As pretty much everyone knows, Square Enix is the RPG company. They’ve made Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games for more than 30 years. They’ve worked on the Mana games and Chrono Trigger in the SNES days and beyond. And well, if there’s a classic RPG you’ve got any nostalgia for at all, it’s likely Square Enix had some part in its development.
So now they’ve got another project underway! Nicknamed ‘Project Prelude’, the title is developed by the newly established Tokyo studio Studio Istolia, with former Tales series producer Hideo Baba at the helm. Here’s the outline of the project illustrating what it aims to be:
The project aims to build a new RPG with a new fantasy: unfolding across a vast land teeming with life. Nurtured by the earth, the many peoples of this land dare to dream, fighting for what is just—and this is their tale.
As you can tell, it’s pretty ambitious as a game. Vast world filled with life and things to do? An epic battle between good and evil?
And well, that sounds exactly like the kind of big budget fantasy RPG Square Enix and co are known for. And it’s gonna have a pretty big team too. Since Studio Istolia are actually looking for a ton of staff to work on the game. In roles such as:
- Battle Planner
- Map Planner
- UI Planner
- Character Designer
- Map Designer
- Monster Designer
- Motion Designer
- Effect Designer
- UI Designer
- Battle Programmer
- Tool Programmer
- Event Programmer
- Sound Programmer
- UI Programmer
- Technical Support
So if you’ve got any of those relevant skillsets, go and talk to the studio via their official website or social media channels. If not… well at least you can enjoy some of the artwork they released for the game:
But hey, what do you think of the title? Does it sound like it could be a classic RPG like those in the Final Fantasy series? Or do you worry about the new studio that’s working on it?
Post your thoughts here or on social media today!
Square Enix Announces new RPG ‘Project Prelude Run’ (Gematsu)
In the last few years or so, quite a few interesting games and prototypes have surfaced online. There was Nightmare Busters, a cancelled SNES title which actually got revived, finished and sold to collectors on a physical cartridge. There was Infinity, a long lost Game Boy Color RPG released online for free by original creators Affinix Gaming.
As well as numerous others in addition to that. Tyrannosaurus Tex, Mr Tuff, the original Rayman prototype… the list just goes on and on.
And here’s another one! Called Quik the Thunder Rabbit (and based off an existing Amiga game), the title is a Sonic the Hedgehog style 2D platformer that was once intended to be released on the SNES in the 90s. Here’s a video showing it in action:
Yeah, it does certainly look interesting. But what’s it like to actually play?
Is it like the Amiga game?
Well, no. It’s a 2D platformer starring a blue rabbit. That’s it. That’s the only similarity I can see between Quick the Thunder Rabbit on SNES and Quik the Thunder Rabbit on Amiga.
But everything else is entirely different. The levels are entirely different in this version of the game, with completely different themes and graphical styles. The weird quirky enemies and background objects have been swapped out for new ones. The music probably would have been different, had the now released ROM actually had any in it.
It’s basically an all new game with the same character (though even he looks vastly different in this incarnation).
Yet that’s only the tip of the iceberg as far as differences are concerned. Why?
Because somehow the game is now part platformer, part shoot em up and part fighting game. In other words, you go from typical Mario/Sonic style platforming to a Gradius type shoot em up to a Mortal Kombat style fighting game setup at random.
It’s utterly bizarre really.
But hey, it’s still enjoyable enough to play none the less. I mean yeah, it’s not a classic by any means of the word. And no, it wouldn’t have quite revolutionised the market like Donkey Kong Country or Sonic the Hedgehog did back in the day.
Yet it’s still a perfectly solid game none the less. The physics? Work fine really, with Quik going exactly where you want him to without delays or slippery landings. Level design?
Not great, but decent enough for the kind of game that it is. And well, you can probably tell from the pictures that the game looked decent enough for a platformer of the era. It’s no Awesome Possum or Bubsy the Bobcat, that’s for sure!
It does have some flaws (the fighting game level just hard crashes the game because the basic mechanics haven’t been programmed in). But for as far as what it’s available goes, it’s a decent enough little game.
So if you’re interested in seeing what Quik would be like on a SNES (or just want a decent enough 2D mascot platformer for the system), give this game a shot. There’s definitely some fun to be had in the levels that are actually available here.
Quik the Thunder Rabbit (Assembler Games Thread)
Here on Gaming Reinvented, we’ve interviewed a fair few people from Mario Fan Games Galaxy. There was the one we did with Thunder Dragon back in 2015. Another with DJ Coco a bit earlier than that. And well, with almost every staffer from Guinea to VinnyVideo having done interviews here before, some may say we’re almost out of Mario fan game devs to interview!
But that’s today. Because as the title points out, we’ve managed to secure another interesting fan game developer interview! This time, with MFGG staffer and game developer Miles, who has previously created a contest winning game called The Purple Coin.
So sit down, make a cup of tea and get ready to hear what Miles has to say about his history with Mario fan games!
1. Starting with the usual personal background question. So you know the drill now. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What’s your story outside of fan game development?
I don’t find that there’s much to be said about myself; I’m a pretty uninteresting fellow outside of fangaming. I’m a stay-at-home person that helps my dad with his business for work. That’s pretty much it.
2. How about your video game history? What game got you interested in gaming anyway?
One could say that I started life with a Sega Genesis controller in my hand. At as young as age 3 I was playing games on that thing and loving them. The fun I had in my early years with the Sonic series and other classics such as Dynamite Headdy and The Lost Vikings (go play those immediately if you haven’t and can legally do so) got me more or less cemented into gaming. I’ve had stuff from most generations since.
