A band of would-be heroes toiling through a fantasy world, consisting of dark dungeons and picturesque villages, in order to overcome a dreadful scourge? It can only be the start of another role-playing game.
A critical hit on mobile, Big Blue Bubble's Elven Chronicles is due on iPhone and iPod touch any time now, so it's a good opportunity to catch up with CEO Damir Slogar and find out more about its levelling up process from BREW to touchscreen.
Pocket Gamer: Why do you think a 20 hours RPG will work on iPhone?
Damir Slogar: I agree that the iPhone audience is more casual but when we are talking about RPGs, players have certain expectations and decent game length is one of them. Also, no one expects to finish the game in one session, although this is not true for our quality assurance team!
How do you think it will compare to RPGs from Korean publishers such as Com2uS and Gamevil?
There are certainly some similarities in style and approach. It's good to see how successful both of those companies have been, so we can only hope to reach the same audience.
How much work did you have to do to get the iPhone version ready?
Much more than initially planned. We ported the game from BREW using our own code converter tools and the iTorque engine. This port went very smooth and we had a playable game in a matter of days.
Re-doing all the art took much longer than anticipated and we had to put several artists on the project. Also, as we didn't have the same memory limitations as on the cell phones, it was hard to resist adding more art content so this took some time as well.
Finally, we had to re-do all the controls and menu system. Even though fully functional, it just didn't feel right. This is last thing we need to complete before sending the game to Apple.
What did you learn from feedback from the mobile version?
The major concern we had before we released the mobile game was the difficulty level. With just a few testers it's hard to determine if the game is too hard or to easy because every player will play the game differently, using different paths, spells, tactics, etc. But based on the feedback, it seems we managed to get it right.
What are your plans in terms of updates?
First, we decided to automatically include all downloadable content that existed in the original game in the iPhone version. The way the game is designed it won't be hard to create expansion packs with new missions, monsters, weapons etc. As we're finishing the production of the game, part of our team has already started working on new content.
The second aspect of updates will be tweaks and improvements of the existing game that will be based on feedback we receive from the players.
Do you have any ideas about pricing or micro-transactions?
We haven't decided on the final price yet. Micro-transactions are planned and we are currently working on the technology.
Thanks to Damir for his time
Eleven Chronicles will be released during September.