For our From the Devs feature, we find indie games with potential and let the developers tell you about their projects. Today we have Kelso on upcoming indie game, Fractured State.
TechZwn: What’s your game and what’s it about?
Kelso: Fractured State is an RTS game that chronicles a civil war in the fictional country of Laperia. Laperia is nation built as much as on industry and capitalism as it is on the backs of the lower class. Their culture is severely stratified with a caste system firmly in place. The Industrialist Guilds hold all the power and are not fond of the Ritualists who have been convening to the North. The Ritualists have focused most of their energy on communing with the relics of an ancient race. After years of escalating tensions, they officially cede from Laperia and form their own nation.
TechZwn: What makes your game unique?
Kelso: So we’re experimenting with a lot of different mechanics right now. One of our design goals from day one was to move away from the current trend in RTS games of hyper-fast pacing and focus on clicks per minute. We don’t like the idea of hundreds of clicks per minute being a measure of success. You could think of it more as a turn-based game that takes place in real time. We’re also trying to address the issue of scale that seems to plague a lot of strategy games. To that end we’re looking to do some unique mechanics that would only work if everything in the world is of correct scale. The one that I am most excited to show people is simultaneous indoor/outdoor combat. More on that over the next few months. 😉
TechZwn: Where did the inspiration come from?
Kelso: I spent my summers in high school making small mods for Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun and Red Alert 2. We didn’t have any official support from Westwood/EA so we had to make our own tools, develop our own methodologies, and share information on community forums. It’s been truly fantastic to see what that community has made and continues to make to this day. When I was in college I made a mod for Battle for Middle Earth that used a heavily modified version of the SAGE engine that powered Renegade and then Generals. This mod landed me a trip to EALA to preview Battle for Middle Earth 2. Modding has always been important to me and it helped me to discover what it was that I wanted to do as career. Fractured State did not start out as Fractured State. It started out as an XML-based generic RTS game. All I wanted to do was make a game that people could mod and to make myself available to support a modding community in a way that we were not supported with the older Command and Conquer titles. When Todd came on and we started to flesh out what the world would actually look like we instantly gravitated to a darker theme inspired heavily by Victorian age Europe and the Industrial Revolution.
TechZwn: Is there anything you saw in modern gaming that you’d like to change or build on with your game?
Kelso: Again it really goes back to our two big design goals. Make a game that is super modder friendly and support those modders and get away from the clicks-per-minute style of combat management.
TechZwn: Is there anything else you’d like to say or talk about regarding your game (or gaming in general)?
Kelso: We’re just really grateful for the interest people have shown in our project. We all work on Fractured State in the time between our day jobs and our families. Our genuine hope is to create a game that folks enjoy enough to help us do this full time.