Published on September 28th, 2015 | by Mica Rose0
EGX 2015: RPG Tycoon – Skatanic Studios Interview
RPG Tycoon is a simulation game that puts you in control of a newly established fantasy Kingdom. The previous leader left its followers in despair and now it’s up to you to grow the Capital from nothing and reclaim the title of the most honoured Kingdom in the land! In RPG Tycoon you hire Heroes to work for you, send them on quests across the land and use them to help spread the word of your cause. Use the loot that your heroes find to build new stores and facilities in order to attract nearby villagers into your kingdom who will spend their hard-earned gold coins and continue to promote the growth of your empire!
We had a chat with founder and developer Matt Gambell:
Is RPG Tycoon the first game that you have fully developed and published?
It’s the first commercial thing I’ve made yeah. I used to make little flash games back in high school but I never really did anything with that. I would play around a lot but this is the first thing that I’ve committed to fully.
What sort of thing would you make on flash?
Similar stuff – I’d make RPG sims, so the stick life style things where you’d have a house and you’d get skills whilst sleeping day to day, I just like that sort of genre as it interests me a lot.
Where did you draw inspiration for the game? Do you have any inspirations from outside of the gaming industry?
Almost everything I grew up playing has kind of been mashed into this. We’ve had a kind of gap in the market where late 90s/early 00s there was a massive amount of simulation games, tycoon strategies that kind of thing, which is great, games like Rollercoaster Tycoon, Theme Park World, Theme Hospital all that sort of stuff – they kind of disappeared and fell through the cracks, and so I just wanted to re-imagine them a bit and take the stuff that I loved playing when I grew up and put a new fresh spin on it and take inspiration from all sorts of things and do my own thing really.
Simulation games definitely seem to be consistently popular, from Theme Hospital and Dungeon Keeper in the 90s to Goat Simulator and Farming Simulator today. What do you think it is that gamers find so appealing about this format?
I think the really cool thing about simulation games is that you make a move or an action and the game world changes around that so it’s almost like a god complex, you just wanna see “oh what happens if I do this” and it’s that curiosity level that I think is really fun and there’s also an element, especially with tycoon games that: you just wanna make more money. You just have that thing in your head where you’re like “I need more!” and the greed of humans works really well especially with the business management I find it really relaxing, I don’t do multiplayer games I find them too stressful whereas these I find them really cool to just chill and play for a couple of hours and see things grow.
There’s that running joke with simulation games where players will find ways to be evil, like with The Sims and removing all the doors. Can you think of anything like that which could be done in RPG Tycoon?
Nothing massively evil but you have choices in quest events that will sometimes ask you quite polarising questions and you have to decide what your heroes do – so do you help this person or don’t you? And sometimes that will be successful, you can also build on top of people but I put a system in where it doesn’t really matter if you do that so it depends how you see that but that can be quite funny. And there’s some hidden things in the game that can be quite fun to mess, but nothing too cruel. You can fire people if they’re annoying you and sometimes they ask for money then you can just fire them and hire someone else.
Where are you looking to go with RPG Tycoon?
I’d like to finish it – that’d be great! Hopefully I can get it done by the end of the year and get it released at the start of next year. It’s come a really long way since I first demo’d this back in March and I’ve been working on it for nearly a year and a half now. So it’s not too far in the future that I’ll be done and hopefully more people will get their hands on it. I think that’s kind of the real thing, to let more people enjoy it.
And it’s only on PC?
Yeah it’s on PC and Mac, nothing else really as it’s designed for that. These kind of games aren’t really designed for other consoles as you have to scale stuff back and the way that I’m trying to design it I can’t really do that
And you didn’t use an engine did you?
No it’s all kind of based on code.
What’s in the future for Skatanic Studios; would you like to work on another simulation game next or try something else?
I’m always jotting down ideas and there’s a couple on the pipeline that I’m fleshing out, prototyping, maybe more to the sort of stuff I did when I was younger so those simulation/role-playing games, I’ve got a couple of good ideas. We’ll see if this (RPG Tycoon) doesn’t sell and I don’t make any money then I have to go get a real job! But it has gotten great feedback so far so I’m hoping when it releases more people will see it, that’s why I’m here (at EGX) to get it in the hands of more people.
How did it feel when RPG Tycoon was accepted on Steam Greenlight?
Honestly you get the average internet user who you may not want to pay any attention to whatsoever but there is a hard community who play the game who will tell me what they think and I can trust them because they’ve been there from the start – I read all the forum posts so I know when someone’s just not really getting it and there’s a good kind of self-policing going on where a lot of people are helping each other out which is awesome, I’m glad I’m at that stage so I don’t have to have as much interaction it means I can work on the game. But there’s always some great feedback where people say “I love this, I love the new build, this still doesn’t work, let’s fix this” so that’s always nice.
RPG Tycoon is currently in early access on Steam, try it out here, or visit Skatanic Studios.
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