July 2, 2014
Skara: The Blade Remains – An Interview With Cesar Ortega (Part 1)
Recently, I was given a wonderful opportunity to partake in an interview with Cesar Ortega, co-founder of the development team behind the upcoming game Skara: the Blade Remains, coming soon to Steam.
(me): So what can you tell me about the world of Skara: the Blade Remains?
(Cesar Ortega): “Skara is a world in chaos because of a cataclysmic phenomenon caused by a planet being absorbed by the sun. This drove the five races in Skara to fight for their land, for the food and for their own lives. There is a whole story behind each one of the races in Skara and how they interact. We have been working on it for the last four years.”
(me): Can you explain the title, The Blade Remains?
(CO): “In a world unleashing untold amounts of chaos, death and destruction, only the strong survive, only the sword prevails, only The Blade Remains. It´s also a small tribute to one of our favorite games, Blade: The Edge of Darkness, a game ahead of its time with amazing physics, particle effects and combat system, released in 2001.”
(me): What would you say is most unique about Skara? What will separate it from its competitors?
(CO): “Skara is our vision for the perfect video game, and it combines aspects from all our favorite games in a single place. Skara aims to be one of the best looking video games, with a realistic combat system that promotes competition thanks to a fair but customizable fighting style. And the most important, it will be free to play!”
(me): I have heard Skara: The Blade Remains called a “multiplayer online versus,” or “MOV.” Could you expand on that? What exactly does that mean?
(CO): “Skara uses combat mechanics from versus games such as combos and fatalities like Tekken or Mortal Combat, put together into a multiplayer environment such as that in Call of Duty where players team up and fight for the control of the arenas. That means having a skill-based gameplay where only skill, reflexes and accuracy can guarantee wins. As we often like to say: ‘Trust your skills, not your stats’ We are also implementing a lot of social features from games such as League of Legends where players’ success will be constantly tracked by leader tables so groups of players will influence Skara’s history.”
(me): I have heard that Skara will have elements of role-playing and fighting games. What sort of elements are you talking about?
(CO): “We are taking several features from RPG´s, such as a skill tree to specialize your character through the equipment you unblock. Wearing a Heavy Armor makes your character more resistant to blows, but also slows you down. Players can choose their role in their factions, becoming a Tank, ready to absorb the damage in the front line of the battle, or a ranger, quicker and focused on ranged weapons combat. It´s also very important the way players can integrate their personal story into Skara´s history. More successful players will ascend in the ranks and become Heroes and Kings of this world. We have created an amazing background to inspire gamer’s imagination: but it´s on them to continue the story from that point. Our writer Jackson Adam will continue the History of Skara with these players as protagonists.”
(me): What sort of things inspired the look and play-style of Skara?
(CO): “In terms of the visual aspect of the world and its inhabitants, we didn´t want to pigeonhole the classic fantasy archetype with elves, orcs and dragons. We created our own mythology with races inspired in the classic Antiquity, mixing features from ancient cultures with a fantasy touch.”
(me): What sort of character options will players have, both overall and right from the start? Is there going to be a campaign or story mode and, if so, how will players impact it?
(CO): “Our plan for the future is to create a Story Mode for every one of the races of Skara, which will be available both online and offline, completely for free. But players will influence the world of Skara from the very beginning, expanding the territories of their factions and gaining fame through battles on the arenas and victories on our 1v1 scenario: The Lava Coliseum.”
The game, thus far, looks absolutely incredible and all that I have been told about just makes me more excited for it. You can see its trailer below, and if interested, there is still time to get in on its Kickstarter campaign if you hurry.
My thanks go out to Cesar Ortega for taking time out of his busy schedule for this interview, to Robert Brown for getting me into contact with him, and my best wishes to all of the Skara design team. You guys are doing an incredible job. Keep up the good work.
Image Credit: SKARA via Kickstarter