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Seite 2: Interview: Chronicles of Eden

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Autor: Iceman

Kategorie: interviews
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Game Boy Advance Artikel vom 24.09.2004






Deutsch | English

PlanetGameboy: Can you introduce yourself and your company to our readers?


Matt Roberts: Absolutely. Lightspire Studios was founded in 2001 by two graduates of Syracuse University, Brooks Halladay and myselfMatt Roberts, . Our goal is to create quality story-driven games. Our current target platform is the GBA.


PlanetGameboy: What separates Chronicles of Eden from other RPG games, can you tell us a bit about story and gameplay?


Matt Roberts: Well, I wouldn't exactly classify Chronicles of Eden as an RPG to begin with. I've been fighting against that name, largely because the definition of the genre is so broad and nebulous as to be almost meaningless. I think the definition of "Story-driven action / adventure" is probably more appropriate. We'll have no statistics, no experience points, and no "levels" - so in that sense, we're probably not an RPG, as those are typified by those hallmarks of game design.


But to answer your question: what differentiates us from other similar games would be a story that the player can actually influence, several different playable characters, the ability to interact with many different objects, and a unified underworld - just to start.


When I say "unified underworld," what I mean is that any "dungeons" in the game will eventually connect with each other into a unified whole and will not remain separate from each other.


PlanetGameboy: Since when are you working on Gameboy Advance-projects and why did you decide to develop for the Gameboy Advance?


Matt Roberts: We started working on GameBoy Advance projects around 2001 when we got involved with this one. We decided in favor of the GameBoy Advance for several reasons:

-It's less expensive to develop for

-We really wanted to make a two-dimensional game and the GBA is tailored specifically for this purpose

-the handheld format fit our overall design purpose, and the connectivity allows for some interesting possibilities in the future


PlanetGameboy: Is it more complicated to produce "Story-driven action / adventure" in comparision to other game-styles?


Matt Roberts: Maybe not in terms of the "action / adventure," but certainly when it comes to the story. To my knowledge, we will have the most advanced dialogue engine on any handheld game to date, and incorporating those elements into the game without having it slow down the pace dramatically is a challenge. It's been done successfully before, however, so it's by no means impossible.


PlanetGameboy: What is the approximate length of the game?

Matt Roberts: The game has four episodes, and we're aiming to have each episode take approximately 4-6 hours to complete. The episodes may take longer if players are being very thorough and getting every possible secret. There is also the possibility of overlap between the episodes, as each character is really giving a different "take" or viewpoint on the same tale.

Perhaps I should say that they're telling the tale together, and that each has a personal story alongside the main plot.


PlanetGameboy: How many charakters can you chose from and will you group up with other charakters during the game?

Matt Roberts: There are three characters that are initially available for the player to choose. Each character has a very unique style of gameplay and playing each one will be a very different experience. A fourth character will become available after you've played through two of the other episodes.
And in terms of grouping up:

Not in the "they will both go through the adventure on the same screen." Each character will be accomplishing different goals in different locations.
The goals will be working together, however, and will each be part of the same purpose.

In several instances, you'll have a choice of going after three or four different things, and the other characters (controlled by the game at that point) will "take over" the other ones that you don't select.


PlanetGameboy: Will there be a multiplayermode?

Matt Roberts: Not in this game, although it's something that we're looking at very seriously for the future. We are planning, however, to allow players to be able to trade certain items (like the crystals for the medallion, food and the ingredients for food, and other things) between cartridges.


PlanetGameboy: What do you think about the future of the Game Boy Advance, in view of the Nintendo DS and PSP? Will you also develop for a future system?


Matt Roberts: Since this is our first game, it's a little early for me to predict which systems we'll be developing for in the future. I personally thing the GBA is a great system that has quite a few years remaining.

The Nintendo DS looks like it's a great system with some very unique and interesting possibilities, and we'd love to do some development for that system.

The PSP doesn't look like it connects with any other system (the PS2 or anything else), and I'm not quite certain whether we'll look at that yet or not.



PlanetGameboy: When will the game be released? Is a release in Europe planned?

Matt Roberts: We need to secure a publisher before we can set a release date or finalize plans for an international release. Since the game's visual appearance is based on a German town I think it would only be fitting if we released it there.

I'd like to be more specific, but I'm not sure I should at this point without consulting with the other team members.


PlanetGameboy: What are your favorite Game Boy Advance games?

Matt Roberts: I personally love the Pokemon games, Metroid Fusion, the River City Ransom remake that ATLUS did, Advance Wars, and most of the Mario games.
There are others like Sword of Mana, but I sort of count those as GB games or SNES games, as they're already remakes of other ones that I've played before.


PlanetGameboy: Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?

Matt Roberts: Just keep checking back with the site for more details on the game. We have some exciting features planned that should make it one of the most fun and intriguing original games on the GBA yet! That site again is www.lightspirestudios.com.


I would like to add a few things about some of those features, namely the crystal medallion and the whole food system.


The crystal medallion is going to be unique in that it allows players to customize to a certain degree the strengths and weaknesses of a character. I said earlier that there would be no levels and experience points, but players can outfit themselves with up to twelve different crystals that will give them more attack power, defense power, magic skill, and other more unique abilites.
The food system should be intriguing in that players will be able to find food items or ingredients, trade them with other players, or just keep them and give them to NPCs to make things out of. Depending on what you eat, you could also create some powerful (and at times humorous) effects.


Thanks to Matt Roberts for his support.


The interview was held by Kevin Jensen for PlanetGameboy.de

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