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Interviews
Secrets of Grindea is an upcoming game that aims to put a modern spin on the beloved SNES era action RPG’s. I discovered it while looking through the list of games that had been Greenlit on Steam. Seeing as many of you CheerfulGhosters like retro-styled games like I do, in addition to sharing my find with all of you I decided to reach out to the developers and see if they were willing to do an interview for us. As it turns out they were happy to oblige!

Whiteboyslim: Could you please introduce us to your team and briefly explain your role in developing Secret of Grindea.

PixelFerrets: Our team consists of three members; Teddy the programmer, Vilya the graphic artist and Fred the animator. Basically Vilya does all the static sprites and user interface, Fred creates enemies, npcs and animates other sprites that need to move, and Teddy puts it all together.

The music is made by Andrew Riley of Lucky Lion Studios, and the sound effects are made by Mariusz Jasionowicz of RareSound Production and Hallvard A. Ulsund of Fark Audio.

Whiteboyslim: Do any of you have a background in game development or is this your first time taking on a project like this?

PixelFerrets: We’ve all studied game development for three years. Teddy released a game called “Dwarfs!?” on Steam a couple of years ago, but that game was nowhere near the scope of Secrets of Grindea!

Whiteboyslim: Congratulations on recently being Greenlit on Steam! How has your experience with Valve been so far?

PixelFerrets: We haven’t talked that much to them since we’re so far from release! What little correspondence there’s been has been nice.

Whiteboyslim: Your website lists the SNES era RPG’s as a driving influence for the game, and Secrets of Grindea has a pretty obvious Secret of Mana / Secret of Evermore vibe to it, but I was was wondering what other games have inspired you guys to make Grindea?

PixelFerrets: Two of our main sources for inspiration have been Ragnarok Online, Zelda: A Link to the Past, games we’ve spend a lot of time playing in our youth.

Whiteboyslim: What is, in your opinion, the best video game related movie ever?

Fred: Anything by Uwe Boll.

Teddy: There’s no good video game movie, but I think Street Fighter II The Animated Movie was okay.

Vilya: I honestly don’t watch a lot of movies (I prefer series!), but if I have to pick one out of the ones I’ve seen I’d say Advent Children, mainly because it felt kind of cool to see the characters rendered so clearly compared to the game art.

Whiteboyslim: Is working on Grindea your day job?

PixelFerrets: Yes and no. We spend just as much time working on Grindea as would be expected of a day job (sometimes more), but that’s obviously not where we get our income. We have some savings, and Fred and Vilya are studying part time to make them last longer.

Whiteboyslim: When you’re not working on Grindea what other games do you like to play?

Teddy: Right now, Battleblock Theater.

Fred: At the moment, Battleblock Theater. With Teddy.

Vilya: I love long epic RPGs. So Baldurs’s Gate I and II, the Elder Scrolls games and classics from the SNES era. I’ve also played a lot of League of Legends, but stopped recently - it takes too much time!

Whiteboyslim: You get on an elevator and suddenly you realize the person standing next to you is J.J. Abrams. You have 30 seconds to tell him what you want to see (or not see) in Star Wars episode VII. What do you say?

Fred: I don’t really care what goes in it so I would probably keep my mouth shut.

Teddy: I want more Jar Jar!

Vilya: I used to be a huge Star Wars fan when I was younger, so I would just tell him I’ll be really disappointed if they disregard the expanded universe and start anew. I’d also say that I expect the Solo kids to be awesome and that we get to meet Mara Jade!

jdodson: Do you anticipate porting your game to Mac and Linux after launch?

PixelFerrets: We’ll definitely look into at after the game has been finished. If we think we can do it within a reasonable timeframe we’ll give it a shot. MonoGame looks good, but we don’t want to make promises we can’t keep!

jdodson: Will you be able to play Secrets of Grindea with a usb controller?

PixelFerrets: For now it’s 360 controllers (X-Input) only, but the goal is to have it support other controllers as well.

Whiteboyslim: Other indie games have seen a lot of success with Kickstarter (like Shovel Knight) or by offering pre-orders (Like Starbound). Did you ever consider going the crowd sourcing route?

PixelFerrets: For now, we have income to keep us alive while working on the game, but as we said earlier, we can’t work full time because of it.

We’ve been thinking about doing a Kickstarter and might go through with one to be able to work full time on the game, but we’re holding off for now since it’s a pretty big undertaking.

Whiteboyslim: Will Grindea use any kind of DRM?

PixelFerrets: No, it would probably cost us more to implement it than we’d gain from having it (likely nothing).

jdodson: When you made it to the final boss in The Secret of Mana I wonder what your thoughts were about the fight and how the game wrapped up?

PixelFerrets: As a kid, the fight with the mana beast was epic to say the least. Going back and playing it today it's not as impressive, mostly from a gameplay perspective. The fight feels really slow and it's pretty easy to grasp to pattern of the boss. I like the setting and the idea, it's too bad the gameplay couldn't keep up. Would be cool to see a remake of it today!

As for the ending, I think it wraps up the entire game pretty spot on. Losing Popoi is still to this day a very emotional gaming moment. Since the entire game pretty much is about companionship and fighting together it really strikes hard when one of the main characters suddenly are gone.

Whiteboyslim: In your trailer for Grindea you say that game abilities have no class restriction. Can you explain a little bit about how the skills work?

PixelFerrets: It means that you don’t select a class in the beginning and stick to it. You can put some points in a one handed weapon skill, and some in a magic spell, and you won’t be punished for it.

Whiteboyslim: I see from your developer blog that in addition to the main storyline there will also be optional puzzles and also a fishing minigame. Are there any other activities to keep us busy in the world of Grindea?

PixelFerrets: There’s an arena with graded challenges, where doing well will give you items. You can also fight against your friends in Versus Mode there. Other than that we have a pet system where you can catch different pets and improve their stats by collecting and feeding them different types of food, as well as plans for a treasure map system. And last but not least: trying to find all the items!

Whiteboyslim: Can you talk a little bit about what kind of character customization you plan to implement?

PixelFerrets: Aside from that you can mix and match any skill combinations, there will be lots of hats, facegear (stuff like glasses, beards, masks) and a bunch of haircuts. You can also change the color on your basic clothing, as well as your gender and skin color!

Whiteboyslim: Thank you for taking the time to answer some of our questions. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

PixelFerrets: Thank you for asking us to do the interview! Hope you enjoy the game when it’s out :)

You can check out more information on the game at http://www.secretsofgrindea.com/.
You can follow Pixelferret on twitter at https://twitter.com/pixelferrets and on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SecretsOfGrindea.
Awesome interview thanks WhiteboySlim!

For a bit of an update as to what they are working on now, check this:

www.secretsofgrindea.com/index.php/blog/2579
12 months ago
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