on August 19, 2013 by Geraint Evans
Today we have just released a doujin title that we have been reading about for a while – but only recently played. Princess’ Edge is a beat-em-up that’s particularly interesting, as it’s the work of just one man, Erobotan. Today we’ve decided to support his efforts by hosting his first full game on Rice Digital.
We caught up with Erobotan recently for a quick chat to find out how Princess Edge came about, the challenges of being a lone doujin developer and his plans for the future.
Rice Digital: Hi Erobotan, thanks for your time today – could you start off by telling me a little bit more about your background please?
Erobotan: I graduated from a university with a programmer degree, sadly that university didn’t teach me anything about making games though, so I had to learn the gaming part from scratch, by myself! The university course was still a good and important experience though – it game me a good grounding in programming.
Rice Digital: Princess Edge is a very good effort for a first game!
Erobotan: Well, yes and no! I actually made a lot of games before I started on Princess Edge – but Princess Edge is the first one that I actually manage to finish! Lol.
Now that I think about it, looking at those tons of unfinished games sitting in my hard disk is kinda embarassing …
Rice Digital: Can you tell us a little bit about how it began – what your inspirations were?
Erobotan: It all began when I realised that after a long time I never finished a single game (that’s what you get for always wanting to make an RPG despite being a one person team – it’s a trap lots of inexperienced developers fall into lol), so I decided that I need to do something in a smaller scale if I ever want to finish anything.
Seeing that platformers and shoot’em up are already really plentiful in the market I decided to do a beat’em up, so yeah, that’ how it started. Not very epic I know!
Princess Edge’s main inspiration came from Golden Axe with it’s barbarian/amazon protagonist plus the whole dragon riding stuff (I think that much is obvious judging from the character design!). The other is Dragon’s Crown for its beautiful artworks and also being a beat’em up game, it motivated and convinced me that there is still some love for the genre.
Rice Digital: You made this game all on your own – can you describe some of the challenges you faced starting out?
Erobotan: The biggest challenge is to get feedback for the game. I’m bad at socializing with people and the fact that a lot of forums ban self advertisement only make it worse. Oh, and the rise of a certain group of gamers who seem to hates scantily clad girl characters! I won’t use the word feminist, because a feminist angrily told me that these people are not feminist and just a victim of gossip websites which use the issue to draw hits and make the real feminists looks bad.
So, er, yes, I’m as confused/surprised as everyone else in this matter!
Rice Digital: If you had to calculate how long it took you from start to finish in hours to complete the development – what would that be?
Erobotan: I don’t really remember when I start the development but if I check the date of my first Princess’ Edge’s blog posts then it’s around 9 months.
Rice Digital: What achievements are you most proud of since you set out as a doujin developer?
Erobotan: Probably the fact that I actually manage to finish a game and release it? Yeah … . pretty lame I know …
Rice Digital: If you had three pieces of advice to give to anyone starting to make their own game, what would it be?
Erobotan: Let see…
1. If it’s your first game, don’t make an RPG unless you’re using RPGMaker/Renpy or similar tools!
2. Don’t hesitate to share your ideas to get feedback and don’t worry about people stealing it. Even if someone steals your ideas and he/she manages to actually finish it, I’m sure that your game and his/her game will still look very differently.
3. After a few months of working hard on your game you might begin to notice that stuff that you write/draw months ago are starting to look horrible, this is normal because it means that your skill has improved. It’s ok to redo them but don’t go overboard otherwise you’re going to get trapped in an endless loop and your game will never get released.
Rice Digital: Are there any doujin developers you particularly like or respect?
Uh… well, I’ve been focusing on creating games for years, so much so that I rarely play games anymore. These days I only play non-RPG MMOS for around 30 mins/day. My limited knowledge of games mostly comes from article and youtube videos instead of actually playing them as I don’t have the time! These days I don’t seem to even read articles or watch youtube that often… it’s sad to say but I don’t really know much about gaming industy T__T (so yeah, I’m basically a hikkikomori in both real life and internet!)
However, If I HAD to mention a name then I’d have to save George Kamitani from Vanillaware – though you can’t consider him as a doujin game developer!
Rice Digital: Working on your own must be hard, have you got plans to team up with anyone – or do you prefer the lone developer route?
Erobotan: There are some people that I would love to work with but most of them seems to be busy with their own project so I’m probably going to stay as a lone developer for a while…
Rice Digital: Now that you’ve completed Princess Edge – what are your plans for the future? Can you reveal what may come next? Will you try another genre?
Erobotan: Currently I have two ideas. The first one is another beat’em up with mahou shoujo/tokusatsu theme. I plan to add a strategical elements with territory conquest system where you have to prevent the enemy from conquering the whole country, so choosing which area to attack, defend, or ignore will be a crucial element to win the game. It also has stats progression and skill upgrade system.
The other idea is a platformer that takes place in a cursed castle, I haven’t work out on the detail yet so there is not much to say about this one.
Keep in mind that I tend to change my mind a lot so nothing is final at this moment yet!
Princess Edge is now available to buy from the Rice Digital Store
You can read more about EroBotan and his projects over on his blog.