While turn-based RPGs may not be in the spotlight like they were in the 90s, the beloved sub-genre is making a resurgence thanks to top-notch handheld titles and the rise of indie games. With game development being more accessible than ever, small developers are now able to create titles that are similar to the ones that made their childhood so special.
One such game is Cosmic Star Heroine, a gorgeous turn-based RPG that has an aesthetic similar to 16-bit titles. It comes to us from Zeboyd Games and recently, we sat down with designer Robert Boyd to discuss what his company has in store for us. Over the course of our discussion, he spoke about what sets Cosmic Star Heroine apart from other RPGs, and how a two man development team can still work in 2015.
Check it out below, and enjoy!
We Got This Covered: Zeboyd Games have made a name for themselves on PC by creating high quality RPGs in classic art styles. This has certainly worked for you so far, but do you think Zeboyd will branch out into other genres in the future?
Robert Boyd: We’ve considered branching out, but for now we’re doing RPGs. If we do branch out, we’re most likely going to branch out into a related sub-genre like a Strategy/RPG like Final Fantasy Tactics or Wild Arms XF, or a top-down Action/RPG like Ys or Secret of Mana.
WGTC: Cosmic Star Heroine is the studio’s first console title. Why is the time right for Zeboyd to take on a new market, and has console development been easier or more difficult than you expected?
RB: There are two main reasons why we decided to release officially on consoles (our previous games came out on Xbox Live Indie Games, but not the official Xbox Live Arcade store). First, we noticed that Steam was starting to get crowded and felt that we needed to add additional platforms to keep our edge in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Second, people at PlaysSation actually approached us first, indicating that they really wanted to get our games on their platforms and that they’d be happy to support us in any way they could.
As far as difficulty goes, there was a rough period of adjustment going from XNA (our previous games) to Unity (Cosmic Star Heroine), but now that I’m used to it, I really like Unity. Getting the game working well on the PlayStation 4 was really easy. The PlayStation Vita was much more difficult, but I’ve learned a lot about optimizing performance thanks to it and I think people are really going to appreciate playing it on a high quality portable platform.
Oh, and just to make sure everybody knows – Cosmic Star Heroine is still coming out on Steam and in fact, PC is the lead platform.
WGTC: You’ve had a very open development of the game, giving progress updates on Cosmic Star Heroine pretty regularly. Is this due to the title being crowdfunded, or did you just want to get your community more involved?
RB: We’ve tried to have open development for all of our games. With that said, I do think that the game being crowdfunded has helped us to maintain communications on a regular basis.