AUA - Ask Us Anything

Discussion in 'Discussions' started by OllyOllyBennett, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. OllyOllyBennett

    OllyOllyBennett Cardboard Sword Developer

    Hi! I'm Olly Bennett, CEO of Cardboard Sword. As well as managing the company I do a lot of the biz dev and PR. When time allows, I also dabble in design on The Siege and the Sandfox. I've been in the industry for over 10 years, worked across Design, Production, QA and Management for a bunch of companies.

    So I thought I'd open an AMA thread so you can ask us any questions about the game, the company, or about the industry. No guarantees we'll be able to answer all questions, but feel free to ask. Some questions I may request you take to a dedicated new thread, if they are quite a big topic that might generate a lot of discussion. But yeah, fire away...
    • Roskii Heiral

      Roskii Heiral Heliosphere

      The game looks really neat, brings back some good memories!

      One of the thing I've come to love about the games advertised on the forums is the ability to really customize the player character to your liking. Is this something we'll be able to do in Sandfox?
      • DragonSky11

        DragonSky11 Master Chief

        Like Roskii Falfeather said, this game looks amazing!

        Is there any chance you could tell me a general date when The Siege and the Sandfox will be released onto Steam be ready to play? I can't wait for this game to come out! Also, has it come out yet? I haven't found a secure download for the game yet, and I think the download links I've found are fake. Thanks!
        • Jonesy

          Jonesy Sarif's Attack Kangaroo Forum Moderator

          Are there any foxes in the game?
          • OllyOllyBennett

            OllyOllyBennett Cardboard Sword Developer

            Thanks for the compliments so far guys. It's really appreciated and nice to hear.

            Our game is a story driven adventure. Because of this, your character themselves is core to the story so is predetermined. Additionally, all of the art and animation is hand done, frame-by-frame. This allows us to create very smooth flow and nuance to the movements, but restricts customisation.

            The game is not out yet, no. We are still in pre-alpha, so not yet ready to announce a release date I'm afraid. The important thing for us is to release the game when we feel it's ready, and at a time of favourable market conditions. Christmas, for example, would be an unwise period for release.

            Our main character is actually three fennec foxes atop each other under a cloak.

            ...OK, that's not true really. Your character is known as the 'Sandfox'; a title akin to 'Zorro', handed down from master to apprentice. In terms of actual foxes, we'll see...
            • The | Suit

              The | Suit Agent S. Forum Moderator

              When you were designing the gameplay, did any other games inspire you?
              The trailer gives off a Prince of Persia style vibe back when it was a 2D game on Mac.

              Otherwise it looks great, brings back that old SNES Platforming Nostalgia.
              • cooltv27

                cooltv27 Heliosphere

                how important will stealth be?
                how big is the punishment for failing to stealth?

                im hoping that failure to stealth results in the level getting harder in some dynamic way and makes it really difficult to recover from.
                • Karmylla

                  Karmylla Space Kumquat

                  This game looks great, I'm really excited about its release!

                  I want to second The Suit's question about game design inspiration, it does give off a very Price of Persia vibe, a little bit of Dark Souls as well.

                  Regarding the story, will there be side quests besides the main story? And how is the leveling up system, does it depend on XP and acquiring skills, or is it based on finding specific weapons with different characteristics? Will we be seeing weapon customization or anything like it?

                  Also, I've watched your EGX Rezzed interview at 100XP and I was really curious about how you decided to use the Unreal Engine to make this game. Though you've answered why you and your team decided to use this platform instead of Unity or others, I was wondering if you could elaborate because, for a 2D game, it is very particular to use the Unreal Engine, I believe (though, I'm glad you did, it's always nice to know there are a lot more platforms to choose from when creating a particular type of game!)

                  Reallyyyyyyy excited about this game! :D
                    Last edited: May 9, 2017
                  • Ipielle

                    Ipielle Title Not Found

                    Hello! Just discovered the game and it looks awesome. Would be quite interested in acquiring it! ^^
                    When you said the thing about the main character being three fennec foxes atop each other and hidden under a cloak, I believed you for one microsecond and thought about how cool that could be!
                    My question is about the evolution of the character inside the game. Will its progression be guided from one point to another or will there be several ways to pass an obstacle or achieve a goal?
                    The latter would allow us to choose one action or another depending on our gameplay and our roleplaying, that would be really great!
                    I can't wait to see the game on steam! Will it be available there?
                    • ShneekeyTheLost

                      ShneekeyTheLost Master Astronaut

                      So, I know there's a huge influence of Mark of the Ninja, and approve of it entirely, but I must ask... how do you plan on differentiating yourself from that game? Let's face it, any 2d side-scrolling stealth game with circles to denote your footstep's sounds is inevitably GOING to be compared to Mark of the Ninja, so how will you rebut the accusation of being 'a Mark of the Ninja clone/reskin'?
                        Karmylla likes this.
                      • DragonSky11

                        DragonSky11 Master Chief

                        Okay OllyOlly Bennet! Thank you for your help!
                        • OllyOllyBennett

                          OllyOllyBennett Cardboard Sword Developer

                          One of the games we've taken the most inspiration from has been Mark of the Ninja. It's a great 2D stealth game, of which there are few. Many of the gameplay tools they've utilised are ideas we're considering, if not already implemented. Things like last-known-position, audio circles, objects to hide in, and so on.

