How will the two player function work? Will it be versus the PC or will the game support multiple players online or locally?
Refuge will work both turn-based locally and online. Personally, I didn’t see much value in playing hide & seek with an Ai as it begins feel a lot less real.
Would it be possible for the game to support multiple players?
It’s a one vs one deathmatch – I want to keep that intimacy of trying to work out the other players’ tactic, and making your move accordingly. The Ark (the arena you hunt each other in) is relatively small in comparison with other multiplayer maps- so it was important to to keep it close quarters between you and another.
There’s always room to improve though, and if the community speak out about wanting more players, it’s a consideration I wouldn’t overlook!
Are you designing everything yourself and was your work inspired by film noir at all?
I’m inspired by a whole plethora of things – I think it’s the right way to work – I’ve taken inspiration from the Studio Ghibli films, film noir, Monument Valley, Journey, Limbo, ICO and so many others. The black and white look & feel was a conscious design decision, though – all of the ideas I originally had for the game were deeply nostalgic – I wanted the world to feel both eerily old
Where did you come up with the idea for Refuge? You mention a number of sources including personal experiences but what would you say had the most impact?
In all honesty, I had loads of ideas when I began making a game. I think the real AHA! moment was when it became a twist on something familiar and integral to peoples’ childhood. The second it became about seeking the other player out, and it was easy to explain, it started winning the imaginations of those I was speaking to!
How will the dynamic weather system work and what kind of weather conditions can we expect to run into?
As you take your ‘turn’ in the game, you’ll be able to identify patterns – cloud movements, drizzling rain etc – which might mean you need to find a dry place, or risk getting caught in a storm. You can expect to run into snow, heavy rain (you can’t light fires outside to stay warm) and even deadly weather events – such as an acid mist.
Besides hunting the other key theme of the game is surviving. How will the survival part of the game work or how does surviving effect the player?
Surviving is a more difficult tactic, you have to be really careful with your movements, and have a great, long-lasting food item. The whole mechanic for the game is very simple – every item has a rating, for food, you might have +8- which would be good and you won’t go hungry, but it will only last for a certain number of moves.
Survivors will have to face weather, warmth, leaving as little traces as possible (events caused by carelessness) AND avoid the other player. It’s a difficult option, but one you might have to take.
Can players carry multiple weapons, or hoard items in a sense, to prevent the other player from getting anything?
This functionality is very stripped back, I don’t want people to play the game and feel like they were given no option but to lose. You can carry one weapon (hopefully with a good HP rating) and one item for food, and two miscellaneous slots, meaning you have to ‘swap out’ if you find an item. It makes the game fair and simple.
Combat seems to run on a point system where the higher number wins but you mention that combat can be random as well, can you explain more how that will work?
In an encounter with another player, If you have a gun, and they have a twig, you’re going to kill them! No twig-based combat will save you there! But let’s say you both have the same item rating (or very similar) – there can be a twist of events.
How did you come to choose the lonely island as the setting for the game?
Refuge was difficult to create an environment for – I desperately wanted to do justice to the idea. I went through about 4 different art directions before settling on the Ark – the lonely island. It was actually an old piece of concept work that made me think, “maybe this is something for vertical play?” I thought it would be exciting. From there, the lore and story for the Ark has evolved massively.
Is it possible to hide while in a room or is the idea just to hide in a room in general?
You can hide wherever you fancy – but take into account your surroundings; if your turn is coming to an end, then make a last minute decision to make a fire so you stay warm – if you hide indoors, you’re safer, but much more likely to leave traces.
There is a lot of great examples of the art and design aspect of the game but is there anything on the development side yet?
When I started, I was determined to learn about game development, but letting my imagination run wild (as it so often does) I decided to pitch the project as a game concept. I really need someone with more experience on board and I need more help. I have posted newer content to my Kickstarter very recently that shows a very brief preview of the game world.
Will there be multiple maps or does the map change in any way from game to game?
It’s the same map for now, mind you – it will be a lot bigger than the concepts suggest – it needs to be to accommodate the gameplay. What will refresh on each play – items will never be the same place, there will be backstory clues littered in the Ark to collect – and playing against new people will change the opponent of course!
The character example is very interesting but will every character have some kind of background story? Will each character have their own story in the games plot or is the plot completely independent?
Each character has a very in-depth backstory. They all have a few things in common, you’ll start to be able to link them together… first of which, they all mysteriously blacked out and awoke on the Ark. Later this year, i’m going to be collaborating on a comic-style piece about each of the playable characters.
As you first project what do you hope to accomplish and do you have any future ideas?
Refuge is just one of the stories I want to tell. I have lots more, a whole sketchbook full – some of them are ideas I had before this one that just need a bit of a refinement. The only thing that is for sure that this won’t be my last!