There's not a lot of interesting PSP titles in view at the moment, and that's great news for the developers of Mytran Wars.
Not withstanding the bankruptcy of original publisher 10tacle and the subsequent closure of wholly-owned studio, Hungarian outfit Stormregion, the remnants of the staff have been lavishing time and effort on completing their turn-based strategy game, which will now be released by publisher Deep Silver.
We caught up with lead designer Gabor Komor to find out why they're so enthusiastic about the project?Pocket Gamer: So what was the inspiration behind Mytran Wars?
Gabor Komor: The basic idea was very simple. We wanted to create a turn-based game where huge robots fight against vicious aliens, with a wide variety of unit customisation options, comic-style cutscenes and with a story that actually has something to say.
But from this point we should instead talk about the personal inspirations of people in the creative team, instead of the inspirations behind the game itself. Personally, I've been inspired a lot by certain Blizzard titles (I've been a huge Blizzard fan for over a decade) and I also should mention the UFO-series - some may find signs of this during gameplay. People might also find resemblance to Stargate Atlantis in our melodies.
The point is different people were responsible for certain elements of the game and we've tried to give everyone as much freedom as possible to bring their individual taste and ideas into their work, so personal inspirations had the strongest influence on the final product. Mytran Wars is truly a labour of love.Why do you think the PSP is a particular good platform for a turn-based strategy game?
Having played a lot of games on this platform, I'd say PSP is quite a good gaming platform for any genre in which you don't need to use the analogue stick too much.
Another important thing is people can play a handheld game anywhere and in any situation. This means they should be able to suspend playing anytime without getting into trouble in the game.
Well, just try to take a five minute break in the middle of a high-speed curve in a racing game, or in a vicious bossfight in an action-oriented game. You probably won't like the result.
When you're playing a turn-based game however, you don't need to be concerned too much about the controls. It must also be simple and comfortable in any situation. You don't need to worry about the consequences if you suspend playing for a while at any point during the game.
Beside these aspects, the PSP is able to supply enough performance for beautiful visuals as well (in terms of a handheld game), and that's always a good thing.How influenced have you been by games such as Advance Wars and Field Commander?
Not too much to be honest. We've checked almost all available turn-based strategies on handheld consoles to learn the standards of the genre in terms of things such as the basic controls, the scale of the game, the average number of units you can control, how the environment affects gameplay, the amount of statistics the game provides after completing a mission, even what their manuals look like... lots of things.
And what have we learnt from this research? Well, the more games we've checked, the answer was more clear: We'd better rely on our previous experience and common sense, and just do everything in our own way, so we did .The backstory mentions valuable deposits so is there any resource harvesting involved in the game?
No, harvesting is not part of the gameplay. The valuable deposit is a possible alternative energy source for the human race - the most needed thing on Earth in our story. This is the cornerstone of the background story, so players will learn about it through cutscenes and dialogue mainly, but it also can be found on the actual battlefield, just not as a harvestable resource.How deep is the management system in terms of the technology research tree?
The management system is deep enough to satisfy even the most hardcore gamers' expectations. There are more than 240 researchable technologies included throughout the game, divided into six different categories: weapon, defence, movement, support, general, and special (exclusively for hero units).
Players will find some of these locked within the tech tree. They can be unlocked by completing main and optional objectives during the missions.
Around 40 per cent of the single player mode is about researching new technologies, customising units and building up a suitable army for the upcoming mission, but there is no need for players who don't care about such things to worry.
We've built an auto-equip feature in both the research and the unit-assembly menus, so you'll always have the option to skip these parts and focus on the missions instead.What's the in-game currency?
We have two different currencies. One is for researching new technologies (Research Points - RP), and one for actually buying/equipping the researched weapons/accessories onto our units (Credits - Cr).
Both can be earned by completing missions in the single player campaigns. Eliminating hostile units and capturing/destroying enemy buildings also increases the resources the player has.How did the failure of original publisher 10tacle affect the development of the game?
The failure of 10tacle has pushed us into a very hard and unpleasant situation. Fortunately Deep Silver had invested enough into this project, and it was lucky to find enough people who were committed to this project not to let it go away.
Let's just say the development of the game has been slowed down for a while, and some of us have been forced to make some really hard decisions and big sacrifices to be able to finish this project. Now we all hope it's been worth the efforts and the players will love this game as much as we do.Thanks to Gabor for his time, and don't forget to come back tomorrow to find out more about the game's customisation options and multiplayer modes.
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