If you have found yourself wandering over to our site and are now currently reading this interview piece, I hope you love RPG games because Tanzia is almost finished and by Jove it is an incredible looking RPG with a similar charm to that of The Legend of Zelda!
Sure as of right now, Steam is the only platform announced for this brilliant looking game, but maybe us Nintendo fans can strike it lucky and see Tanzia come to the likes of the Wii U or even the Nintendo Switch, it certainly is an indie game that deserves to be a home console playable game and that is exactly the reason we got in touch with Arcanity Inc. Tanzia is almost done, and there is a lot to know about and thanks to the answers we received, we certainly know the game a lot better than we did last week! Brace yourselves, for this is our Tanzia Q&A with Jason Jacobitz:
The Team behind Tanzia, Arcanity Inc:
Miketendo64: “Right of the bat, let’s talk about you. The team behind the game. Who are you and How did you come together?”
Jason Jacobitz: “At first it was just me. I wrote the initial story, wrote out all the quests, NPC dialog, described all the zones, spells, items all simple text (Notepad FTW!) Then I set up a working prototype in Unity.
*Begin Sidetrack* I was an early adopter of Unity3D, so that was my immediate platform of choice. If you’re not familiar with the history of popular game engines, it’s a gripping tale that would probably put you straight to sleep. (SPOILER ALERT) It ends with Unity changing the industry and Unreal scrambling to copy them. I’d been in games a long time so for me it was exciting. I’m a big Unity fanboy you can see, and I used to evangelize Unity. I’m probably a big part of the reason Wasteland 2 was done in Unity. *End Sidetrack*
So that initial prototype, it wasn’t throwaway work- more like a playable framework I could build and iterate on. Eventually I got it to the point where I needed it to start looking prettier. I had laid out the environments on a macro level and they were looking decent, but they lacked details. I found Zug on the Unity Asset Store and convinced him to help me out with some of the more difficult environment detail work that I couldn’t do myself. Rich I’ve known all my life. Once Zug and I had things starting to look pretty, I was able to rope Rich in with some nice visuals. Kevin I had previously worked with on Torment: Tides of Numenera and he agreed to spend a few months ironing out the quests and story, and also helping to plan a marketing strategy. Kevin found Matias after reading one of his articles on indie game marketing and after some talks he agreed to take over our marketing. Saige, the artist who does all the 2D illustrations that a lot of people have commented on, I actually found her on deviantart.com. You can read more about the team on the playtanzia.com website.”
Tanzia, first planned in 2011 and Inspired by Zelda:
Miketendo64: “Where did the inspiration for Tanzia come from and when did development first begin?”
Jason Jacobitz: “The inspiration to create Tanzia was… well I’ve always been driven to create things- stories, music, game worlds, things that grab people emotionally. I’ve worked in gaming for 15 or 16 years now, but I’ve always been compelled to create something that’s mine. Rich is the same way. From my experience, that’s unusual in the games industry. I worked on EverQuest for years on a team of 40 or 50 people and when I left you could ask me “What did you work on?” and I’d say “Well the terrain system.” You’d think, what does that even mean? When a big game like that ships, who’s really responsible? If it’s good, everybody takes credit for everything. If it’s bad, everyone points at everyone else. Tanzia is different. There’s only a few of us working on it, so everyone has a massive impact, and if it’s bad you can point at me.
So I knew for a long time that I wanted to create something that was “mine.” I started planning Tanzia around 2011. I had a lot of other things going on though and in 2012 I had to focus 100% on Wasteland 2. So it was several years later before I was able to kind of say OK, I’m doing this, and start development on Tanzia.
The characters and setting of Tanzia are from a world Rich and I designed years ago for a previous game project we did when I was in college. The games we loved as kids probably have the biggest influence: Dragon Warrior (now Dragon Quest), Zelda, and later Everquest. Tanzia is a classic RPG at its core. The look and feel of the world is intended to be an escape. I wanted to create a world I’d love to be in. The mood is light and the characters are cheery. The good guys are good and the bad guys are bad. There’s no double speak, no gray areas, no politics. The music, the visuals, the sound FX, the characters and their dialog, they’re all meant to contribute to that feeling of this world where motives are simple and adventure is real. When you’re heading into a new area, I want you to feel the excitement of exploration. You should be thinking, ‘This looks awesome. I want to see more. Is this dangerous? Maybe I’d better stay clear of that thing just in case. OMG a new village! OMG they have new equipment! OMG this equipment rocks and I can almost afford it!’
The story around the disappearance of the legendary hero Mako, the grandfather of the main character, was largely inspired by the passing of my grandfather in 2012. I wanted him to outsmart Death. I wanted him to have the last laugh.”
Miketendo64: “Sorry for your loss, but its great how you took something that can have a great negative impact and turn it into a positive, so in essence, Tanzia is more than just a game, but a way to immortalise and remember your grandfather, that’s deep!”
Release Date news Coming Soon!:
Miketendo64: “Going by the latest trailer you have put out, a lot of work has gone into Tanzia. How far into development are you and do you have a rough idea as to when we can see it release on Steam? (All we have right now is Available 2016)”
Jason Jacobitz: “We’re getting very close. Stay tuned!”
Miketendo64: “Besides Steam, if you could bring Tanzia to any platform you wanted, which ones would you chose?”
Jason Jacobitz: “Well Nintendo is special, isn’t it? From a developer’s point of view, Xbox has historically been by far the most practical platform- it’s been the most straightforward to develop for and it’s always had monster hardware. Nintendo though, and PlayStation to a degree, they’ve had the IPs that make us feely and nostalgic, and I love those.”
Miketendo64: “Same here, and you are absolutely right about Nintendo being special!
