Aleksey Yarmolik recently took some time out of his busy Kickstarter schedule to discuss his studios’ cutesy war title Pocket Troops with us. When last we saw Pocket Troops we were a little confused as to the overall point of the game, what exactly is there to do in it? Aleksey was kind enough provide some great gameplay detail, as well as give some additional information on Pocket Troops and the team responsible for it. And as always, we end things with a little haiku to help us find our center again.
And now, off to war with Pocket Troops!
Cliqist : Who are you, and what do you do?
Aleksey Yarmolik : We are Heyworks, an indie studio from Minsk, Belarus. We have been working hard on outsourcing projects since 2009. Now Heyworks comprises 25 employees working hard on various projects including our own title, Pocket Troops.
Cliqist : What kind of game is Pocket Troops?
Aleksey Yarmolik : Pocket Troops is a mobile war game about epic battles where troopers are controlled by their own AI. There are 6 classes of soldiers (as for now, we have ideas for more to come), with their own special skills, tactical advantages and weak points.
The rest is pretty simple – you recruit them, train to improve basic parameters, level up to open new types of weapons and skills. In HQ you have access to various types of weaponry, some of which are trooper class specific.
In Pocket Troops we make emphasize on positive emotions and fun. We expect that it may sound weird while talking in context of a war game. But we see the uniqueness of our game in it. In addition, the gameplay is very simple, with short sessions. You can easily lead your troopers through a couple of fights just standing in the traffic jam.
Cliqist : Other than sending your troops into combat to see who wins, what else is there to do in the game?
Aleksey Yarmolik : As the combat itself is AI controlled it does not require any actions from you besides selecting the best camera view and enjoying it. However, we expect players to analyze mistakes done in trainings and equipment of troopers, as well as in enemy selection.
The main activity happens in the HQ. Here you decide how to improve your soldiers skills, what to improve. We have ideas and precise plan of many other things to be added in the HQ, so it will require more player assistance. E.g. we want to add shooting range, where you’ll train accuracy of your Sniper, some additional mini-game if you’d like. Many other things are in the list, they are covered on Kickstarter campaign page.
Aleksey Yarmolik : Sure thing, we understand that PvP only will be not enough for players to be back to the game again and again. We have already planned PvE campaigns against bosses, that are well-trained, hard to defeat bots. It will be a classical ladder – you try to progress defeating them one by one and getting closer to Dr. Evil. However, sooner or later, you will face the fact that you need to train more, to win more PvP battles and earn higher rating to proceed. This is a good mixture of playing against unique hard-to-beat bosses and real people around you or from all over the World.
The second point is Alliances and Joint Campaigns. It is also in our to-do list for Kickstarter. The idea is to allow player join in alliances to fight against bosses or other alliances. You will share your troopers, make temporary squads for a specific mission, etc.
Cliqist : Kickstarter campaigns from eastern European countries are often met with skepticism from donors. Why do you think that is? Is it fair?
Aleksey Yarmolik : We can’t say that we feel any skepticism toward us, distrust or prejudiced attitude. We are open to people, they are open to us. The internet world has no borders and it is especially true to gamers’ community. We can do mistakes in English, Belarus country may cause “Bela… what?” questions, but our game speaks for itself.
We hope that if the community likes our game they will support us, no matter where we are from.
Cliqist : Based on looking at the Heyworks website, you guys have a decent amount of game development experience. Why go to Kickstarter?
Aleksey Yarmolik : We have delivered more than 20 outsourcing projects in the past years. Pocket Troops is our first attempt to invest earned money in our own game.
Now we feel like the game is almost ready, it has its own face, unique style. We know what to do to make it ready for the release and feel like we still have enough energy left to fulfill it.
So, we do not want to wait for about half a year more, saving money and moving by tiny steps – we decided to ask for support to boost Pocket Troopers development.
Kickstarter was an obvious choice for us as the most stable and well managed platform where it is easy to run campaign.
Cliqist : How does Pocket Troops differ from your previous projects?
Aleksey Yarmolik : It is our first own title – it makes the whole difference 🙂 It is like a first-born child, the game that all of us like and really want to happen. We do have this strange connection to our clumsy guys, we call them by names, think about their background stories.
Cliqist : Is there anything you’d like to say to those that might be on the fence about pledging money to the Pocket Troops campaign?
Aleksey Yarmolik : We consider Kickstarter campaign as a great opportunity to collect people’s feedback, find weak and strong points of the game. We want to move on with Pocket Troops together with you. Feel free to ask questions and share your ideas.
At the same time the goal needs to be reached, otherwise it will be just another unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign. If you are on the fence about pledging – just ask us about your doubts and we will do our best to help you to overcome it 🙂
By the way, we are releasing a fully playable demo shortly. It is an absolutely free game with no in-apps even. The idea is to show what we currently have, so this can be a good answer to your questions. Stay tuned for updates on our campaign Kickstarter page.
Cliqist : Can you wrap this up with a Pocket Troops inspired Haiku?
Aleksey Yarmolik :
Among the winter battlefield
A lonely Trooper stand in numb.
Campaign in progress
Thanks to Aleksey for answering our questions, and dropping some poetry on us! Be sure to check out the Pocket Troops Kickstarter page for more information on Alekseys’ project. Funding runs until February 13th and has a funding target of $55,000.