May 13, 2014 4:30 PM | John Polson
Hyper Light Drifter developer Teddy Diefenbach is keeping himself busy, recently revealing his solo project called Kyoto Wild, a 4-player retired ronin brawler set in feudal Japan. I caught up with Teddy through email, and he revealed as much as he could on his "Power Stone meets Bushido Blade" online and local multiplayer battler.
How does gameplay work?
You can jump, attack with your weapon, throw your weapon, and pick up extra weapons (you can carry a few at a time). The game is all about exploring the levels and picking up a lot of weapons.
What else can we know about Kyoto Wild that separates it from the growing number of multiplayer brawler types?
The focus on many different weapons and on the town-based flow are what makes the game unique to me, and why I'm personally excited to be making it. The winner of each round chooses where in the town to travel to next, and the defeated players are assigned new characters who come out of that new part of town. The outcome of each encounter determines where the battle will move to next, and what characters each player will control. A little story of a town gone wild, in each match.
The surviving player who selects the next location has some strategy in choosing an area he knows gives him a skill advantage (like picking a stage you're strong at in Smash Bros or Samurai Gunn, e.g.). Character assignment for the returning players is more luck-of-the-draw -- think about character assignment in each room like power-ups you find in Bomberman. You don't have agency as to which you get, but the skill and tactics come in using what you have to your best advantage, and you'll be able to target weapons you want to pick up in the environment to seek out your strong suits.
So these are retired ronin, is that why they fight somewhat scrappily, instead of following Bushido?
Yes! Thank you for observing bushido! I began prototyping with honor in mind and then realized that all my favorite scenarios involved quite a bit of dishonor (e.g. thrown weapons). Bushido will come into play a bit, but no, we're not held to the code here.
I made a number of design decisions to support isometric view, actually, which is backwards from how I usually design, but has worked out well. I played around with a lot of camera types, but ultimately isometric serves to feature the environments best, which are the heart of the game, and makes 4-player 3D combat easier for players to parse. It comes with challenges related to precision aiming, but this is something I've been able to compensate for in various ways.
How far along is the game, based on the screenshots?
If I had to give a number I'd say... 17% development :) On the design side, much further, since I've been prototyping for a year. No timeline yet, but I'll need a little over a year to realize the full vision. All the art is still WIP, but indicative of the game's style.
What games inspired you to create Kyoto Wild?
The major influences on Kyoto Wild are the following:
- Bushido Blade 1 & 2 (I keep both on my desk)
- Power Stone
- Bomberman 64
- The towns from Earthbound, Super Mario RPG and Final Fantasy 7,9 & 10
Online or local multiplayer?
Local now. Local and online at release.
So who gets to play this? Which platforms?
Nothing to confirm yet. Windows and Mac are a definite at some point, but whether they'll be the launch platforms I can't say yet.