I've mentioned a few times now how excited I am for the release of The Banner Saga from Stoic Studio. Well, as part of that I went looking for an interview and Alex Thomas, one of the Stoic team, was nice enough to answer some questions about the game, the setting and how Kickstarter can help the new developer.
Without much further ado, lets get to the questions. First though, a quick reminder of The Banner Saga.
Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions.
First off, one of the big selling points of The Banner Saga is the pseudo-norse world you've created, both visually and with what we've seen of the characters. What was it about the Norse/Viking world that inspired you to create one of your own?
When we set out to make the game we knew we wanted some kind of fantasy setting, but didn't want to re-tread the old Tolkien ideas of orcs and dwarves and dragons. Norse mythology is something that we've been really into apart from games, but what makes it really interesting is that there are a ton of ideas that haven't been beaten to death in popular culture. We avoided use real Norse lore because it came with a lot of baggage already - people have preconceived notions of what Thor or Loki are already about, and we didn't want to fight against those associations. Additionally, much of norse lore is about the gods, and getting deep into that mythos requires that your characters have a lot of contact with the gods, or that they play gods themselves. We went kind of the opposite route, thinking about what a world would feel like if the people in it believed in these gods, but then they were taken away. How would they respond to this fundamental change in their beliefs?
In addition to that idea, there are tons of things in both viking myth and real history that hugely inspired us to build on those themes. Vikings did a lot more than just pillaging hamlets and we worked in a lot of their central themes. For example, weaving was central to their lifestyle and we took that idea and used it as part of how magic works in the world- the weaving of the fabric of reality.
|I love the viking details that go into the game||Source|
For those who don't know, could you give us a quick insight into the gameplay of The Banner Saga?
Going back to the art style, alot of people (myself included) see it as very reminiscent of Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack, The Clone Wars) was this intentional or did Stoic come to that style on its own?
|I got a lesson in classic art, and it looks amazing.||Source|
I know you worked together on SW:TOR before starting Stoic, is there anything you miss about working in a big development house?
The Banner Saga was made possible with Kickstarter, along with Double Fine Adventure and Dead State; all titles from industry veterans forming their own companies. Do you think that will be the pattern for Kickstarter games in future or will more new developers start making headway?
Finally, and linked to that last question, one of the great things about Kickstarter is that it gives you a ready-made community. How have your fans been as TBS moves into the paid beta?
Thanks again for taking the time, and I really looking forward to playing the finished game in future.Thank you! We're looking forward to making it!
Again, I can't stress how great Alex and the team at Stoic were, if you haven't allready joined the beta then do it now!
Until we meet on a grid-like field of battle, let us say Skål! and drink together.