A few months ago, The Nerd Stash featured 44 up and coming indie games (Part 1 and Part 2) that may be flying under your radar. From RPGs to Rouge-likes, the list is filled with a bevy of potential gems to keep an eye out for. There are fewer games on the list that I am personally anticipating more than United Lines Studio’s 2D action-RPG Swords of Calengal.
United Lines Studio is a team composed of 4 members, selected on the base of their individual skills. The crew is an Italian team, based in Italy and United Kingdom. Their past activities range from computer technology to graphic and illustration for tabletop games and RPG’s games, passing through disassembly video games for the study of the mechanics to realizing graphics on commissions for video games of third parts. The team borns in 2016 and is now working on his first project together: an action RPG called Swords of Calengal.
The Nerd Stash had the opportunity to chat with one of the game’s developers, Luciano Ciccariello, recently, as he described the upcoming indie title.
Could you tell me more about the story and the world of Swords of Calengal?
Zelda and Kingdom Hearts are obviously two very different games. How does Swords of Calengal combine the two?
LC: It is clear to feel the vibe from Zelda and Secret of Mana if we are talking about graphics and maps exploration. But if we take the gameplay we can see more of Kingdom Hearts: the combo system, skills, field’s usable items, abilities, level-up system and how the enemies spawn.
Swords of Calengal wants to take the best from the previously mentioned games and we are still making some small changes on both UI and gameplay to make it exactly as we see our ideal Action RPG game!
You’ve stated before that United Lines is made up of a four-man team. What challenges does that provide when it comes to development?
LC: The greatest challenge is team management, which I lead. Thinking on the final game is far more easy than go through the definition, creation and development of every single element. We divide every mechanic in features, which each of them are exploded in tasks that will be assigned to the team’s member that is more appropriate for it; even if it is not his main role. Being only four people that are working remotely and with a full-time job already for paying bills and food it is a bit overkilling. That is why we are taking 3 years to develop a 2D game. Thankfully we are in the internet era and there are a lot of free tools that help to communicate, share game’s data in real-time and provide a proper team management board.
What do you hope to accomplish with Swords of Calengal? Any particular feeling you hope fans get from it?
LC: Every member of the team is a die-hard player of old-style games. We want to support deep game mechanics, a good gameplay and a gorgeous pixel-art; 2D Action RPG still want to say much to the players. We made the game playable to some showcases and we were able to catch a lot of people between 22 and 35 years old. Some small children were interested in the game too and few of them were even capable to finish the demo. We received a lot of positive feedback even if there are still some missing gameplay mechanics.
We are moving in the right direction to make this a remarkable game, providing fun mechanics and product’s quality. The feelings that we hope that our future fans will get from it are the same feelings that we felt from games like Sonic Mania: a nostalgic product using modern mechanics and technologies.
Andrew has been in love with video game ever since his brother was forced by their parents to let him watch him and his friends play games like Goldeneye and Super Mario 64.