Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
August 21, 2014
arrowPress Releases
August 21, 2014
PR Newswire
View All

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

EALA Vets Form Haunted Temple, Announce XBLA/PC Turn-Based Strategy Game
EALA Vets Form Haunted Temple, Announce XBLA/PC Turn-Based Strategy Game
June 4, 2010 | By Chris Remo

June 4, 2010 | By Chris Remo
More: Console/PC

A group of development veterans most recently worked at Electronic Arts Los Angeles has formed independent developer Haunted Temple Studios, whose first project is the Advance Wars-inspired Skulls of the Shogun for Xbox Live Arcade and PC.

Comprised of four team members and announced on the game's official site, Haunted Temple was spearheaded by artist Jake Kazdal, who first become known for his work on Space Channel 5 and Rez at Sega's United Game Artists.

Kazdal moved to EA LA, where he contributed to numerous games including Steve Spielberg's stalled LMNO project as well as Command & Conquer 4 -- whose team was told it would be largely laid off after the game's completion.

"I hate to say it but EA LA laying everyone off was the best thing that ever happened to me!" Kazdal said in a 1UP interview. "To be able to cherry pick some of the best developers I had ever worked with to work on my own game was just the most phenomenal thing ever."

The other three members of Haunted Temple are designer and programmer Borut Pfeifer, programmer Ben Vance, and audio developer Sam Bird, all of whom worked on either LMNO, Command & Conquer 4, or both.

Skulls of the Shogun's official site describes the game as "an invigorating cocktail of 1960s-flavored sorcery and strategy," aiming to push the turn-based strategy genre forward by maintaining an elegance in gameplay with evolutions to interface, graphics, and tactical options.

Haunted Temple hopes to complete the game on Xbox Live Arcade and PC within six to nine months, and is considering other platforms, including iPad, in the future.

Related Jobs

Infinity Ward / Activision
Infinity Ward / Activision — woodland hills, California, United States

Build Engineer-Infinity Ward
Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products — Glendale, California, United States

Contract Game Programmer
Cloud Imperium Games
Cloud Imperium Games — Austin, Texas, United States

Lead Network Engineer
Cloud Imperium Games
Cloud Imperium Games — Santa Monica, California, United States

Animation Programmer


Bart Stewart
profile image
Turn-based strategy, you say?

Nice. :)

It remains to be see whether console accessibility > PC strategic depth, but this sounds like a great start. Best of luck to the team!

Achilles de Flandres
profile image
this seems more like a classy thing to do than those Downsized guys.

Chris Remo
profile image

I think those concerns are a lot less pressing with turn-based strategy as compared to real-time. And since the team's primary touchstone is Advance Wars, a console series, they probably won't feel particularly limited either way.

Looking forward to it!

Manny Vega
profile image
Wow, you remember those Downsized guys? They must be doing something right if you remember the name over a month later.

Nathan Addison
profile image
TBS for the win!

It's real encouraging to hear about veterans in the industry that didn't just "roll over and die" after they got dealt a bad hand. I really hope these fine fellows make it big.

Looking forward to seeing how this game turns out. Even if not for my own selfish reason lol

ken sato
profile image
Well any major publisher that made investments in technology or operations that downsized had to be careful in assessing the layoff. In some cases, their were senior developers and directors who pretty much established operating and technology...which they just ended up implementing somewhere else.

Essentially the large company paid for the development, the smaller company reaped the rewards by not having to invest in time or money but rather having a person already familiar with establishing the process.

And to get back on track, Turn-based strategy has a lot of history in development. The question is what are they keeping the same and what is going to be new. There are A LOT of developmental hurdles that are side stepped when you don't necessarily have to keep everything active at once. (Updates--whether its to frame or to a server.)

So personally I'd be looking at the art, game design, and scope of the project. There are a lot of companies that are focusing on RTS or some derivative as a free to play model, but there are none that I know of that are focusing on turn based development. I can see a lot of cross platform and service capabilities here. Looks ripe, good for investment owing on the business and development plans.

Mark Harris
profile image
Awesome bootstrapping, guys. TBS is under-served at the moment, hopefully the game rocks and the new studio does well!

Daniel Boutros
profile image
The game is excellent. You will dig.