3. And how did you get started in Mario fan games anyway?
My Mario fangaming journey actually sort of began with Sonic fangaming, since that’s where I first learned that I could make things of my own. Sonic Fan Games HQ introduced me to The Games Factory around 2003-2004, which introduced me to game logic. During a conversation on AIM with a fun fellow I’d met elsewhere, I was introduced to Game Maker with a game he was working on at the time.
Not too long later, I wound up at Mario Fan Games Galaxy, though how exactly I came across it is a mystery. By then I’d been doing a lot with both The Games Factory and Game Maker and was able to do a fair bit of what I wanted to with them. I didn’t really become very active at MFGG until many years later, though. In time, probably around 2009 or so, I found that Mario was significantly easier to do solo fangame work with than Sonic, so Mario more or less become my focus at that point.
4. Onto Super Battle Bros now. What gave you the idea to make a Mario fighting game?
In response to my previous fan game not quite working well, I started a new project with the aim to have a better engine. I had formed a huge AI obsession at around that point, so in order for me to scratch that figurative itch I put together a one-screen game where an AI Luigi fought a player Mario on a stage with a ground area and a solid floating platform in the center. The AI Luigi was able to run around the level and eventually reach Mario when there was no line-of-sight beforehand. It just grew into a fighting game from there. It was supposed to also have a story mode with it to be in line with the game I was trying to make before it, but that part of it never quite got anywhere.
5. What about the different art style mechanic? Having the style change to fit the arena is certainly a nifty idea…
I think it came from a small level of necessity. The NES stages I made didn’t work very well without this system, but I wanted them in one way or another. Only one stage used the SMB3 theme, which was rather unfortunate because someone kindly made a SMB3 sprite set for me for that purpose.
6. It also says the game lets you combine power ups and what not. What inspired this idea? Cause it’s quite rare in the Mario series, at least outside of Wario Land on the Virtual Boy…
Huh, I didn’t even know that an official game had done this until now. I don’t quite remember if I came up with the idea in my own head first or straight up took the idea from another game that did it before mine, but I do remember that it made sense to me from a fun perspective. I had made most of a game of the same name before this one that also had that feature, though it was a more adventure-focused game.
From the very start, Fur Fun has been a… controversial game. Originally known as Kewpie-Jazzy and accused of ripping off Yooka-Laylee with its Kickstarter campaign, the title’s gained a bit of a reputation for being a less inspired 3D platformer. Like a poor man’s version of Banjo-Kazooie.
And while things have looked up since it’s early access release, it seems controversy is still afoot here. Why? Because as the title suggests, the Fur Fun team has been accused of stealing resources and responding to criticism in all the worst ways possible.
For example, look at this picture showing the game’s sound files. Taken by a member of The Cutting Room Floor wiki, it quite clearly shows things like the Banjo-Kazooie Mad Monster Mansion theme in the game’s resources folder. Or what appears to be one of Kazooie’s voice clips from the same game.
Now admittedly, this doesn’t mean said files are used in the game itself. It could be the case, sure. But a lot of games also have random and somewhat inappropriate content held on the disc/in the files that never sees the light of day. Like say, Mario Kart Arcade GP having photos of the Besian school hostage crisis. Or a certain Datel mini game collection having a Metroid Fusion ROM and emulator on the disc.
So Fur Fun may be in the clear here.
But their potential use of stolen resources is only one of the issues with the game. Another (and more worrying) one is their complete and utter inability to take feedback. For example, lots of reviews were going missing on Steam:
And as OtherEhm (the guy who find the stolen resources) found out, the developers also seemed to like sending copyright takedown notices for critical videos on YouTube too:
That’s a worrying indication that the development team is very thin skinned here. That the people behind this game have no ability to handle negative opinions of their work in a responsible manner and wish to simply take down criticism rather than deal with it.
Yes, it’s not as bad as the Art of Stealth developer (who threatened to sue Jim Sterling) or Digital Homicide (who threatened to sue Jim Sterling, a bunch of Steam users and then Valve themselves in response to negative feedback).
And hey, note the past tense above. Since that time, a previously hit account was restored:
Along with at least one negative review of the game.
So the development team is improving here. They are realising that accepting negative feedback is part and parcel of any decent game development team’s life. They’re trying to listen to critics now.
It’s just that with what happened before, there’s still a worrying history of poor responses to criticism here. Let’s hope the team have learnt their lesson and put their focus on the game rather than their responses to critics!
They handled translating Xenoblade Chronicles on Wii, and they’ve worked with Nintendo on a fair few other games.
But it seems like 8-4’s translation work on the series is finished for now. That’s because as per 8-4 staffer John Ricciardi on Twitter, the company is busy with other stuff at the moment. Here’s his tweet about the news in full:
Still, at least the news will come as a relief to some fans. This is because a while back, 8-4 got a lot of criticism from JRPG fans for removing certain features from the localised versions of Xenoblade Chronicles, like the boob slider and other similar additions. Said fans were part of a GamerGate related initiative called ‘Torrential Downpour’, and also expressed unhappiness with other games translated around the same time. Like Fire Emblem Fates. Or Tokyo Mirage Sessions.
So those people should be happy with this announcement. Let’s hope the rest of us will be as well!