Late on Saturday evening, Still Games’ 2D Bronze Age adventure game Animal Gods was successfully funded through KickStarter. Having reached their funding total of $26,000 a number of hours before, the team at Skill Games were able to breathe a sigh of relief as their campaign entered its last stretch, ultimately coming to an end with 459 backers, donating a total pledge of $26,775.
Whilst the team at Skills Games were anxiously awaiting the results of their campaign, we got in touch to ask some questions and to find out more about what they have planned for Animal Gods.
For anyone who hasn’t yet heard of Animal Gods, how would you describe the game?
Animal Gods is an open world, action/adventure game set in Bronze Age Europe mixing the core combat of classic Zelda with an intriguing story surrounding the great Animal Gods and the new coming of bronze metals. Monsters are in lots of video games but they’re usually not explained that well. We wanted to tell a story surrounding the Animal Gods themselves.
Where did the inspiration for the game come from?
The inspiration comes from a respect for classic games especially the tight, gameplay focused structure they incorporate. Add to that an idea to tell a story in an Ancient European age – a time before writing systems – and we found a world that gave us room to create imaginatively as developers, as well as ground us in real history.
What was the motivation behind the character of Thistle? Did you always envision such a strong female protagonist?
The Animal Gods are massive, wild, and strong. It made for a more interesting conflict to pit a young female heroine against these wild & cursed beasts.
Our goal with the main hero, Thistle, is to not just make her a girl, but to also give her a unique character on top of her gender. Thistle is spunky, brave, and never doubts her quest. But she is also a young character traveling to areas she’s never been, so she’ll encounter difficulties that will develop her character throughout the story. Its these moments that will make Thistle not just a “female protagonist”, but also a human protagonist you can relate to.
From what we’ve seen of the game so far, it seems as though you have put your own fantasy spin on the game environment. Are we likely to see more of these fantasy environments rather than more traditional 15th century buildings and landscapes?
Historians have some information about 15th century BC Europe, but not much. This is the time of Queen Hatsheput in Egypt and Stonehenge in England; archaeologists make some educated inferences about this time in European history, but, without a developed writing system, there is a limited amount they can learn. We’ve done lots of research on the time, then we add our own twists to fill in the gaps and make Animal Gods feel more fantastical. This makes Animal Gods feel less like a history lesson and more of a charming and majestic journey.
Thistle seems to be armed with an array of clothing and weapons. Will the player have access to each of these items from the beginning of the game, or are they items that players will find scattered throughout the world, discovering them as they progress through the story?
Most of the sword, arrow, and cloak upgrades are elements that you’ll find as you progress through the game. Some upgrades are region specific, while others will travel with you as you develop your character. Animal Gods also features gear that adds new gameplay styles. For example, the Goldweave Cloak will make you do more damage, but also take more damage. This adds replay value to the game and is a reward available to all who back us on Kickstarter.
Will there be any form of leveling up in Animal Gods or will all of your upgrades be based upon discovering new augments?
Most of the upgrades will be through discovery. The core gameplay is largely skill-based, so we’re trying to stay hands-off regarding upgrade and strategy trees to preserve a fast and responsive game flow.
Are you able to tell us anymore about the enemies and creatures players will face in Animal Gods?
The monster catalogue will contain a variety of bronze imbued beasts and fiends along with the fleshy sort. We’re still play testing many different enemy types, but they’ll be in theme with the area Animal God who lurks at the end of levels.
As well as the main story line, will there be any smaller side quests for the players to undertake within the open world of Animal Gods?
Yes, we have a range of these planned. They’ll let you explore new places and introduce new types of characters. There are lots of facets to explore in the ancient world, and we’re going to pick the best bits to show you all.
When Animal Gods comes to the Wii U, do you have plans to incorporate the consoles game pad features into the game?
We’re still mulling around with the ideas for touch-input, but Animal Gods will definitely offer off-screen play.
Why did you choose to KickStart Animal Gods?
Simply we need money to make Animal Gods, and we’ve seen that Kickstarter is a great resource to get the gamers involved from the beginning. It’s been tremendous hearing reviews, watching players move through the pre-Alpha on YouTube, and talking with backers. We need more funding to continue development, and by using Kickstarter we also get to talk with people who are interested in the final product.
Congratulations to Skill Games Studio on successfully funding Animal Gods, and thank you for taking some time out to talk with us. We wish you luck with the game and look forward to seeing more. If you want to find out more about Animal Gods you can head on over to their KickStarter now.
If you weren’t able to pledge during their campaign but would still like to donate, don’t worry as Animal Gods has a PayPal donation page where you can pledge and receive all of the KickStarter goodies.