[dropcap size=big]W[/dropcap]ith just a bit more time left before his Kickstarter campaign is over, I’ve followed up with developer Nicholas Spargo after our previous feature for Melancholy Republic, a retro style JRPG. Sometimes to understand the goal of a game project, it’s best to ask the people behind the work. To get a clearer view of the concept and what the team aims to accomplish, I pried at the core of the project and what kind of experience they want their players to walk away with at the end.
Let’s start at the beginning, when the game idea was first conceived. Being mostly comprised of JRPG fans (think Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, etc.) the Melancholy Republic team was assembled from developers from the RPG Maker forums. An RPG that reaches as deep as Melancholy Republic could only have been manifested by a team so passionate about the classics that influenced not only Cloudrunner Studios, but many other indie developers currently building their own titles that pay homage to this golden era or Japanese Role Playing Games.
One thing that makes Melancholy Republic stand on its own as an RPG is the lack of a battle system. Looking at the titles that influenced its design, they all have battles that take place aside from story telling. So what does this title have to offer to keep it an involving experience? An item system is present, as there will be artifacts and the like that will be used to solve puzzles and progress through the story. Exploration is a large part of the game as well, so players will be rewarded for navigating the lands, finding items, and solving puzzles that are key to moving the story along. The team fully believes that focusing on making the story telling experience an adventure to remember will make Melancholy Republic a memorable quest that will linger in the hearts and minds of those who play. When presented with an inquiry on a level up system, Nicholas reiterated that since there’s no battle system, the need for leveling up is null. However he did note that the game’s protagonist, Claire Lockridge, will in fact experience a change in character as she learns more about herself and the world around her, giving players a chance to influence and watch her growth as a person.
The aim of Melancholy Republic is to allow players to experience a rich story that embeds itself in every ounce of the game world. Each character and location tells a story (most likely melancholic) that will mold the player character into someone more learned, experienced, and wise. The developer aims to achieve this through player/character interaction, involving the player in the intricate lives of the characters in the game. To reinforce the concept, the team has also gone in and built a large city to instill a scale difference between character and game world that makes it seem much more vast, living up to the story that’s intertwined throughout. In short, Cloudrunner Studios spared nothing when injecting vast amounts of character complexity, story intricacy, and captivating environments to fuel a heart-wrenching story that will leave a lasting imprint on those who experience such a tale.
To get in on the action, Melancholy Republic’s Kickstarter is here, and their website can be bookmarked for future updates. For faster notification, their Facebook and Twitter can be followed as well!