rain-games-world-to-the-west

An Interview With… Rain Games (An Introduction into the World to the West)


There can be no denying it, Teslagrad is a great game, marvellous even and now it’s world is being extending as the developers behind Teslagrad have taken to setting their latest creation, World to the West, in the same world and since there’s still much about the game we don’t know, I took to reaching out to those behind World to the West.

Image result for world to the west

With a huge list of questions (ours and our readers) and one Ole Ivar Rudi willing to answer them, there was plenty of World to the West answers to be had, for example there’s been going round a myth/rumour that World to the West is going to release on both the Wii U and the 3DS, but that isn’t the case. There is no 3DS version in the works, but the game will be coming to other platforms, so get ready for our full interview, because you’ll find it below, starting with the 3DS and NX questions first:

Image result for Ole Ivar Rudi

World to the West Will Not be a Cross-buy, but Could come to Other Platforms:

JuicyTomatoes:With World to the West will be coming to both Wii U and 3DS, will the game be available as cross-buy?

Ole Ivar Rudi:There isn’t a 3DS version, so no! There is a good chance it will come out on multiple consoles, but I don’t think we can get it to run on current-gen handhelds for technical reasons, unfortunately.

 

World to the West for the 3DS is a Rumour and Nothing More:

ILikeLemons2:I have both a Wii U and a 3DS and since I heard the game will be released for both devices, what will the version differences between the two be? 

Ole Ivar Rudi:That’s easy, the Wii u version will exist and the 3DS version won’t. I’m not sure where the rumor of a 3ds version comes from.

Miketendo64:Sadly rumours can come from anywhere and everywhere, but at least we can confirm for certainty that a 3DS release is not happening once and for all.”

 

NX port is a Possibility:

Miketendo64:Since World to the West will be coming to the Wii U, and the NX is set to release next year, are there any plans to release it on the NX as well?”

Ole Ivar Rudi:Hehe, gotta keep answers straight here. As we mentioned earlier it’s very unlikely to come out on 3DS, but it *will *show up on additional platforms. Maybe even another Nintendo platform, but our lips are sealed though.”

Image result for World to the West on  nINTENDO NX

World to the West is Expected to Release in the First Quarter of Next Year:

SnakeEyes:Since you have a working, playable demo, will you be releasing it any time soon, or even a small version one, so a few more of us around the planet can get the chance to play it ahead of release?

Ole Ivar Rudi:The demo we have is really tailored for the Demo floor. We can jump back and forth in the game for demonstration purposes, and there are still several issues with it.  It’s not really a representative of the finished game, so we wouldn’t put it on the eShop without tailoring it for home use. We will focus on getting the full game itself ready instead as we are aiming for a q1 2017 release, so it won’t be too long before you all get to play it, but as I’m sure you’re aware by now, game developers tend to be frightfully optimistic about these things!

 

Rain Games Would love amiibo Support for Wii U Version of World to the West:

Miketendo64:With World to the West releasing on the Wii U and other platforms, will there be any exclusive perks for playing the Nintendo version? For example, will the games feature amiibo support that lets a certain Lord Clonington wear the iconic garb of a well-known plumber or anything else along these lines?”

Ole Ivar Rudi:Oh, we wish! amiibo compatibility takes a lot of negotiation, but we’d love that if they’d let us. No promises.

Miketendo64: “Fingers crossed.”

 

World to the West’s Story in Comparison to Teslagrad:

Miketendo64:To a lot of gamers, story is everything, so how does the story of World to the West compare to Teslagrad and for those who don’t know, just what is World to the West’s story?

Ole Ivar Rudi:The main difference is that while Teslagrad was very focused on minimalism when it came to its direct storytelling- no dialog, no in-game text, everything had to be inferred from visuals alone. This served the theme of isolation and sort of mythic hero’s journey of Teslagrad well, we wanted it to feel like a story that took place in the past and was being told after the fact, and we think the silent approach helped achieve that. For World to the West we’ve opened up the gates considerably, though- it’s a lighter, more immediate kind of story with a lot of character interaction, so it made sense to have dialogue. It frees us up to flesh out the world a lot more!

