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Interview With Ratalaika Games The Team Behind Guardians of the Forest

I had the opportunity to interview Ratalaika Games and I knew I couldn’t pass it up. They are the makers of such mobile games as H. Haunted House, Defend your Crypt and Death Derby! The team consists of ratalaika, Nana Avonside, Schematist, Rk2 and . Since they are an independent company, its nice to see that they do it for the love of the game and it shows in there work.
Now they’re here to bring us their first installment in the console genre on PC and PS4. That game is Guardians of the Forest!!! So I had the privilege of asking Ratalaika Games a few questions and here they are:

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1) How difficult is it to develop for mobile platforms?

Developing for mobiles is fairly easy. What is difficult is finding a concept that will work across the different target markets. It’s not a market for hardcore players, but rather more for casual gamers which is sometimes limiting. That’s actually one of the reasons why we moved over to PC and console. Also, mobile platforms are way more limited than consoles or PC. Finding a game that is appealing to such a broad market while at the same time is small enough for a mobile game is a big challenge.

2) What was your inspiration for your new game Guardians Of The Forest?

Our main inspiration came from Super Smash Brawl, Towerfall and Jump’n’Bump, an old MSDOS game, but we wanted push the concept further, adding more weapons, more game modes and also exploring some artistic possibilities with light systems. We are keeping the same core mechanic for the game. That is, the combat system. However, we simplified it a little bit and added different game modes to spice it up.
Also, we wanted new aesthetics. We went for a cute cartoon look but with real time dynamic lights that gives it a whole new dimension.

3) What Can we expect from Guardians Of The Forest?

We are expecting to deliver a good product, so people can have fun while playing it with their friends. We are making the game with that in mind. Also in our play test sessions we always try to see if the game can provoke laughter between the play testers.

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4) Other than PS4 & Wii U, what systems would you like to see your game on?

Besides PS4 and Wii U, we really like to see our system on Xbox One! We are aiming for it and we hope we can get the license for it during or after our Kickstarter.
Also another thing we have in mind is the 3DS and PSVita. We think the game might work on those platforms if we add ad-hoc gameplay, but we know gathering enough money for it on our Kickstarter is a long shot.

5) How do you plan to use the screen on the Wii U controller?

Well, for the Wii U controller we have several plans. We didn’t want to just throw the game on the Wii U controller screen like you will be playing on the TV. So we will probably add the current game scores and some handy buttons when on the menu. Even though we will allow the player to see the game on their controller like on TV if he or she wants to.

6) Being a young independent company what has been the biggest challenge you have faced getting your games out?

I think the biggest challenge for an indie dev is to get noticed.
Nowadays, pretty much everyone can get on the internet and create a small game on their own. That creates great opportunities for everyone, but also saturates the market. The Mobile market is the most saturated right now because it’s the most accessible for someone who is just starting. This means that games tend to get lost in the stores, and it’s very difficult to stand out. You need to spend money on marketing, and not everyone can afford that.

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7) Has it been difficult to move from developing for mobile to the PS4/Wii U?

It has been a bit difficult to adapt. The paper work can sometimes be overwhelming, but once you get used to it, it can become a smoother process. Having developed for OUYA in the past really helped us with multiplayer and controllers. That’s something you do not do on a normal Android / iOS game.

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8) What are some of your teams favorite games?

The day of the Tentacle
Ori and the blind forest
Mortal Kombat X

9) Have you ever thought of bringing your games to the GameStick from PlayJam?

When we were checking the current status of the Android console market we were considering the GameStick, but due to it’s format of stick console we thought it will be quite weird if the players have two or more gamepads (it usually comes with just one gamepad). Also, on android consoles all the light system ends up looking super poor and with low quality.

10) What advice do you have for people who want to develop games?

Start small, and publish. I think publishing is the most important thing, a lot of game developers make really cool games, but they end up with over polishing so it never gets released. Also showing the game is important, do not wait until the game is 100% completed, start showing it early so people can give you feedback.
Keep working on it! It might seem very difficult at first, but there is a huge community of indie devs out there willing to help and problem solving is part of the fun! All those sleepless night will be worth it when you see the game out in the game store

Well there you have it I urge you to check out Ratalaika Games here and keep an eye out for Guardians of the Forest and i want to that the hole team as well for taking the time to do this with us. So please follow @RatalaikaGames and as always you can find me on as well @riddle43

http://www.ratalaika.com/

About riddle43

riddle43
Do it for the love of the game.

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