GLX talks with Steve Uy about his upcoming game, World Without End.
Comic Fans may know Steve Uy from his work on such titles as Avengers: The Initiative and Eden's Trail. His next project won't be hitting local comic shops, though. Instead, it'll be a new video game called World Without End for iOS and Android devices. I had a chance to talk with him about it.
GLX: What came first - the desire to create a game or the desire to explore the world of World Without End?
Steve Uy: The desire to make a game. World Without End was originally supposed to be a small game, to test the waters before I jumped into a full fledged RPG.
GLX: Was the desire to make a game something that you wanted to do for a while, but never had a chance to until recently?
Steve Uy: I think everybody in my industry (comic books) wants to make a video game, as well as anybody who plays games to begin with. The question is whether or not they are willing to just dive in and try it.
GLX: From a writer's perspective, how do you tackle writing for a video game compared to a comic?
Steve Uy: In a comic, the story always comes first. If I don't have a good script that I'm happy with, I'd never start production. In a game, the script has to go hand in hand with the gameplay. I consider gameplay to come first, and the story should move things along to keep you interested. I grew up on games like Zelda: A Link to the Past and I can always have fun with them, because the story never gets in the way of the gameplay
For World Without End, I designed the map first and added trigger points later to tell the story; that way the gameplay remains the foundation of the whole project. Of course, not to say the story is an afterthought. Players will find the story to be something unlike they have ever read before in an RPG.
GLX: Speaking of the story, what's the premise for World Without End?
Steve Uy: The premise sounds basic, but that's because everything I say about the story ends up being a spoiler. My fault for not designing it to jump at you from the start. Basically, our Hero wakes up with no memory and runs into his party members, who have apparently been waiting for him all this time and seem to know everything about him, including everything he will do and even what he is thinking at the moment. They force him to go on a "boss" hunt with them so they can eat the hearts of the bosses to lift their so-called curse, promising him the answer to everything after the task is complete. The Hero reluctantly agrees but finds the whole situtation distatsteful...
GLX: On your Kickstarter page , you mention that the story will have "plot twists throughout every playthrough." Does that mean that players can expect multiple endings?
Steve Uy: There's a different ending for every playthrough. That's all I can say for now.
GLX: How will players be able to explore and interact with the environment and its inhabitants?
Steve Uy: You can run about the world freely, but there are designated spots where the enemies await to do the battles. Once the battles are done you are free to roam about as you will, no recurring battles. So, think of it as clearing out the world with story segments after key areas. Certain environmental obstacles can be cleared away after getting key items, but those are rare in number. There's only so much I can draw after all!
GLX: Speaking of that, your decision to handle the art for the game must have been an arduous task. How did you manage to produce that art on an independent project?
Steve Uy: With lots of experience!
I've been doing the pencils inks and colors for all of my books ever since I started, doing a game is just the same amount of hats, but with a lot of organization mixed in. I've played enough games to know what goes where even if I am not a programmer.
I'm still learning as I go along though, but yeah, the labor is insane, much more than anyone imagines it to be. For instance, doing the instructions for where the sprites will stand during cutscenes and what animation frame will be used for what piece of dialogue... it gets a little crazy.
GLX : Were there times when you felt like it was too big of a project to handle, or was your determination to finish World Without End unwavering?
Steve Uy: The work was insane, but I never felt that it was too much to handle, in terms of production, since I'm used to doing it. The only time I ever thought this would fail was when I was getting the initial builds back from the original program team (originally outsourced overseas). Fortunately, I have since released them and things are goind smoothly now that programming is being handled by Caleb Lipnicki.
GLX: Considering that your chances of your Kickstarter goal being met are slim, the amount of attention that you've received for this game has been great. Does the love from Wired to Touch Arcade give yourself confidence that this will be a hit?
Steve Uy: Coming from the comic industry, I like to set my expectations low, just to be on the safe side. This is my first game so who knows what average sales numbers are? I only hope to make enough to recover any losses and have enough to start my next game, which should improve upon anything I couldn't do with this first one.
GLX: When do you expect the game to be available?
Steve Uy: I hope we'll be at least in beta by the end of the year, but again this is my first game so I can't account for any complications. Also, since I'm going without pay to finish this who knows what side gigs I may have to take to cover the bills. I'm as impatient as anyone to get this out and fast, but I gotta be realistic and make sure it's as polished as you can expect out of the gate.
GLX: Thanks for taking the time for the interview, Steve.
Steve Uy: No problem.
Written or Contributed by: GLX