The name “World to The West” references a newly discovered continent housing the abandoned ruins of an ancient civilization. The countries of the old world are taking baby steps exploring it, but they’re mostly comfortable lounging on the outskirts of the wilderness. However, our four main characters are about to discover a plot to reawaken whatever it was that ended this world, long ago.

Image result for World to the West

The World of Teslagrad & World to the West:

Miketendo64:There’s no denying it, when you made Teslagrad, you made something special. It was different, it stood out and a number of us are still talking about it. What possessed you in the first place to make such a game and are there any elements taken from Teslagrad you’re implementing into World to the West?”

Ole Ivar Rudi:Thank you! Already before we started making Teslagrad, we had laid a lot of the foundations for an expanded universe.

In order to do Teslagrad without dialogue, we needed to make the world feel somewhat lived in and believable. We chose to do the storytelling in Teslagrad in such a way that the player only got a small window into this universe, so we worked out a lot of details and story points that were not necessarily told to the player directly.

Still, they were there, shimmering underneath the surface. The world felt like a real place to us, so when we made a place, a painting or a statue, we always knew what it depicted. This has been useful during development of World to the West, as we can pick up on things we’ve barely scratched the surface of in Teslagrad and flesh them out more fully- you’ll learn more about the surrounding nations hinted at in Teslagrad’s story cards, for instance.

 

The World of Teslagrad & World to the West:

Miketendo64: “Now World to the West certainly is another interesting concept, How was the idea for game conceived?”

Ole Ivar Rudi:The main seed for World to the West was that we wanted to counterpoint the very dark and oppressive feel of Teslagrad by opening up the world and do a more action filled story set in a sunnier locale.

We also had a lot of ideas for characters and abilities, after much discussion (it’s a lot more work and harder to do!) we decided to make it an ensemble piece, with four radically different characters who all uncover different parts of the story.

This allowed us to make it natural that the player knows more about what’s going on at any time than the characters do, as the characters don’t always have the opportunity to discuss in-game events among themselves!”

 

The Four Protagonists of World to the West:

Miketendo64:Let’s talk about each one of the protagonists for a moment. Firstly whose idea was Lord Clonington, the gloriously moustachioed strongman because they’re clearly a madman, or a genius or both! The four protagonists are clearly something else, so just what can you tell us about each one? And do you have a favourite?

Ole Ivar Rudi:Lord Clonington has been with us for a while! He was originally meant to be in our first game (a multiplayer brawler that we scrapped in order to work on Teslagrad.) He’s kind of evolved over the years with input from most everyone on the team, so it’s hard to credit him to just one person! He is a brutish, naive giant of a man who happens to come from a long line of filthy rich aristocratic gentlemen, travelling the world at his leisure looking for things to fight for sport. He’s very useful when something big needs to be lifted, thrown, smashed or pummelled.

Teri is an adventurer for hire. She’s got the ability to mind control animals, using them to fetch rare items for the highest bidder. It’s a pretty useful skill when you’re adventuring, too!

Lumina is a member of the mystical Teslamancer Order. She’s lost in the wilderness after a teleportation accident, but armed with arcane technology that gives her a lot of agility and attack power.

Finally, Knaus is a young boy who’s been exiled from a mismanaged mining colony run by unsupervised children (labor laws are pretty lax at the moment in the new world.) He’s a bit of a pipsqueak, so he has to rely on his speed and cleverness to avoid or trick monsters rather than fighting them outright.

As for favourites, they’re all dear to us in their own way, but my personal favourite is Teri, her mind control ability is a lot of fun.

Miketendo64: “Okay and since where talking characters, mentioned on the Rain Games website in Features, it states that in World to the West, when playing the game, players will be able to encounter new and familiar faces. Can you give us an example of a returning character and a new one?”

Ole Ivar Rudi:Wouldn’t you rather find out yourself when the game comes out?”

