Tyler Carbone from SRRN Games whose company has released Ash and Ash II Shadows was gracious enough to give us some of his time at Pax East 2012. Please press play to listen to the audio or simply read the transcript.
NGN – This is PCS for New Gamer Nation here and we are speaking with Tyler Carbone who co-founded SRRN Games. Tyler can you tell us a little about the game for the people who do not know anything about it?
SRRN – We wanted to do something that was like the classics like the classic RPG’s that we have all grown up with and liked and a big part of that is having an in depth story that people can really sink their teeth into. So that’s involved the kind of depth that would expect from a good book or in this case a good game. We wanted to do something on mobile we adapted it for that there’s a really robust auto-save system. The battles are designed to be quick. We wanted it to be something that people could enjoy on a phone or Ipad but the length and depth of a classic RPG was integral to genera and it’s a big part of what we are trying to do here. Ash one was about 15-20 hours of game play and Ash II I say 30. That’s kind of the estimated, as I said it’s being released episodically, so we are not sure of the exact length yet. But the idea was to tie of the story. Ash kind of ended on a cliff hanger and so we want to make sure that we can tie everything off nicely and Ash II and that means a long game. Which we are proud off. We hope people like it.
NGN – Now does that mean you will have updates to the game or are you going to purchase separate episodes?
SRRN – Its updates to the game. Chapter one released in January. There’s a bit of a delay to chapter 2 which is about to come out. About 2-3 weeks per chapter. It’s a 6 chapter game in total. Konami released the game in 2 editions. There’s the Gold edition where the chapters are free updates, and you just have to wait for them. There’s a silver edition where you can purchase the chapters one at a time. In general we found that the Gold edition is a lot more popular, which we are glad to hear because it means that people are willing to take a bet on the rest of the game being good. They want to buy the whole thing at once. So we are hoping to deliver the rest of the content
NGN-What were some of the challenges when porting to android?
SRRN – We built the game in the unity engine actually, which handled a lot of the porting work for us for Ash II which was built was natively. Ash though was built natively for Ios so to port it to Android we actually brought it into the Ash II engine. In putting that into android, we basically had to recreate the games content in a different engine. Which was very time consuming and also made bug fixing quite a complication because its content that you have to port over exactly and then you have to make sure that nothing breaks horribly by getting a decimal wrong. We have had so many typos, I can’t tell you. So that’s been a big part of the challenge there. SRRN does all of its work in the unity engine going forward so that meant porting Ash II both to Android as well to PC was certainly not trivial because there are a lot of differences in the platforms but we didn’t need to write a whole new set of code. Which was really great.
NGN – Do you find yourself being able to expand that in to a Windows Mobile Platform or is there ecosystem just not ready for you yet?
SRRN – So that we’ve been in talks with both Microsoft and Unity about it and we are trying to figure out how that makes sense. We definitely want to do some work on Windows Mobile. The Unity platform doesn’t yet export natively to Windows Phone’s. We are still trying to feel out whether it’s a matter of waiting for Unity to support Windows phones or a matter of us branching off and doing native applications. It’s something we’re looking at and it’s to be determined unfortunately just because we’re not sure which direction Unity is going to go yet.
NGN – Do you have anything else to tell your fans or anybody else who is thinking about purchasing the game at this point?
SRRN – Yeah absolutely. I appreciate that. Well first thank you for everybody whose taken a look at the game. As I mentioned earlier we are planning to release soon on PC and Mac and we’d really like to include in that version of the game something extra. Some changes that make the game better. Make the game interesting to the fans who have played it on mobile. We would really like to hear what people think. It’s an opportunity for us to go back, make changes to the game. Obviously not start with a clean slate because it’s the same game. But we would really like to hear what people think and we hope people check it out on the new platforms. As I said hopefully, in the next 1 to 2 months.