There is a longing, more often than not, for how things were done in the old days. This applies to a number of game genres but perhaps most so for RPGs. We’ve been seeing a bit of a revival over the past few years of harder, dungeon-crawling RPGs that challenge our wits and patience. But what about a game that transports us back to that old, Super Nintendo-esque era in terms of atmosphere and tone, delivering nostalgia while presenting an intriguing concept?
That’s Grimm Bros’ Dragon Fin Soup in a nutshell. As a rogue like, turn based RPG with scripted events, procedurally generated dungeons and randomized quests in a world inspired by Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood, it aims to capture the tone of old-school rogue like RPGs while presenting a contemporary gameplay experience for PS3, PS4, PS Vita, PC, Mac and Linux users.
GamingBolt had the chance to speak Hunter Strutz and Ash Monif of Grimm Bros and talk about Dragon Fin Soup in extensive detail, including the lack of an Xbox One release and the initial vision for the game.
"We’re in talks with Microsoft, but we have not reached an agreement yet. Microsoft dev kits are hard to come by, but who knows, maybe we will eventually come to Xbox One!"
Rashid K. Sayed: To begin with what can you tell us about the Grimm Bros?
Grimm Bros is a new indie RPG game company of veteran developers. We are very small and 100% indie. Our entire team is spread around the world with members located in Philadelphia, Bangkok, Chicago, San Francisco, and London.
We all work together online making games from our home offices, pubs, cafes…basically anywhere with a power outlet and Wi-Fi. We’re industry vets, we worked on a lot of games, and while fun at times it wasn’t really satisfying. We got together and decided to make the kind of games we played as kids – we loved RPGs, rogue likes, mystery dungeons, turn-based tactics games – and Dragon Fin Soup is our debut RPG.
Rashid K. Sayed: Let us get the big question out of the way. The game is coming on six different platforms including a console exclusive on PlayStation. Why are you not developing for the Xbox One?
We’re in talks with Microsoft, but we have not reached an agreement yet. Microsoft dev kits are hard to come by, but who knows, maybe we will eventually come to Xbox One!
Rashid K. Sayed: The game has an old school vibe to it but with fantastic art style. What was your vision when you first started working on the game?
Great art with an old school vibe was exactly what were going for, we try to make the game as accessible and visual as possible so you don’t have to dig through all the manuals to understand what is going on.
Rashid K. Sayed: How are you planning to adapt the controls on the PS4? Any plans to use the touch pad?
We support all keyboard, mouse, gamepad, and touch controls for Dragon Fin Soup. We are in the process of refining and polishing all of the different control schemes to make sure the game experience is smooth and intuitive. The PS Vita for example you can use a mix-and-match of both gamepad and touch controls as the same time to fit your play-style.
"We are more similar to games like Chocobo Dungeon or Shiren the Wanderer where if you take a turn - the foes take a turn at the same time. Dragon Fin Soup’s gameplay is faster paced and dynamic and allows for the player to set their own pace."
Rashid K. Sayed: Although an indie game, you are really pushing the boundaries with Dragon Fin Soup. You have day-night cycles, fishing, dynamic quests, survival modes and more. How much content will the final release have?
We can’t share that quite yet, but rest assured there will be plenty to do!
Rashid K. Sayed: Do you have an update on cross buy and cross save between PlayStation 4 and Vita?
We will support cross-buy, and we are investigating manual cross saves. Fingers crossed!
Rashid K. Sayed: How different does the game play from the likes Tactic Ogre?
Aside from the technical elements our gameplay is completely different. In Tactics Ogre, gameplay is turn based – where you take a turn and then the foe takes a turn. You build a party and customize their characters.
In Dragon Fin Soup the turn system works completely different. We are more similar to games like Chocobo Dungeon or Shiren the Wanderer where if you take a turn – the foes take a turn at the same time. Dragon Fin Soup’s gameplay is faster paced and dynamic and allows for the player to set their own pace. So you can choose to play with fast moments and hack-and-slash like a real-time RPG or slow down and take your time to make calculated decisions in tricky situations.
Rashid K. Sayed: How heavily were you guys inspired from Chocobo’s Dungeon?
Generally we are big fans of mystery dungeon games and JRPGs such as Chocobo Dungeon, Shiren the Wanderer and other such games. However, we did not use any of these titles as a direct reference to Dragon Fin Soup. What we wanted to create is a game that WE would personally enjoy playing.
We set out to craft an experience where we took a rogue like mystery dungeon game that stays true to the old values of the genre but also innovates certain elements. Dragon Fin Soup is not purely survival based, like most classic rogue likes on PC. We feature an elaborate story mode that plays like a classic RPG experience.
"We first started out with the goal of making an accessible, modern, and rogue like experience. As development continued, we began to add in a balance of different elements such as a classic console RPG story mode and some twisted fairy tales."
Rashid K. Sayed: In this age of big budget action games, the game is a relatively simpler throwback to the glory days of gaming. Given that many indie titles try to implement some unique hook, what will your title’s hook be?
Dark humor, madness, murder, and mayhem! We first started out with the goal of making an accessible, modern, and rogue like experience. As development continued, we began to add in a balance of different elements such as a classic console RPG story mode and some twisted fairy tales. We at Grimm Bros are big fans of the old school classic fairy tales – not the Disney white washed stuff!
In Dragon Fin Soup there are no lame stereotypical heroes, instead we feature flawed characters each with their own unique abilities and motivations. Our first tale begins with Red Robin, whose dark bloody past has come back to haunt her with a vengeance.
Rashid K. Sayed: What kind of benefits do you think the PS4’s unified memory architecture brought to the development of Velocity 2X or for that matter game’s development in general?
PS4 architecture is very indie friendly, it’s completely different than developing from PS3, and we are very happy. We made sure that the game is beautifully rendered in full HD. We think Dragon Fin Soup looks amazing, and hope you agree!
Rashid K. Sayed: It’s no secret that the PlayStation 4 has a slower clock speed compared to modern processors out there. What are your thoughts on the percentage of frame time for each operation that it is capable of and did it give rise to any challenges?
To maximize the game on the PlayStation 4 we’ve taken into account a lot of multithreading and optimizations we’ve put into effect, the experience should be superior or on par to other platforms.
Rashid K. Sayed: When is the game coming out in 2015? Do you have a date locked down?
We’re waiting for confirmation from our partners at Sony, as soon as we know we’ll let you know/
Rashid K. Sayed: Is there anything else you want to tell us about Dragon Fin Soup?
Dragon Fin Soup is currently in Pre-Beta. For frequent updates on our development, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Please stay tuned for some big announcements coming soon!