Miketendo64: “I suppose, lol.”

Ole Ivar Rudi:As for new faces, we’ve got a whole cast of characters this time around, like Teri.”

Image result for World to the West

The Rain Games Universe:

Miketendo64:Being so World to the West is set in the same world as Teslagrad, does this mean you’re now committed to this location and that you plan to do another game also set in this little world you’ve created?

Ole Ivar Rudi:We decided early on that our games would take place in a shared universe- it’s a big world though, so they don’t necessarily have to be bound to the same time and place. Teslagrad took place in a generally Eastern Europe-type corner of our world, While World to the West takes place (like it says on the tin) on an exotic continent to the west, several years later. Folks are firing rockets at the moon during the events of WttW, so who knows, we might even go into space eventually!

Miketendo64: “Sounds good.”

 

Link would be a Welcome Addition to the Rain Games Universe:

Miketendo64:Cameos and videogames go hand in hand. If you could have a certain character appear in one of your games, who would it be and why?”

Ole Ivar Rudi:The Teslagrad kid has had a lot of cameos at this point. He’s in Runbow, Mutant Mudds, Super Indie Karts Indie Pogo and Indie Game Battle- but it’d be neat to see some characters from other games appear in our world, too! It’d have to make sense that they exist in this world though.

The malleability of Zelda lore, for instance, would make it pretty fun to have a non-canon Link from some offshoot timeline stranded there. Wario seems to fit into any world. We’re also very excited for Owlboy by our friends at D-Pad studios-there’s actually a tiny drawing of their character Otus hidden as grafitti in Teslagrad. See if you can find it!”

Miketendo64:Challenge accepted. But what about a Nindie character?”

Ole Ivar Rudi:Among Nindies I think Shovel knight, Rusty from Steam World Dig and Juan from Guacamelee! would interact nicely with our cast. Ittle Dew, too!”

 

Off-screen Gameplay:

Miketendo64:Teslagrad was criticised for its minimal Wii U GamePad usage, will you be doing anything with the game to take better advantage of the GamePad for the Wii U version?”

Ole Ivar Rudi:We quite like how we used the gamepad in Teslagrad. Off-screen play is very important to us, so at the moment the plan is to focus on that to keep porting to additional platforms viable.

 

Time for a Little Roleplay:

Miketendo64:Let’s do a little roleplay. You’re you and I’m someone who has never played Teslagrad and never heard of World to the West. How would you describe the games to me to make me go out and play Teslagrad and purchase World to the West as soon as it comes out?

Ole Ivar Rudi: We focus on making games that combine familiar game feel with bold new mechanics and storytelling flavour.

Teslagrad lets you explore a dark, hand painted European fantasy world using electromagnetism and teleportation powers, while World to the West lets you explore the lush and colourful ruins of a long lost, technologically advanced civilization via a cast of characters with strange and unique abilities.

Image result for World to the West Wii U off screen

Developmental Game Testing (Teslagrad and World to the West):

Miketendo64:When developing Teslagrad, how much time would you say you played the game during its development and do you still play it now?”

Ole Ivar Rudi: Oh, we’ve played it a lot!! Mostly split into chunks for testing purposes, but to make sure the game plays well you really need to play through it all the way at regular intervals. I still think its fun to this day though, I intend to play through it once in a while on different platforms just to reconnect with it.

Miketendo64:And what about World to the West? Being so you’re currently in the middle of developing World to the West, how much time would you say you’ve played it so far and how does it compare to Teslagrad?”

Ole Ivar Rudi: It’s turning out pretty well, if we may say so ourselves! We’re constantly playing it, of course, so counting hours is futile at this point. Since it’s still deep in development most of the daily play of World to the West is playing and tuning small chunks of the game, while doing full playthroughs on the side.

It’s a lot bigger and more expansive than Teslagrad, with the mechanics tuned further towards action/adventure. There are still some puzzle elements but they’re not at the front and centre this time around.

