Robert Boyd from Zeboyd Games details the upcoming turn-based RPG.
Cosmic Star Heroine is an upcoming turn-based role playing game from the creators of Cthulhu Saves the World. The game is under development at Zeboyd Games for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, MAC and PS Vita. GamingBolt got in touch with Robert Boyd who is the designer/programmer/writer at Zeboyd Games and were able to ask several questions. Check out Robert’s response below.
Ravi Sinha: Alyssa L’Salle vs. The World. Is that the default storyline for Cosmic Star Heroine? Because if so, it would be amazing.
Robert Boyd: Alyssa L’Salle vs. EVERYTHING was actually the internal name I had for the premise early on. 🙂
Ravi Sinha: Japanese RPGs nowadays all seem to apply some sort of active-time based hook to their battles. Very few titles have bothered going with the traditional turn-based approach. What was the motivation for building Cosmic Star Heroine as a turn-based JRPG, especially one which doesn’t cut to a battle screen?
Robert Boyd: Turn-based was simple – it’s my favorite style of RPG and since most RPGs these days are Action/RPG hybrids, it makes our games stand out. Not using a traditional separate battle screen was a harder choice since it meant more work for us, but in the end, we felt that the increased consistency, reduced downtime, and possibility to have a location-focused battles was worth the extra effort.
"We watched and rewatched a LOT of cutscenes from that era to try to get a feel for that particular style of animation (Lunar & Ys being the main series)."
Ravi Sinha: The spy headquarters mechanic sounds intriguing. How will it work? Will recruits become party members?
Robert Boyd: Recruited base members won’t be active party members, however they will help to add features to your base, go on sub-missions, and support your main characters (giving them various bonuses in combat). We decided to go this route since we wanted to make sure that each playable party member was well developed, from a gameplay, animation, and story perspective, and we just don’t have the resources to have several dozen party members like the Suikoden series often has.
Ravi Sinha: Tell us about how you went about creating the Sega CD-esque cut scenes and what other retro-esque elements we can look forward to in the main game.
Robert Boyd: We watched and rewatched a LOT of cutscenes from that era to try to get a feel for that particular style of animation (Lunar & Ys being the main series). Then we write up descriptions of each scene that we want to include, draw the assets, and then actually animate them, along with any special effects or camera movement we might want. We got a lot of help early on from fellow developer, Dean Dodrill (Dust: An Elysian Tail) who has a strong background in animation & movie making.
Ravi Sinha: What can you tell us about the various battle mechanics in the game, such as the Transformations, Chained Attacks, etc.? As for the cast of characters, were there any specific properties that helped inspired the various colourful faces?
Robert Boyd: One thing we’ve been experimenting with is the use of a MP-less battle system. Without the usual balancing of MP, we’ve had to do other things to encourage the player to not just spam the same ability over and over again, like Hyper (special bonus every X turns), Style (abilities become more powerful if you use a variety), and Enhancers (modifiers you can equip to abilities to change their function or increase their power).
"Yes, Cosmic Star Heroine should support cross-buy & cross-save functionality. There should also be Remote Play functionality though you'd probably just want to play the native Vita version."
Ravi Sinha: Along with Araenu, Rhomu and Nulup, will there be any other planets in the Zevanii Star System? Will there be any means of exploring the universe, perhaps with a customizable star ship?
Robert Boyd: The vast majority of the game will take place on those three planets, but there will be a handful of events that take place elsewhere.
Ravi Sinha: Will the spy headquarters work in a manner similar to XCOM: Enemy Within, in which you can send off allies and agents to complete different missions while you tackle your own objectives? What kind of unique hooks and benefits will it offer the player?
Robert Boyd: Yes, we will probably have something like this in place where you can send secondary characters off on missions for rewards while you’re busy with the main game.
Ravi Sinha: Will Cosmic Star Heroine support cross-buy/cross-save functionality between the Vita and PS4? Will there also be Remote Play functionality thrown into the mix?
Robert Boyd: Yes, Cosmic Star Heroine should support cross-buy & cross-save functionality. There should also be Remote Play functionality though you’d probably just want to play the native Vita version.
"The game runs at a native resolution of 480x270 (thus allowing easy scaling to 1080p). Won't know fps until the game is done but since we aren't exactly straining these systems, I'm guessing it'll be 60fps."
Ravi Sinha: Ravi Sinha: When this year can expect the game to release? Also, what kind of play-time can we look forward to taking all the content into account?
Robert Boyd: We’re shooting for end of the year for release. Guessing between 15-25 hours of playtime depending on playstyle, difficulty chosen, and how much optional content you complete.
Ravi Sinha: So, this game is coming to Xbox One as well, in addition to PS4, PS Vita, PC, and Mac. Any chance we see this come to additional platforms? Maybe Wii U or Linux?
Robert Boyd: Right now, we’re planning on releasing the game on PS4, Vita, XBO, PC, Mac, and Linux. No plans for other platforms at this time but you never know.
Ravi Sinha: Will you be able to confirm the resolution and fps of the PS4 and Xbox One versions?
Robert Boyd: The game runs at a native resolution of 480×270 (thus allowing easy scaling to 1080p). Won’t know fps until the game is done but since we aren’t exactly straining these systems, I’m guessing it’ll be 60fps.