want to just beat the crap out of everything? Go ahead!' - OR - 'Oh! So you want to discover our in depth narrative layered in pieces spread across our world, discovered through the worlds assets, inventory description, and cryptic NPC dialogue? We have that for you as well!'
While Telltale/Bioware's styles and traditional cut scenes are a bit different, all have a place. As long as it's done well.
We are focusing on the basics. Keep it simple! I want to make something that is as high quality as we are capable of, using the tools that have been laid before us. That means beautiful unique environments, memorable characters, and thought provoking/character developing puzzles! We want to make sure that we understand the rules before breaking them and pushing the bounds of video game design. Because let's be honest, game design is such a nebulous topic. No one really knows what they're doing. It's all based on hunches and we design from positive personal experiences. Literature, Music, Films have been around for much. Much longer than video games. Imagine when they've been around for 100 years? How different will they be? How to tell a story and design for games will continue to evolve! Isn't that exciting!?
Chris: Why did you decide to use Kickstarter
Eric: We decided to do Kickstarter to connect to our community and to allow us to develop the game independently. Crowd funding campaigns are also an excellent method to help further discover what your project is and what makes it special. I know in my heart why it's going to be great, but to publicly explain that without having a completed project is difficult.
Chris: Any cool rewards for any backers
Eric: There are only 72 hours remaining - but there are some awesome rewards still available! Including a personalized watercolor painting by me! You can follow me on the Twitter @thewillofb or our company run by our project manager/producer Zach Kruse @EnlightGames.
Chris: Thanks for joining me Eric we be keep eye on the game at Gintendo
Eric: Thank you so much!!!! For having me
You can checkout the Kickstarter page here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1027046384/the-song-of-seven-chapter-1 the game is planned for STEAM, Wii U & PS4 with a goal of $8,000, worth checking out for some of the music tracks.