                          Our character movement is different from many platform games, in that the range of moves is a lot more diverse, and that each action feels more deliberate, considered, and relevant for the situation. In that way we reference the original Prince of Persia and Flashback.

                          Other inspirational games that permeate our design include the original Thief games, Super Metroid and Castlevania (obviously due to the genre), Dishonoured and Deus Ex.

                          Stealth is currently directing design, and so is a major component of our game. We're aiming to allow degrees of stealth, to cater for different players - some stealth gamers like to purely ghost stealth games, other players like a chance to get away when detected, some like to fight their way to victory if seen. We're considering our options at the moment.

                          As a Metroidvania, progress is mostly granted through exploration and discovery; finding key items/abilities that grant access to new locations, or getting past NPCs through story revelation. We're focusing on that primarily. Customisation and RPG elements, such as XP that leads to new abilities, starts to change the nature of the game. We're not outright saying 'no', but this is foremost a Metroid style game in structure.

                          There is a degree of non-linear progression by the very nature of the genre. To cater to this, main progress elements can branch off, allowing a number of required objectives to be completed in a variety of orders. Anything that doesn't lead to some degree of progress becomes superfluous. Though this can be realised in things such as hidden extras and secrets, which are always fun, ultimately the joy of a Metroidvania is the freedom of getting past 'gates' - required powerups, NPCs blocking progression, or story revelation - in a way that feels non-forced. We are aiming to provide that non-forced sense of freedom.

                          Regarding Unreal, we’ll discuss that in a separate thread, I think.

                          Currently we do not plan to have an overt mission structure (e.g. a list of missions in a Pause menu, ticked off as they’re completed). So the player will discover things through exploration and make mental connections with what they find and what they need to achieve. In that sense they will not be guided. We’re not quite ready to say more than that just yet I’m afraid.

                          We’re also not announcing platforms just yet, but Steam is a market leader on the PC, so it would make sense...

                          I’m hoping you’ll discover this to be self-evident as we continue to share progress of development. Certainly we’ve been inspired by some of the excellent stealth features in Mark of the Ninja, but we’re confident you’ll see a very different game at the end.
                          • MongooseCalledFred

                            MongooseCalledFred Starship Captain

                            Is there any chance this is coming to Wii U? I don't remember if UE4 is compatible. I plan to buy this even if it doesn't. Chucklefish + Sandfox + all the dev logs sold me.
                            • OllyOllyBennett

                              OllyOllyBennett Cardboard Sword Developer

                              Well thanks for the dedication and complements. We are not announcing platforms just yet, but it is extremely unlikely to come to the WiiU.
                              • Corraidhín

                                Corraidhín Supernova

                                Do I smell a kickstarter backer bonus here?!
                                *cough* just kidding just kidding!

                                Something I would like to ask, and again I apologize because I know this is pre alpha (but what better time to ask anyway?) but what of... New Game+? Has it been discussed -even in the slightest- the possibility to carry over progress from previous save to continue on a harder difficult? or merely the same game difficulty (granted there ARE different difficulties in the first place)

                                Oh Jesus I just noticed that was like four questions in one... *looks innocent*
                                  Roskii Heiral likes this.
                                • OllyOllyBennett

                                  OllyOllyBennett Cardboard Sword Developer

                                  There are lots of options available to us, for us to find the right fit for the game. Bear in mind though, being a Metroidvania, carrying abilities/equipment/unlocks across to a new game will likely cause structural issues with game flow. Stealth difficulty settings are an option too. We'll see. Replayability is important.
                                    Corraidhín likes this.
                                  • cooltv27

                                    cooltv27 Heliosphere

                                    if your having difficulty options, make sure one is brutally difficult and unnecessarily unfair. I dont feel like enough stealth games have options where a single mistake WILL get you killed
                                    • Corraidhín

                                      Corraidhín Supernova

                                      oh yeah, like European Metal Gear difficulty, game simply ends on the spot lol, that would be a very nice addition, maybe...?
                                      • kantey

                                        kantey Void-Bound Voyager

                                        Is this game going to have free areas between levels like towns, bazaar, thieves guild ect. ect.? Open area to mainly just mess around buy upgrades?
                                        what style is the progression are you going with? go to point A to point B the level is over go to the next stage/act or more like a Metroid style open world where you could always go back to the start if you ever felt the wanted or need? (pretty sure you already gave an answer to this but just double checking :D)
                                        What role does chuckle fish games play in the creation of this game? I found this game threw their site, and between Starbound and Stardew valley I have to say I am super impressed with that company and anything they even have a part in making I will usually buy.

                                        Also just wanted to say this game looks great this is one of my favorite settings and time periods for games, and I am very excited to play it. kudos
                                          Last edited: May 18, 2017
                                        • OllyOllyBennett

                                          OllyOllyBennett Cardboard Sword Developer

                                          We have a Metroid style open world, rather than having a closed level structure. There will be many different areas in that open world, but we're not going to specify what any of them are just yet.

                                          We're partnered with Chucklefish and they've done a lot for us already - making us this subforum for example - and continue to support development and production in many different ways, including funding and marketing.

                                          Thanks for the compliments and enthusiasm about the game :)

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