Beware of the Demon Shadowstepper, for He is everywhere!:
Miketendo64: “From Akiri Birds to Corrupted Trees and an evil Skeleton King, Tanzia has some interesting enemies. Which enemy so far has been your favourite to create and which ones have given you the most trouble?”
Jason Jacobitz: “The Guardian of the Staff and the Stone Guardians in general have been my favorite. I also love seeing the look on peoples’ faces the first time the Demon Shadowstepper pops in and takes a swipe at them- and when they try to run from him and he’s everywhere.”
Designing the Hero & the Akazi:
Miketendo64: “Tanzia’s protagonist looks incredible! How many designs did you go through before you reached the version we see in the trailer and can you tell us more about the Hero!”
Jason Jacobitz: “The Akazi, and the main character in particular, went through quite a few revisions for sure. I wanted them to look slightly uncanny, but still pleasant and inviting. The main character struggles a bit with feelings of abandonment. He’s good natured though like most Akazi. He’s a prodigy and he craves adventure, just like his grandfather. You can watch the intro movie on YouTube to get some idea of both the Hero and Mako, his legendary grandfather.”
Coming soon to Tanzia, Gem Crafting!:
Miketendo64: “With so many spells and potions to get then hang off and use to perfection, Tanzia certainly promises to bring some variety to gameplay. Which spells are your favourite to use and do you have a favourite combination?”
Jason Jacobitz: “Tanzia is all about exploiting combinations. There’s actually a 3rd system going in probably later this week: Gem Crafting. Gem Crafting might add some combinations nobody’s even thought of yet. For now though, my favorite combination is Mako’s Rage and Summon Fire Totem. If you want to see just how crazy you can get with the combinations in Tanzia, I highly recommend “Capital Vices” on twitch.tv. He has highlight clips available from his 2 live streams of the Tanzia beta and he’s amazing.”
(Demolishes the ENTIRE Emuri Village in 1 go with Invincibility + Thunderclap + Fireball:)
(Skip to 16 minutes for Mako’s Rage + Fire Totem. Ridiculous:)
Tanzia Promises at least 10 Hours of Gameplay:
Miketendo64: “With optional quests available, Tanzia certainly seems to have plenty of content to keep us playing. Just how large is the game and how many hours on average do you see this game requiring to complete?”
Jason Jacobitz: “I think around 10 hours will be average. It depends how into Alchemy, Gem Crafting, and side quests you get. If you do everything, it should be well over 10 hours.”
Miketendo64: “Can’t complain with that. Jotun and SteamWorld Heist are incredible and depending on how you play, can take around that amount of time, or less, especially in Jotun’s case.”
“I would Rate Tanzia A+ 10/10:”
Miketendo64: “And since we touched on gameplay, seeing as how you actually get to play the title as part of play-testing it, as a gamer what do you make of the game and how do you rate the experience?”
Jason Jacobitz: “As a gamer I think what the game excels at is to make you feel like you’re improving as a spellcaster, by the time you learn all the spells and master all the potions, you simply enter a new area and know that you can take on everyone, enemies that 2 or 3 hours ago felt like brick walls by that time, end up giving you no trouble. That feeling that all good RPGs give you after you reach a high level. I rate it A+ 10/10, would develop it again!”
Miketendo64: “Let’s do a little roleplay. You’re you and I’m someone who has never heard anything about Tanzia. What kind of a game is it and how does it compare to other indie games in today’s market?”
Jason Jacobitz: “It’s a large project for an indie game. It’s colossal for the size of the dev team and the resources we have. It has no micro transactions or ads or anything like that. Tanzia is just a classic Adventure RPG built around a story. I wouldn’t say it’s a retro game because it looks fairly modern. I’d say it’s more of a throwback or an homage to those classic RPG games we loved. It’s a genre that seems largely forgotten. It has anime and JRPG leanings. It’s intended to be both fun and moving at the same time.”
“Nothing is Set in Stone” (Tanzia 2):
Miketendo64: “Once Tanzia is “in the bag,” what comes next for Arcanity Inc? Tanzia 2 or something else entirely?”
Jason Jacobitz: “It’s hard to say for sure. I think it will largely depend on how successful Tanzia is. If it’s successful enough, we want to port it to consoles. We’ve also talked about adding some of the things that maybe don’t make the cut for the initial Steam release- things like NPC/Merchant VO, additional side quests, etc. If we added those things for a console port, we’d also patch them into the Steam version after release.
After Tanzia, I’m not sure if we’ll do something else or jump right into a Tanzia 2. Tanzia is the name of the island chain the Akazi live on, and it’s also the name of the biggest island in the chain (like Hawaii). What I picture for Tanzia 2 is a game that gives you a canoe early on in the game and lets you explore a LOT more islands in the island chain. We also want our 2nd game to have a strong multiplayer aspect. We have some ideas besides the obvious sequel, but nothing set in stone yet.”
Well here’s hoping Tanzia is successful, because as I have already said, it is a game that deserves a home console release and the possibility of a Tanzia 2 is something that sure puts a smile on my face! Tanzia will surely put Arcanity Inc on the map just like Runbow did for 13AM Games! And since I’ve said enough, it’s back to Jason for the final word, a message for the fans:
“If you enjoy old-school RPGs with a deep story, and are a bit tired of the new ultra-realistic games that come out all the time, if you miss a simpler kind of game where you don’t have to learn 50 different systems to just beat the first boss, and it’s still also a challenging and fun experience, then play Tanzia, you won’t regret it! For now you can follow us on Twitter @PlayTanzia and join our Steam Community to find out about the latest news on Tanzia! http://store.steampowered.com/app/369700/”