 Most of the major beats of the game are in place at the moment, but we’re adding a lot of spice along the way to make the game feel more like an adventure.

 

Gamescom Reaction:

Miketendo64:Now last month, Rain Games attended Gamescom 2016. How did you find the event and be honest, did you play the playable of demo of World to the West yourself?”

Ole Ivar Rudi: Gamescom Was exhausting to say the least, but it was wonderful to see so many people show interest in our game. We play the game constantly at the office, so at the convention itself it was more valuable for us to hand the controllers over to the public and watch them play it for the first time. I’m sure some of the feedback we got from the floor will influence the final gameplay experience.

 

How Rain Games Came to Be:

Miketendo64:Now I’ve always been something of an Origins fans, so just how exactly did the team behind Rain Games come together and what is the relationship like between yourselves?”

Ole Ivar Rudi: The formation of Rain games was kind of like a stick-let’s call it a golden stick, to make it seem more valuable- lodging itself between some rocks in a creek.

Some pieces of wood and flotsam gets caught by it, some spill through, the structure breaks a couple of times early on, but over time it grows more solid until one day it becomes a nice dam, with nuggets of gold shimmering between the sticks. There’s even beavers living there, adding to the dam and making it nicer. Now that answer ended up a lot more Werner Herzog-like than intended, but I stand by it. We’re on social media if you want to know the more realistic and mundane version of the story!”

Miketendo64:We’ll certainly keep that in mind.”

rgr5fn4

Behind the Scenes of Rain Games:

Miketendo64:Seeing as this is a question that hardly ever gets asked, just what exactly goes on behind the scenes at Rain Games? Are you all well behaved and solely focused on the work, or is there time for office antics every now and then?”

Ole Ivar Rudi: We’re pretty focused at work! We’re lucky enough to have a pretty big office space that we share with a couple of other developers under the banner “Bergen Game Collective”, so once the main working hours are over we often stay around playing games and hanging out. The local game development scene is pretty strong, so we’ve founded a game developer’s guild with monthly “game beer” gatherings.

We also sometimes host parties when we get fellow game developer visits from around the world.

 

Cake and Teslagrad’s Success:

Miketendo64:Teslagrad has sold over 1.6 million copies worldwide. What was the staff reaction like on the day you found out you sold over one million. Was it champagne showers at breakfast, or high-fives and party poppers and can we expect the same reaction when (being positive here) World to the West does the same?”

Ole Ivar Rudi: We had cake and will not hesitate to have cake again if lightning strikes twice.

vtsag7n

As soon as work on the World to the West ends, Rain Games will start Production on the Next Game:

Miketendo64:Despite World to the West being in development, is it the only game you are thinking of right now or is there another game currently being planned, set to begin development sometime in the next year?

Ole Ivar Rudi:We have a couple other projects simmering in the backs of our heads- WttW is definitely the main priority these days though! Once that is finished content-wise and only QA and porting remains, we’ll assign the game design and art folks to start fleshing out the content for our next game while the programmers put the finishing touches on World to the West.

 

Play more Rain Games Titles:

Miketendo64:Lastly, as far as Teslagrad and World to the West goes, is there anything you feel fans should know about these games and the universe they take place in?”

Ole Ivar Rudi: Well, we feel very strongly that as many as possible should play the games and discover our universe that way!

Image result for Teslagrad

Thanks to Ole, we got to learn a little more about two intriguing titles and got a little insight into the team behind the games, so thank you Ole for your time and to you Mariela for your assistance with arranging the interview. Now it’s back over to Ole for the final say, a quick message to all Rain Games fans:

Thanks for all of the nice people who have shown support for Teslagrad, and now World to the West!

PS: We’re very fond of fan art so that’s always a nice surprise.

Image result for Rain Games World to the West

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “An Interview With… Rain Games (An Introduction into the World to the West)”

  1. Just signed up a few min ago and came to say hi . Great interview, great blog and a very promising indie dev. I just saw the teaser btw and i must say i love the art style and ….DAMN that music is so captivating

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s