Once in a while, there is a game that stands out from the vast sea that is Kickstarter. One of those games is Grand Guilds, an RPG that has certainly been turning heads what with its beautiful art design, graphics, and unique game mechanic.
Putting a new twist to turn-based, tactical RPG games, Grand Guilds combines some elements that breathes new life to the genre. By combining tactical grid-based combat with a card combat system, Grand Guilds is shaping up to be a must-buy for RPG lovers out there when it comes out on the Nintendo Switch sometime this year.
SwitchWatch was lucky enough to get an interview with the game’s lead developer and publisher. Let’s get to know Grand Guilds a bit more:
Can you tell our readers about yourself and your team?
I’m Justin, the lead developer for Grand Guilds. I started making the game as a solo dev in early 2017. As the game grew larger, so did the team working on the game. Most of us are based in the Philippines but some are working remotely from different countries like USA and Mexico.
What is Grand Guilds about and the story?
Grand Guilds is a story-driven, tactical RPG with a unique blend of card-based combat. Basically it’s tactical RPG meets card game where you move your units in a grid-based map but your skills are in the form of cards. The story follows Eliza and her guildmates as they journey through the fantasy lands of Irin. When their precious guild is suddenly attacked by a mysterious force, they are tasked to discern the true meaning behind the unusual events. This investigation is the initial driving force for the plot that will eventually lead to a much-larger, higher-stakes conflict as they discover that the attacks have been happening to other guilds all over the continent.
How long is the story going to be?
The main story is going to be around 15 hours long. We also have traditional side quests and a unique feature called guild quests which are procedurally generated missions and encounters that offer awesome rewards and high replayability.
What are the main influences for Grand Guilds?
As a huge turn-based strategy fan, XCOM and Fire Emblem were my main inspirations for the game. Our 2D artstyle somewhat resonates with Fire Emblem: Awakening. We love the anime look in general and our artist did a wonderful job in designing the characters. The card-based system on the other hand came from a very unlikely source. I was watching Adventure Time a few years ago when I saw this episode where Finn and Jake were playing a board game called Card Wars. I thought it would be a fantastic idea to combine Strategy RPG mechanics with a card game system.
What are you most proud of in Grand Guilds?
I’m really proud of how the game has evolved throughout the years. Developing a game of this magnitude with a very small team is no ordinary feat, especially now that it’s coming to Nintendo Switch as well as other platforms. I’m fortunate to have an extremely talented team with me on this journey.
Why go to Kickstarter for funding?
We’ve been self-funding Grand Guilds for more than 2 years now. While most of us are working on this game full-time, we occasionally take on part-time and freelance work to help sustain development. This of course takes time away from making Grand Guilds. With backer support, we don’t have to take freelance jobs to fund our final stretch of development. All our time and resources will be poured into finishing Grand Guilds, which will greatly speed up development. Having a lot of people to beta test the game is also invaluable and can only be possible with crowdfunding.
What are the best or worst parts of running a Kickstarter campaign?
Kickstarter is almost like a full-time job in and of itself because of all the preparation and management it requires. I’m a programmer by trade so having to manage an entire campaign is a huge challenge. Of course, Kickstarter opens a lot of doors for the project and puts the game in front of thousands of gamers who wouldn’t have known about the game otherwise.
Congratulations on getting funded, how far long is Grand Guilds?
Thank you! All the core mechanics and systems are in place along with hours-worth of story gameplay. What the team is currently working on is content creation, balancing, and polishing. Being a story-driven game, Grand Guilds is being worked on iteratively based on the chapters of the story.
Is there anything you can tell us about Grand Guilds that is not known to the public yet?
On June 1st and 2nd, Grand Guilds will be at BitSummit in Kyoto, Japan courtesy of Utomik. Our publisher will be showcasing the game there so if you’re ever in the area please feel free to drop by our booth.
Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?
Thanks for reading! If you like Strategy RPGs or card games, please check out our game. You can also join our Discord community where we post regular updates and exclusive content previews – https://discord.gg/bhE9sGg
Here is our interview with Grand Guilds’ publisher, Keybol Games:
What drew you to Grand Guilds?
Looking at Grand Guilds videos and screenshots, I noticed that the production was well done. I also liked how each character was well designed and the audio is epic. It’s also a tactical RPG which I have enjoyed playing. When I played Grand Guilds demo, the pacing and story drew me in. I enjoyed how battles are well thought out including the abilities of the characters and enemies that complement the level layout and story. It kept me hooked to play the next battle and progress the story after that.
What sealed the deal for you?
Playing the demo, I knew this will fit well on Nintendo Switch. I enjoyed playing Final Fantasy Tactics and Advance Wars before so I knew you can get the same enjoyment out of it playing on console.
How is Drix Studios to work with?
Drix Studios are very nice developers to talk with. They are very passionate with their project.
So what do you guys think? Here at SwitchWatch, this game will certainly be a day-one buy for us. If you want to find out more about the game, you can go and visit their page on Kickstarter.
Assisted by Keith Lavelle with Interview questions