Thursday, 22 January 2015

Exclusinterview: Amir Fasshi (Dead Mage)

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You may have heard of a game called Children of Morta, a roguelike, procedurally-generated game currently being funded on Kickstarter. If you have, it's probably because of the striking, detailed pixel art, but there's still a whole slew of mechanics behind those beautiful aesthetics, so I've managed to get a little interview with Amir Fasshi, the Team Leader at developers Dead Mage...

So the most striking thing about Children of Morta is the high-detail pixel art. Was this always going to be the art style? And how long does one level take to render into pixel art?

Amir: Well this is what our concept artist, Soheil, has done and we all thought that it is quite beautiful. We did a few iterations at first, but this style came out quite early. We think that is has a watercolour style to it, which is rather unique. For every level, we need to make a main concept first, then make the tiles with a lot of iterations and then we do the variations. Coming up with the art alone takes bout 2 weeks, but then a lot of time is needed to integrate it into the engine.

The levels in Children of Morta are procedurally generated: why did that seem like a better idea than to manually code the levels?

The genre of the game is roguelike, there is permadeath and we need to have a high replay value, so procedural content is a must for this game.

How many different family members are there in Children of Morta, and what style of play does each one suit?

There are total of 9 family members, 6 being playable and 3 to provide support to others when they return to the house after an adventure in the lands of Morta. Some are more powerful than others, and some more agile; some use melee weapons, and others have ranged weapons, with one having magical powers. Overall, there are styles suited for all players.

Why do you think that roguelikes have been so popular lately, with games like The Binding of Isaac and Rogue Legact becoming so popular?

Well, I think that roguelikes are very simple, yet can hodl a lot of depth beneath. They bring a lot of replay value.

Last of all, what's your favorite roguelike?

Some of us in the team say Nuclear Throne, others believe The Binding of Isaac, and some say Rogue Legacy.

So that's just a little insight into Children of Morta, but I would definitely recommend backing and supporting this game: it's only $15 (Around £9) for a Steam key or DRM-free copy for PC, Mac or Linux, plus some wallpapers and a digital game manual. I've backed it, so click onto their page and check the game out, as I'm sure that you'll be impressed. 

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