When we first started developing games as an independent game studio, we wanted to create something we liked. We wanted to develop a game which would appeal to the sensibilities of our entire team. The good news was the fact that our team isn’t that big. Bad news, however, was the fact that we all like different types of games and interactive materials.
Once we agreed on the main theme of our game, it was time to talk about its mechanics. We talked a lot about how to keep our story in the focus of the game, and how to adapt game mechanics to help us with what we wanted to show to our players. When the entire team was on board about the story and the atmosphere we want to achieve - we knew that the mechanics of the game will have to complement the story, and not the other way around.
Telling an ancient story through the interactive medium can be a bit challenging, especially if you’re not absolutely certain what your audience thinks about that story. Old board games, card games, and even some social games were all based on a certain amount of roleplaying. There aren’t a lot of players that are unfamiliar with the RPG concept, and there is a good reason for that.
As storytellers, our main goal is to try and create the content which will drag in our audience in the way they can enjoy it completely. We soon realized that the most effective way to involve our players in the game we’re making is to make it easier for them to identify with the playable characters and the story itself. During our research, we’ve realized that one of the easiest ways to create an enticing world is through roleplaying. Helping your players become an active part of the story requires quite a lot of effort.
When you set your game in roleplaying surroundings, your players can find the characters they identify with, in the best possible way. This way, the story you’re trying to tell becomes more immersive as your players are dragged deeper into the world you’ve created. The diversity of characters and choices roleplaying games have, allow you to expand your story and make your game stand out.
Turn-based games were around for quite a lot of time. From ancient board and tabletop games, all the way to the modern video games with millions of players, turn-based mechanics represent a huge part of the game development world.
The first thing that comes to mind when you’re focusing on turn-based mechanics is the fact that everything is easier in the beginning. You get to lead your players through the learning curve of your game, by slowly changing the elements and the difficulty of the game as they progress. This way you ensure that every player has mastered the game mechanics before a serious encounter happens, and you don’t have to worry about boring and lengthy tutorials (which most players dislike to a great extent).
Turn-based RPG games provide the players with a gradual learning curve which helps them master every aspect of the game as they progress. The choices they make reflect on the end result and all of these factors create a unique experience for almost every player. As your players get gradually more and more involved with the world you’ve created, your game gains importance. And, of course, we mustn’t forget to mention the fact that turn-based RPG games are within the top selling game genres, with a lot of games constantly trending.
We wanted to establish ourselves as an independent studio who cares about our players. One way to do this is to put ourselves in the shoes of our players and try to work on something we would like to see as players. Referencing the games that shaped us as gamers and game developers, and doing that through the stories and games we create is one of the most fulfilling experiences a game developer can have. That’s why we wanted Children of Lir to be a game we’re proud of, once it’s out. We hope that our gaming and game development experience will help us reach the players who love amazing stories, great art and fun and a bit nostalgic game mechanics.
Children of Lir is a turn-based RPG based on ancient Irish and Celtic legends. Our story is placed in medieval Ireland where the darkness has taken hold of the country. Monsters, dark creatures, and foul men took over the land, fear is growing and it seems there is no hope for once beautiful Emerald Island.
Since the death of King Lir centuries ago, things were only becoming worse, but now it seems the human race is at its last stand. The King of Emerald Island called all brave men, women and children to stand together and fight against the magic that devours the land, and this is where our story begins.
Become a medieval hero, gather your allies and form a party to defend your home. Get immersed in the ancient magic and a hero’s journey from despair to salvation. Use your skills to defeat all of the enemies and help our heroes bring joy back to the Emerald Island. Follow the story, make choices and the hope might still return to our lands. Help our heroes save their world, you’re their only hope!
Children of Lir is developed for PC, and will be available on Mobile as well. It’s a single player turn and story based role-playing adventure where the main focus is on the story and players’ choices. Game art style is quite unique and original, as well as the sound design. The game aims to awake specific emotions at specific game points through the clever use of story, sound, and art elements.
Movement and battle mechanics are very intuitive and easy to master. The story of the game will be balanced in such a way so that every player can get immersed as soon as they start their adventure. The game should have around 10 to 12 hours of gameplay, filled with exciting encounters, battles, and unexpected story twists.
For this year, Mad Head’s team really worked hard, and with the help of SGA (Serbian Games Association), they’ve managed to get some of the most important companies in the gaming industry as partners, lecturers, and judges in this year’s Indie Prize competition.
As we’ve dug deeper, we realized there are some misconceptions that have no root in logic. We will be trying to break down those misconceptions and show you the real face of Celtic culture.
We’ve shared a lot about our game through our social media, as well as through our Kickstarter campaign, but we think that the time has come for us to show what we’ve done so far. Probably the best opportunity to do this is through gaming events.