Tag: Fantasy »
Recently announced, Trouserheart looks like quite the quirky, DeathSpank-style fantasy action game. Notably, it's a game that is being published by established Finnish games studio, 10tons and developed by similarly established and Finnish firm, Dicework Games. With our curiosity piqued, I was able to talk to 10tons's Jaakko Maaniemi about how the union came to be, and just what players should expect when the game is released next month.
148apps: Why is it called Trouserheart?
Jaakko Maaniemi (JM): It's awesome you ask about the name, as we put some serious effort into coming up with it. We wanted to achieve all kinds of things with the name, and we're very happy with Trouserheart. We wanted the name to be short, preferably one word – Trouserheart is ok in that regard.
We obviously wanted the name to be catchy, memorable and distinct, as there are hundreds of games released every day. As the name was your first question, I believe we succeeded here as well. The name also had to communicate the lighthearted, humorous tone of of the game. Check! Trouserheart is also the name of the game’s hero, King Trouserheart.
Finally, we wanted to [be] associated [with] the fantasy genre. The something-heart is a pretty well known fantasy convention, all the way from King Lionheart and Braveheart to hit games like Battleheart and Kingdom Hearts. Trousers also feature in the game’s storyline, but we’ll talk about that in detail later.
148apps: Will Trouserheart be a story-led game?
JM: Trouserheart is not very story driven, apart from the clear setup and rewarding conclusion. The reason is that Trouserheart's gameplay is very short form. In other words, a single session of Trouserheart is just a couple of intensive minutes. There's not a whole lot of time, nor point, in cramming a lot of storytelling in there. And we’re concentrating 100% on making the gameplay as great as possible.
148apps: What inspiration led to the game?
JM: We wanted to make a game that’s simple, easy to pick up and fun to play. It takes literally about five seconds from the start of each session to be in a fight with monsters, knee deep in your next quest. Seasoned gamers can probably name titles Trouserheart reminds them of, but there’s no single source of inspiration in that regard.
Visually, we wanted to make Trouserheart look instantly familiar, but with a recognizable quirky tone. The kind of blocky look works well with the gameplay. The bright colors and clear shapes also help the game look clear on the smaller screens of mobiles.
148apps: Are you able to discuss any of the features within the game? It looks quite hack n slash style in the screenshots, is that the case?
JM: Trouserheart is definitely hack'n slash. In fact, hacking and slashing is basically the only interaction there is in the game, although you do a few kinds of different things with the whackage. We're especially proud of how well we've nailed the virtual controllers. They're really good. We've always been annoyed by how many bad implementations of virtual controllers are out there, and one of the driving factors in creating Trouserheart is that we wanted to do virtual controllers right.
We should also mention that Trouserheart is as relaxed and easy-going as a good hack’n slash game can be. We hope that if Trouserheart is the first hack’n slash game someone plays, they’ll enjoy it.
148apps: What motivated 10tons to go into publishing rather than development?
JM: 10tons has been around for ten years now, and so far we've published around two dozen titles we’ve developed ourselves - and we’ll definitely keep developing games in the future as well. We’ve released games on most mobile platforms and know our way around different markets so we already had a nice toolset for publishing games. Both Dicework Games and 10tons are located in Tampere, Finland, so we had a chance to see the game very early in development. We immediately liked Trouserheart’s concept, instant accessibility, and style. A bit later it we found ourselves in a position where we could help each other: Dicework needed resources to finish and launch the game to realize its full potential and 10tons was dreaming of an easy-going fun mobile game that would also work with gamepads.
Thanks to Jaakko for taking the time to answer our questions. It's great to see indie developers working together towards a common goal. We'll be sure to cover Trouserheart in more depth when it's released in September.
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Life can be tough for a knight. There’s a near-constant need for chivalrous heroes, taxes to collect, and strongholds to manage. And yet, they persevere because it’s the just thing to do. Knight Storm appropriately gameifies such a life to a surprising degree of success, although it does have one spectacularly large flaw that any potential users need to be made aware of.
A young knight’s father has recently passed away and left him with his titles, lands, and all that other cool stuff. Players must do their best to fill their mysterious father’s boots as they fix up the compound and roam the countryside looking for evils to vanquish. There are three essential mechanics to Knight Storm: town management, jousting, and dueling. Town management involves assigning followers to various shops and such in order to speed up the production of cash, experience, and potions. Dueling is mostly a simple matter of deciding whether or not to equip magical glyphs (at the cost of some stamina) to deal extra damage to an enemy. Jousting also involves glyphs as well as a simple dragging mechanic to place the tip of the lance in the proper spot. Put it all together and we have a perpetual adventure full of action, basic sim aspects, and plenty of gear to upgrade.
Knight Storm’s presentation is probably its most impressive feature. This is a good looking game, of course, but a lot of care has been given to the smaller details as well. The slow motion shots of rivals being tossed from their mounts as their lances shatter and wood bits fly everywhere never get old, and the goofy dialog options for many of the quests make up for their lack of visual stimuli. The constant brewing of health and stamina potions is a clever idea as well since it gives players a legitimate chance to keep playing for extended periods of time without having to spend real money all the time.
I could nitpick about some of the smaller issues, all of which are cosmetic, but I’d rather spend the words issuing a warning: keep an eye out for the Game Center welcome bar that pops up on the top of the screen. If it doesn’t show up, go into the multiplayer menu (it looks like two crossed lances) and select the Game Center option manually. The reason for this is because Knight Storm will not save progress if it’s not logged in. I seriously wasted several hours of potential resource accrual because absolutely none of my actions were saved over at least half a dozen sessions.
I almost gave up on Knight Storm after losing so much progress but I’m glad I stuck with it and figured out the problem. It’s a fun, accessible game that doesn’t punish its players for being frugal.