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Very impressive article Jake! You are very talented.
nice article! i love seeing the breakdowns.
We’ve talked with the developers of Fort Triumph about their interesting take on tactical games.
We’re a team of 9 indie developers who banded together around the concept of Fort Triumph which we loved and decided to try and bring our vision to life. It started with three founders around three years ago and has grown as more talented heroes joined the quest.
We’re located in Tel Aviv, Israel. Most of us have worked in the local industry for various companies and start-ups before, but this is our first independent project.
Adam, our founder, fell in love with the new Xcom series as the first game came out and completely redefined the otherwise somewhat stale genre. Even though he played hundreds of hours and loved many of the core elements, he always liked fantasy settings more, and also saw some ways to make levels deeper on the tactical level.
From there on it was a matter of gathering the team and building up our game.
Building the Game
It is a matter of balance – on the one hand, there are plenty of mechanics and good gameplay we wanted to adopt from the great games which came before us in the turn based tactical genre. On the other, we have a very clear vision of what can make things more interesting and involved – adding physics and interactive environments to the mix. Whenever in doubt, we test, and through testing with several hundred players over the last year or so, we have began to solidify the qualities we’re looking for.
A big part of the gameplay in Fort Triumph is the way the levels are crafted – The game has to have enough objects in each segment that you can push, destroy, and burn some, and still leave some cover for your poor defenseless heroes.
A lot of balancing in our gameplay isn’t about changing the heroes or monsters stats, but all the environments, which tends to be a much more difficult task.
Back in the day we started with completely random areas and objects, and all sorts of algorithms to spread them out. Some worked pretty well but overall we decided we want more control over the aesthetics and the gameplay. So we switched to creating groups of areas and procedurally connecting them.
We’re experimenting a lot with that – you can tell a lot of the areas in the game are just wild “What happens if we do this?” and are at times overpowered, and other times somewhat boring. But you really learn a lot from going to the “extremes” with these experiments especially this early in development.
We know the cartoony style is usually associated with low poly, but in fact the assets are not that low poly – it’s just that most of the details are in the textures, because that’s the look we aim for.
We strive for a lush hand painted look and derive a lot of influence from games like Wildstar, Darksiders, Allods Online, and more.
Personally for us, we put a lot of emphasis on the concepts to make every little object, and each character, stylized and relate-able.
Since we’re going into fine detail of every hand-crafted asset, it takes quite a bit of work to produce the variety of models, environments and assets we need.
Originally and through most of the last three years, Fort Triumph was our pet project. We all had or still have other jobs and/or savings enabling us to self-fund our development up to this point.
However, in order to focus our full time and attention on the game and fully flesh out the world we have in our vision, we’re going to need help from the gaming community and that’s why we turned to Kickstarter – we believe in our demo and think it shows our direction and ability to deliver on it.