Gaming Interviews

Published on March 27th, 2017 | by Genevieve Mc Bride


Battle Princess Madelyn

Recently we spoke with Chris Obritsch about Battle Princess Madelyn.

What is the background and setting of the game?


The game takes place long ago in Ireland. On the eve of Madelyn’s competition to become a full fledged knight, her family Castle is attacked by demons and her family is spirited away. Her loyal companion, Fritzy, is mortally wounded trying to stop the evil entity that abducts her family. He rejoins the world of the living as a spirit which aids her on her quest to save her family. He grows in power as the game goes on by collecting relics that rebuild his soul. Together the friends must traverse many dangerous locations to over come the final challenge and save the kingdom and their family.

What can you tell us about the sound and music of the game?


We have two excellent musicians working on the dual soundtracks, one Orchestral and another in classic Arcade style, and they’re really given the freedom to explore the sound of each level’s theme in the way they find best. This means that the players are truly getting two unique experiences depending on which soundtrack they choose, and they can change between them in-game of course! As for sounds, we have an authentic vocoder effect on the voice of Madelyn’s character, and special reverb effects in the cave and larger levels that gives a sense of how big the spaces are. The sounds otherwise are a collection of carefully selected ‘HD’ Arcade-era effects that give every attack and interaction feeling.

What type of controllers will the game support?


The game will support XInput controllers by default on PC, but we can also look into other types that Unity supports as we develop and based on user testing response. For consoles it’s really cut-and-dry, we support the default controllers for each!

What do you think is behind the rise of the retro 2D side scrolling games becoming popular again?


2D games might not really be “becoming popular again”, because if you look at the indie titles before Steam there was still a lot of great ones made both free and commercial in “artist friendly” tools like Clickteam and Game Maker, but with the rise of Steam Greenlight and the popular “now free” Unity engine I think we’re just seeing the games in our daily PC gaming routines, and that exposure is what the audiences feel there are “more”. However, a great reason why these games are still popular is because they are fun and often can be picked up and played around a busy schedule. They don’t demand very high PC specifications and provide both some nostalgia and a novel experience of classic gameplay mechanics (often with a new twist 😉 )

How long is the game and will players be able to change difficulty?


The game is going to be 8 hours long on average, possibly much longer depending on how a player approaches the optional side quests and collectibles. The difficulty is a great question because it will actually be flexible by default, play well and the game will up the challenge or if you’re struggling it will tone it down a bit. You can still lock the game in on “Casual” and “Arcade” difficulties though, which will replace the difficulty A.I. with either a laid back (young audience friendly!) play-through, or a hardcore classic mode, complete with game overs instead of restarting at the first stage!

What are some of the enemies players will face?


The game already has a variety of enemies in place, such as skeletons of different health amounts, slimes that slide across the ceiling before dropping down on you, planters that uncurl shoot at you, birds and grim reapers that fly at you with a unique pattern each. These are just a sampling of the dangers Maddi will face though, since there’s going to be much smarter enemies and ones that can block certain attacks. There’s also map-specific enemies like the worms that can eat Maddi, or traps in future levels.

What have been some of the biggest challenges and the biggest success stories with the game?


On a technical level the game’s biggest challenge so far has been porting from HTML5 to Unity, moving engines is never easy but we knew that to get on consoles we need the native performance and the engine with the most export options, so it’s also a big success (the Pre-Alpha Build is the Unity version 😉 ) ! For other challenges and successes it’s going to be about tailoring the difficulty A.I. to provide a fun experience regardless of player skill level, and without too much hand-holding / modern tutorial elements which we feel can really break the flow of the game. Unlike our last title though, and as you can see in our special FX and lighting, this game is not going to be sticking as closely to the limitations of 80’s hardware, and we look forward to using the newer features to really show off the pixel art in the game.

What do you have upcoming?


We have many games on the back-burner for after Battle Princess Madelyn is done, at various levels of prototyping and idea concepts, but when the main development team is only us two we have to stay focussed, so until this game is out and in everyone’s hands, PC’s and consoles, that’s going to be the only thing “upcoming” for now!

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