redsolsticetopAre you familiar with The Red Solstice yet?  It’s the top down strategic shooter from Ironward that’s currently on Kickstarter.  Earlier this week we did a recap of the free gameplay demo; if you haven’t read it yet you can check it out here.  After playing through the demo we still had some questions about the game.  Such as, will there be a single player campaign, what makes it unique from other top down shooter, and what kind of poem could the team come up with?  We recently passed those questions, and more, by Hrvoje Horvatek, the man in charge at Ironward, and here’s what he had to say.


Cliqist : Can you start off by telling me a little about yourself and the history of your team?

Hrvoje Horvatek : My name is Hrvoje and first of I am a passionate gamer. I like games where you are rewarded for doing something right, games that make you feel fulfilled by the gameplay experience and every action you do!

Also I am lead of Ironward and a Game Designer. Ironward has grown over the years and while working together we really learned a lot, some of our team members worked on bigger projects, some on smaller before. 

Red Solstice is the project that got all of us working together and having fun at the same time while creating our dream game!


redsolstice6Cliqist : What are some of the inspirations behind The Red Solstice?

Hrvoje Horvatek : Dawn of War, Starcraft, Syndicate Wars and of course Aliens.  Marines vs. aliens, that’s just cool 😀

Red Solstice mechanics’ were inspired by Night of the Dead map from Warcraft 3, it had this distinct gameplay that we haven’t seen in any other game, it seemed simple, but it was very complicated and very rewarding if you managed to complete it.


Cliqist : At first glance the game just looks like a top down shooter, the kind we see a lot of.  However, it looks like there’s some RPG and strategy or base management elements to it as well.  Can you tell me a bit more about that?  What separates The Red Solstice from “Alien Shooter” and the like?

redsolstice7Hrvoje Horvatek : The Red Solstice is anything but a standard shooter… Other than the normal rank progression (you can go from Private to the General 🙂 ) system which unlocks huge customization for your characters and unlock new ones. 

Gameplay is very different, in first part of game enemies are light and it’s easy to gather resources, so you need to focus on that, after you have gathered enough supplies you can(if you want) choose a spot to fortify, so you can disarm turrets, bring them to that location, upgrade them, put a lot of explosives and support items to fortify your location, in the future even build some barricades. 

If you managed to survive to the last and third part of the game you will have to finish an evacuation, this will put all your skills and teamwork to test, if you work like a well oiled machine, you will survive 🙂

You also have some other marines on the map you can find and tell them what to do, command them! We are still exploring how to make this feature even more satisfying.

Other than that you can move freely around map, do whatever you want, activate power stations, satellites, colony defense system etc. And this is where the Leadership comes, a player who is leader needs to think which part of the map to explore first, which later, where to hold position, when to move, should the team go for the objective or not; and he has many tools he can use with that, like onscreen waypoint drawing, or he can also draw a route for the team to follow on the minimap, we’re really proud of that system as it’s simple and effective.


redsolstice9Cliqist : Most of the games’ 8 character classes seem pretty straight forward.  Assault, heavy, medic, and so on.  I am curious about the Terminator and Hellfire classes though, can you tell me more about those?

Hrvoje Horvatek : Terminator is a class who is designed for very skilled players, he can totally the vanquish entire team with a one self destruct button pressed in the wrong time 🙂  He is designed to be a class who can be a huge support for the entire team in various ways, like group teleport, directing team fire to important bosses, managing the entire team from the backbone, or he can focus on raw firepower, where he can do huge outbursts of damage in a small amount of time; if used in a bad way the entire team ends up dead 🙂

Hellfire, usually we could say it’s a tank but it’s a bit more of a tank, it’s also a killer, he usually carries a flamethrower and can control masses and monsters easily because of his cone of area damage.  His skills are focused on area damage or using environment (using toxic barrels to produce toxic damage from minigun for example). When things go bad, he is one of the classes that can save the situation in last moment 🙂


redsolstice8Cliqist : Not including a single player campaign as part of the initial funding goal seems risky, have you heard many complaints?  Or do people seem satisfied with it being so mulitplayer centric?

Hrvoje Horvatek : The game is designed to be a co-op game, but we never left single player out of the picture, we already have a full story written for single player (15 missions!), that is following 2 squads and the events that happen just before the multiplayer part of the game.

In this story players can find out more about the world, even play in coop if so they desire, the reason why we put it as a stretch goal is only because if we do the single player, we really want it to be polished properly, this means certain cinematics between missions etc.

So far the players experience from alpha is great, we haven’t had many complaints, almost none, for the single player.


redsolstice10Cliqist : Any chance we’ll see a console version?  The game is begging me to play it on a huge TV with a gamepad.

Hrvoje Horvatek : Well what to say, depends on the Kickstarter? 🙂 Time will tell 😉 But it’s not excluded. Aaand! 🙂 Some players from alpha managed to do this 😉


Cliqist : Any final words for someone that might be on the fence about backing The Red Solstice?

Hrvoje Horvatek : Some people have compared Red Solstice to like a real time XCOM, so if you think you like tactical games, as TRS is primarily decision based game instead of standard action shooter, try the demo and see for yourself 🙂


Cliqist : Can you end this with a poem inspired by The Red Solstice?

Hrvoje Horvatek : Sent right into the eye of the storm, do you have what it takes to survive as hardcore marine! Hooah!


To learn more about The Red Solstice you can head over to its’ Kickstarter campaign, which is running until April 20th.

About the Author

Greg Micek

Greg Micek has been writing on and off about games since the late nineties, always with a focus on indie games. He started in 2000, which was one of the earliest gaming sites to focus exclusively on indie games.

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