Yannim Studio launched their second attempt at a Kickstarter for their debut game, Red Goddess, just over a week ago and are already on their way to smashing their base goal! Nintendo Enthusiast reached out to Project Lead Yannick Puig to find out more about Divine, the titular red goddess and her traumatic adventure through her own subconscious.
Who are Yanim Studio and what games were you raised on?
We started as a team roughly ten years ago with 3D animation, doing some outsourcing like 3D art for other developers. We actually have a game development team of nine people, composed of people who have worked for games such as Risen, Deadlight and Wanted: Weapons of Fate. Red Goddess\’s Project Lead is myself, Yannick Puig. I\’ve created many award-winning 3D shorts and music videos. My favourite project to date is probably the \”I Lived On The Moon\” music video. As a long-time 3D animation veteran, I worked in France and Spain, as animator, story-boarder, 3D artist, and director.
Our favorite recent games are: The Witcher 2, Skyrim, Trine, Limbo, and from the past: Super Mario 2 (NES), The Legend of Zelda, and also Landstalker (Megadrive) and Street Fighter (SNES).
How would you describe Red Goddess and how long has it been in development?
Red Goddess is a side-scrolling action adventure game — 2.5 graphics, unique atmosphere and epic story. The game was inspired by Dust: An Elysian Tail and The Cave. We started the pre-production a year ago. Everything you see in the Kickstarter is an early proof-of-concept. We have not yet gone into full development but can\’t wait to do so.
Red Goddess stars a red-headed deity named Divine. What is her story?
In Red Goddess, you play as a troubled deity named Divine, who feels confused and haunted by her past. Something mysterious and unknown is tearing her apart from the inside out, destroying her mind, her soul and Divine herself! The journey begins when Divine decides to right this wrong by exploring her own subconscious, where she will discover a planet within her own mind made up of mountains, forests, caves and perils unknown.
Wow — that sounds deep! What kind of experiences and puzzles should players expect?
Red Goddess is ideally suited for action-adventure game lovers. As I told you, we want to do a non-linear adventure game, with many characters and secrets to discover. And, as the world of Red Goddess is the mind of the main character itself, it gives us many possibilities. We don\’t want to overcomplicate the combat system for players, but the appeal of the game is to uncover all the mysteries involved, solving their puzzles, with many unique skills and moves.
How do you plan to leverage the unique abilities of the Wii U console?
We\’re considering placing a map and all of the UI elements on the screen of the Wii U GamePad so that the TV only displays the game. We\’ll also offer the option of playing the game completely in Off-TV mode, which is a great feature that allows people to continue playing if the TV is not available. On top of that, we\’re considering other things, such as using the touchscreen for quick access to some of Divine\’s skills, as well as for other abilities and options we can\’t discuss right now.
What release date are you aiming for? Have you considered pricing options?
These two details are a little difficult to pin down right now. I\’d hope to release the game by April 2015, maybe May 2015 for the console versions such as Wii U. It would likely cost $25 via the eShop. The lowest tier for the Wii U key on our Kickstarter is currently $20.
The Wii U has had a hard time of late. Why did you decide to bring your game to Wii U?
We\’ve loved Nintendo platforms since we were young, so it seems like a natural fit for us to release out games on them. We\’ve also had a great deal of support from the Nintendo community. At the time of writing, we are three days into the new campaign, almost passing the 70% mark of the base goal. That\’s fantastic news, but we still don\’t have enough support or views from the PlayStation gamers.
Which game engine are you developing the game with? Is it Unity3D?
No, we are using the Unreal engine. We have worked with Unreal Engine 3 and are changing to Unreal 4 for Red Goddess. There is not a specific version of Unreal 4 for Wii U at the moment and we will use a version of Unreal 3 for the port.
How did you find the path to becoming an approved Nintendo developer?
People from the Nintendo community helped us a lot during that but also the staff of Nintendo have been very friendly and responsive.
Your original Kickstarter campaign failed to reach its base goal, but your current campaign is flying and looks set to smash its goal. How have you found the Kickstarter process and would you go through it again?
You can ask all developers: the crowd-funding process is really hard. The staff at Kickstarter recommend you to make projects less than thirty days and I think it\’s a good advice for your health — because you cannot sleep, eat, or stop looking at the screen during the entire month. It\’s crazy, but also very addictive. When we stopped our first campaign, it was frustrating because we didn\’t reach the goal, but you\’re still in contact with your community and that\’s the most important part.
We are really happy with our second campaign! Things are going really fast and I hope we will continue that way, because this is how we will make things happen and how we could make such an awesome game. We have many stretch goals, like Additional Chapters, Scenarios, Enemies, and also two very interesting projects: a comic with Red Goddess\’s adventures and exclusives short stories additional to the game about the past of Divine.
The more backing we receive, the more content we can create, and the better the game will be!
Could there ever be a sequel in the cards or a whole new game?
Not now — we are totally involved into the development of this game. But we are thinking into different platform media; for example, a comic book and short stories eBook based on the world of Red Goddess.
Nintendo Enthusiast would like to wish Yannick and the team at Yannim Studio the best of luck with the remainder of their campaign. If you have yet to visit the Kickstarter campaign for Red Goddess, make sure you do so know and make your pledge! A pledge of just $20 will net you a Wii U eShop key when the game launches in 2015.