Does it seem like tactics games are making a comeback? That new people are discovering these games?
It really does. I was studying them for a while, but it wasn't until the new XCOM game last year -- love that game, I'm a huge fan of the original and played the shit out of that game. To have a reboot that makes somebody like me happy, someone who holds the original in very high regard, and also bring in people who never played the old XCOM enjoy it [is an achievement]. And Fire Emblem: Awakening that's bringing a lot of people into strategy games and turn-based tactics.
That was kind of the thing...I didn't really think I could pitch this to publishers and have it work. But it's awesome seeing people get excited about a turn-based tactics game in the year 2013.
Would you work with publishers again?
I have to be really careful about what I say about publishers, because we're going to work with publishers again, you know? We totally will if the deal terms are alright, things look good and it makes sense to have them as a partner and they can bring stuff to the relationship. That's awesome, nothing against that.
But there's still this underground, behind-closed-doors thing that goes on with those deals and relationships. I like that we don't have to go underground for a year, then try to announce it later.
Early concept art, Massive Chalice.
You had a situation where your backers brought up same-sex marriage in the game. That's a discussion that wouldn't have happened at this stage in the dev cycle if you were with a publisher.
Right, if we don't think about those things now...you know, I'm a hetero white dude with these weird privileges and things that impact your brain. I was thinking about the game more mechanically, and two men and two women can't biologically make a baby, and [having babies] is the bare minimum of what the game requires, so I was just thinking on those terms. Then the community was like, "Hey, what about this?" And I was like, "Oh shit, I hadn't thought about this."
But holy crap, we have an opportunity to be inclusive and make people feel like they're represented when they play the game! So that's our aim...it's still early, we don't know exactly how any of this will be implemented, but I really want to make sure we're inclusive.
We're not planning on doing "design by committee" -- we're not going to have a ton of forum polls and going with the most popular thing. I don't think we should be making games that way...It's about trying to get the best ideas and make the best game possible.