Swords, Rockets, and Flamethrowers: An Interview

Over the weekend I got to chat back and forth with the great team working on Strength of the Sword: Ultimate, our current featured Kickstarter.  The amount of personality that shines through on their kickstarter page forced to me to back it. The greatest part, their answers have just as much personality! Check out this interview with Lyubomir and Georgi of Ivent Games!

1. What is your background / history in game development(past projects, etc.) ?

Lyubomir: As you know our team is just two guys in love with gaming. Back when Georgi found me I was mostly doing freelance animation work to pay the bills. He wanted to outsource the graphics for his passion project. But we got together, found out we shared the same vision and we partnered up for good. Since the start we’ve been taking few breaks from the development of Strength of the Sword, to bulk up some money to keep the doors open. So I had the chance to work on a few other projects. The biggest one would be last year’s Assassin’s Creed: Rogue.

Georgi:  Before I struck it on my own, and subsequently found Lyubo, I was part of Dagger Games. We developed Hazen and Dimensity. I got a lot of experience on those projects, and I felt it was time for me to go independent.

2. In creating Strength of the Sword, has the game changed drastically since your first concepts, or has it stayed true to the original idea?

Lyubomir: The core idea of the project was to have a small bite-sized hardcore combat experience that you could just pick up, have some awesome fights, and be able to walk away satisfied no matter if you spent 5 minutes or 5 hours. That has remained unchanged since day one. Our protagonist, the War Golem, is the one that has gone to the biggest changes. He was a large Scandinavian-looking blond uber-male when Georgi first envision him, Now he’s a skinny agile robot sent from the Great Mechanic in the Sky. As for the other aspect of the game, all of them we tuned and modified at one time or another. That’s what you get when you put the kind of time we have in a project. You revisit stuff. You make it better.

3. What made your team choose to make a brawler instead of an open world action rpg or standard fighting game?

Georgi: Honestly, we picked the game we’d enjoy playing and making. I think you got to go with that every time, people recognize when you’re faking it. And they wouldn’t respond as well as they have so far. But objectively speaking even if we wanted to do open-world, that’s not a two-men job. Even with an artist dynamo like Lyubo. I’d admit we’re a bit weird, but we’re not hat crazy.

4. In its current state, what is your favorite feature in the game?

Georgi: On the PS3 Version? I like the story mode. The progression from the realm of Light to the darkness beneath, it’s beautifully done.
Lyubomir: And I like to kill stuff in the Challenge Pit.
Georgi: In the PC version though, it’s gotta be the Dark Mode.
Lyubomir: Agreed. It’s gonna be AWESOME!

5. Are there any games you have played during development that have helped you continue working when you hit a road block in the process?

Georgi: We started collecting old consoles in the studio and when times got tough I got back the classics like Shadow of the Colossus, some Devil May Cry, you know stuff from way back. We did a lot of co-op beat’em’ups, old Sega Genesis title, as well as more recent one’s like Dragon’s Crown and Scott Pilgrim.
Lyubomir: I mostly play Dota2, but if something big comes up, I put in a few hours, just to stay up-to-date as a gamer and developer.

6. What is the biggest problem your team has faced, development wise, while working on this project?

Georgi: Marketing. It’s been wonderful how everyone is on board with the new PC version. And the feedback we got is tremendously positive. But last time around we made a few mistakes too many and literally became the kid in the corner no one plays with. To be honest, it was quite soul-crushing.

7. I love the personality in your kickstarter page. How much of this quirky style will shine through during the course of the game?

Georgi: The style of the kickstarter is actually the style Lyubo uses when his pitching new features to me. In fact some of the images you see up there are the very same he got me on board with. I can’t say if our quirkiness will be so evident in the game, but we’re not about to hide who we are as creators, I can promise you that.

8. Is there going to be a strict size for bosses, or will encounters vary drastically?

Georgi: We’re not gonna go Colossus with the bosses. It’s not the size that matters with our enemies, it the way they constantly think and adapt their attack patterns to brutally murder you.

9. What made you decide to include Rocket Launchers in what seems to be a medieval combat game?

Lyubomir: Medieval would mean it relates to the Middle Ages. I can confidently state, based on the kind of extended historical research we pride ourselves on doing for our projects, that back then there were as many Rocket Launchers as there were War Golems, Goblins and the likes. But seriously it’s our own world we crafted. We put stuff in, if it wasn’t fun to mess around with – we took it out. Flamethrowers and rockets were, needless to say, fun.

Thanks again to the guys at Ivent Games for taking the time to talk to us about their current project, Strength of the Sword: Ultimate. For more info about their kickstarter, check out the side bar of the site or CLICK HERE!

Do you have a favorite kickstarter? Tell us about it in the comments!

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