UPDATE – The Kickstarter for Shadows of Adam is now live! Check it out here!
Ever since we started covering retro-style indie games, we’ve been yearning for someone to develop a kick-ass RPG. Thankfully, it looks like Shadows of Adam will be bringing this need to an end. We’ll have to wait until next year for it but nothing like getting the hype machine into overdrive! I caught up with all the guys at Something Classic to see how they’re getting on and what we can expect from this 16-bit RPG homage.
We’re obviously massive retro gaming addicts here – we love the look of your new project – Shadows of Adam – could you give us some background and what it’s all about?
Josh G: The idea behind this project was to capture the essence of classic RPGs from the 16-bit generation while improving some flaws we all remember. We want to create a short, memorable, and light-hearted jRPG but with faster pacing, no random battles and a much clearer narrative.
Tyler D: Despite our title having a macabre tone, comedic elements are littered throughout. I mean, in the first hour your party acts as “my little disembodied hand puppets sifting through the forest for goodies” for an old witch who falls in love with one of your party members and jiggly tentacles surround the party within the first TEN minutes. A lot of these classic J-RPGs have wacky characters and elements that make you take a second glance and ask yourself: “What just happened?”. We’re no different 🙂
16-bit RPGs were a massive part of our childhood – which games influenced this title (if any)?
Tyler D: Luke explained our influences like so: If Shadows of Adam had stayed true to its original vision, it would have been called Final Fantasy: Pokemon Adventure Quest Platinum. The suggestion “Shadows of Adam” came directly from Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn. The BG2 title conveys a country with many secrets and depth; and the core plotline for our game is a small isolated village with a secret, so when we were discussing the title I immediately thought of “BG2!”.
Tyler M: All the mid 90s Squaresoft games were big influences. Many hours spent leveling up (you’re not the only one… – Ed).
Josh G: My favorites from that time period are Final Fantasy IV and Super Mario RPG. In terms of what influenced the project, games like Super Mario RPG, Pokemon Red/Blue, and Final Fantasy Mystic Quest for their mixture of non-random battles and varied overworld gameplay elements.
Apart from the retro feel – what sets Shadows of Adam apart from other indie RPGs currently available?
Tim: I don’t think there are any other indie RPGs out there attempting to follow in the footsteps of Final Fantasy 6 or Chrono Trigger. We’re picking up where the great Squaresoft left off twenty years ago and asking to be compared to them. Except we have to build a game that was standardized two decades ago for the modern consumer.
Tyler D: A lot of indie RPGs (Specifically J-RPGs) are trying to take a classic formula and change it in some minor way to provide a different experience. This is FABULOUS and allows the industry to evolve. but this isn’t what we’re doing. I suppose you can say we are being different from the rest because we are NOT trying to provide a different experience. We want to build a classic 16-bit J-RPG, and we want the game to feel like something you would play on the SNES. We wave our 16-bit J-RPG flag high!
Tyler M: The team motto “Simple, done well” leads the way. We hope to capture the spirit of the old games, while updating them slightly for the modern audience. However, we are not apologizing for the genre. And great music 🙂
Josh G: Earnestness. A lot of indie RPGs like to poke fun at the silly conventions found in older games and break the fourth wall. We’re aiming to play it straight, but keep it funny within the boundaries and lore of the game’s world.
Luke: I haven’t played enough indie RPGs to know… *embarrassed face*
When is the game available and how can our readers get their hands on it?
Tyler D: Target release is Q2 2016 on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Potential future platforms we’re looking into are iOS, Android, WinPhone and WiiU, but nothing is final. Our demo release will be Q4 2015 (Hopefully!) and will be playable directly in a modern web browser: Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer 10+ (11 recommended)
Tyler M: We’ll have a demo signup on www.somethingclassic.net very soon!
How long will Shadows of Adam take to complete?
Tim: Shadows of Adam will take approximately 10-12 hours to complete the main story. There will be some side quests to increase the game length for players who want a more immersive experience.
Luke: If you never figure out how to sprint on the maps, maybe 16-20 hours. If you realize you can sprint, maybe 8-10.
What did you use to construct the game and create these lovely 16-bit graphics?
Tim: The graphics were designed primarily in Graphics Gale and Gimp2, with some editing done in Photoshop. A few talented artists under my direction worked to create most of the art in the game. In particular cyangmou (who is running a kickstarter for his own retro game right now https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/514621648/tower-57) helped the look of the game immensely through his amazing tile sets.
Tyler D: The game is being built using the ImpactJS game engine and all of the levels are being assembled using Weltmeister.
Do you have any other titles in the pipeline?
Tyler D: “Shadows of Adam: Kart Edition” A Super Mario Kart clone using SoA characters, items and levels. I joke of course, but that would be a fun project to work on! (yes it would 🙂 – Ed)
Luke: I have a Japanese learning game stuck stuck in the pipeline somewhere… lost track of it in the mountains of Alaska.
What was/were your favourite console(s)/game(s) growing up?
Tim: I was definitely a Nintendo kid growing up, but I do have a soft spot in my heart for Intellivision. I think I was playing that long after it was relevant. As far as games go, I spent the most time playing Shark! Shark! for Intellivision, Tecmo Super Bowl for NES, and all the Squaresoft RPGs for the SNES.
Tyler D: I’d say the SNES, but the Sega Dreamcast is a very close second. For games, I LOVED TMNT: Turtles in Time for both the arcade and on the SNES and I also adored Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger. Interestingly, I couldn’t get into any of the Final Fantasy games until I was well into my teens.
Tyler M: SNES, Nintendo 64, and PS1 were my favorites. I loved all the classic platformers – Mario Series, Donkey Kong Country and classic JRpgs – Final Fantasy 4-9, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound. And the best game ever made – Goldeneye 64 🙂 (hang on! 😉 – Ed)
Josh G: I got swept up in the Pokemon craze during its heyday, so those older ones like Red/Blue are probably my favorite games. I’m also a huge fan of the Megaman series, and just bought the Legacy Collection without a second thought. Favorite console is probably SNES or N64.
Luke: SNES, Nintendo 64, and PS1 were my favorites. I loved all the classic platformers – Mario Series, Bionic Commando (NES), Ice Hockey (NES), the Romance of the Three Kingdom strategy games, and classic JRpgs – Final Fantasy 1-7, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound. And Goldeneye 64.
If you could go for a couple of drinks with any video game character – who would you choose and why?
Tim: I think it’d be Geno from Super Mario RPG. If only because I’ve always loved his character design. I think he’d be chill and we’d have a nice glass of scotch while talking over the mysteries of the universe and his crazy experiences and responsibilities as a star road warrior.
Tyler D: Stanley the Exterminator. I imagine him as an alcoholic fifty-year old who is severely depressed with deep financial woes. You do battle with ‘Donkey Kong’ using nothing but insect repellent, you manage to presumably WIN, the world gives you a pat on the back and says “Congratulations” but then you’re practically forgotten. I’ll ask him the question: “Do you have any regrets?” I expect him to respond with “I should’ve let Kong win”
Tyler M: Sephiroth. He needs a friend to listen to him talk about his mother issues (not half! – Ed).
Josh G: The black mage from the Final Fantasy series. I wanna know what’s under his hat.
Luke: Mario. It’s always good to have a friend who is a plumber.
Thanks so much guys – we can’t wait for the game’s release – keep us updated!