During my recent hiatus from writing, I was contacted by another independent game development studio I had approached some time ago about bringing to the attention of my readers another upcoming indie game, which had successfully met its backing goals. Haywire studios, operating out of Adelaide, Australia are currently working on an open-world top-down RPG named A Matter of Time. Employing a classic 8-BIT visual style, and mixing aspects of medieval fantasy and science fiction, the game also incorporates the manipulation of time into its core gameplay, with the main character James being armed with a relic known as the Paradox Cape. Not a great deal is known about how exactly the Paradox Cape will affect the game’s mechanics since it is still quite a ways away from being finished, but the main coder known as CamCog agreed to answer some questions I sent over to him to get more of an insight into some of the game’s details. Here are their answers:
What were the influences behind your game?
The historical side of ‘A Matter of Time’ was very much influenced by my interest in historic battles and how they have shaped the way of warfare. Also, some of the gameplay was inspired by other indie RPG titles such as Hyper Light Drifter and Undertale.
What has the developmental process been like?
The developmental process of the game has definitely been a good experience overall. It has taught (and is still teaching) me much about how to create a great game and what to avoid when doing so. Unfortunately, given that this is my first time developing a big project, it’s been quite a new experience and there have been a lot of unexpected setbacks. For example, it took way longer than planned to get a graphic designer which led to some of the game’s development being delayed. It’s also very time-consuming and tiring to code a whole game independently, even with the major help of a sound and graphic designer. Despite these setbacks, the progress of the game’s development is beginning to go more smoothly and I am hopeful that the final product will be something that I can be proud of.
How close are we to seeing the finished product?
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much work on the game previous to the Kickstarter so the finished product is still quite a long way away – winter 2019 to be exact. However, if all goes to plan, a demo for the game will be released in early 2018, which will at least be something for people to see.
What has been the most exciting aspect of development?
The most exciting aspect of development has definitely been the making of the ‘A Matter of Time’ universe along with the locations and characters that are included in it. Apart from that, the thought of seeing players immerse themselves in the universe that you created is something that inspires me to complete the game.
What has been the most challenging aspect of development?
The most challenging aspect of development is that the whole game is mainly being coded by me. While it is great to be able to take the wheel and code whatever you want with the only limitation being your skill, it is very difficult for only one person to take this massive workload. I sometimes am finding myself staying up until 2 am just trying to figure out how to get a simple issue fixed, which I know could be solved in a matter of minutes by a small team of developers. However, as I stated earlier, the whole developmental process has been somewhat educational, and learning to do so much work alone has definitely helped in teaching me so much about game development.
What other kinds of additional abilities will the Paradox Cape have?
A lot of The Paradox Cape’s details are going to stay a secret until the game’s launch. However, I can give some small details to give you a ‘taste’ of its power. For example, the Paradox Cape will be able to act as a temporary ‘invisibility cloak’ when stealth is key. It will also, when the ability is unlocked, be able to pacify enemies up until a certain strength. Additionally, it can also act as a comfy blanket on a cold day!
How well has the game been received so far?
There have been some positive comments on the game’s Kickstarter which indicates that people are somewhat excited about the game’s development. There has also been some small discussion on the game’s Discord server which is good to see as well. Apart from that, however, not much has been going on in terms of the game’s audience due to there not being much gameplay available for people to witness.
How big a part will time paradoxes to play in the outcome of the story?
Time paradoxes aren’t too huge in terms of the game’s storyline, but they will definitely have a big part to play in the game’s mechanics. Unfortunately, due to this being a feature of the Paradox Cape, I am not willing to share the exact details of what will happen.
Was real-life history part of the influences behind this game?
It certainly was, with an obvious example being the place where James is first found, the Battle of Hattin. Groups that are famous in history are also influences for the game. In fact, they are a big part of the game. Some examples are the Templar Knights and the Ayyubid forces.
What platforms are you looking to bring the game to?
The demo will be available for free on itch.io, and the finished game will be available on Steam for an estimated $5 (USD).
Will time travel be implemented into the gameplay?
Definitely. You will even see time travel in the game’s demo when James is transported from the Battle of Hattin to the future.
Do you have any advice for aspiring developers that may be reading this?
Given that I am a new developer, there is not much amazing feedback I can give. I suppose that the biggest piece of advice I can give based on my experience with this game is to PLAN AHEAD. You do not want to be going into a big project with a ‘just wing it’ attitude. This is one flaw in the way I’ve developed this game that even I have to admit. Not planning ahead caused me to run into a lot of obstacles that I am even now still having to overcome. I will say it again – before you start any big project, it is VITAL that you plan your storyline, mechanics, approach to marketing, budget, etc.
Where about on the Internet can people find you?
PayPal donation pool: https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/7Z7UNggAQc
Do you have anything else to add?
To everyone that has shown support to me throughout the creation of this game. You guys have been a massive inspiration for me. I would certainly not be creating this game if it wasn’t for you. Thanks 🙂
Though we may be a long way from experiencing this unique take on the action RPG genre, I have every confidence that this game will be worth the wait. I would like to take this opportunity to thank CamCog and for answering my questions, and to wish him and the rest of Haywire Studios the best of luck with A Matter of Time.
I hope you guys enjoyed my first article back, And there will be many more to come soon.
Scouse Gamer 88