Designer Interview – Trivatch Games {Part 2}

Thanks for joining us for Part 2 of my interview with David Vatcher of Trivatch Games. If you missed the first half of our discussion, where we learn a little about: the guys behind Legends of Rakasa, all of the ways to create custom games and the built-in game Rak’min, you can find it here.

Rakasa Open Box
Adventure awaits…

Alright, you have all this customization, you have all these things that people can do. I know this is only half of the core set. Fordra has its own expansion, and then we have Monsir (the other half of the core game) and its expansion… So where is the game going? 

Where is the game going… that is a good question to ask at this point. the direction of the game is complex because there are multiple directions to expansion. So, yes there is Monsir that will be it’s own stand alone game with similar format to Fordra, but different in themes and story. Then there are the upper level expansions of both Fordra and Monsir. There is also a potion expansion. These expansions are already designed and their connecting components are built into Legends of Rakasa: Fordra. So that’s the currently designed expansions, we have more story and more adventures we hope to explore beyond this even, but we’ll open that door when we get there.

At every convention, people always want to battle other people. So it was kind of out of a necessity… almost… because Fordra was not balanced for battling each other—items and equipment were balanced against monsters. Though still played in Rakasa using the Rakasa game components, it is quite different in feel. The most obvious difference is you are hunting other players!

So now, when you craft your equipment, you load it onto the tracker. (Players) track the amount of each stat they have. If you upgrade your equipment, you add the difference to your gear in the tracker.

For example, if you’re attacking someone, you use your power. If I hit you for 7, I take 7 out of my power; and if I take all my power down to 0… I can use my skills, because some of my skills have power. But I have to pay gems to use those skills.

Legends of Rakasa’s latest direction carries it from a regular board game into the digital-hybrid realm with numerous apps, gameplay expansions and long-term player advancement within the company’s servers and on Android devices at home—turning the game into something the creators have jokingly referred to as an “MMORPBG” or “Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Board Game”

So you unlock these skills and then you use your gems to power them?

Yeah, thats the basis of it.

How often do you get the opportunity to choose one of these skill sets? How do you earn that?

So you pay 20 gems to purchase a skill set—or train to learn a skill set with a trainer. If you want to replace a skill (reforge your ring), then it would cost you 2 gems.

So, instead of a skill tree, I’ve got the options of different classes and their sub-sets. when you choose a skill set, are all three skills available to you, requiring gems to power them? So Its not choosing 1 from each of them, I’m choosing the skill sets of three skills?

So, the classes are not traditional, like the way you would think. We don’t want to dictate what a priest is. Or what a knight is. Or what a rogue is. We want you to think about what your skill set’s result is and what you are. So that’s why we set them as more a general type. So far, we have: the Full Support, the Tank,  the Glass Cannon, the Melee DPS, and the Ranged character. And each of those has a set of 3 skills. For example, there’s the full support set 1, set 2, set 3, and on the back of the ring card you have 3 slots for skills sets, which is 9 skills.

For example: if someone took their Full Support set 1, their Tank set 1 and then their Glass Cannon 1 set, they’re in a sense, like a Paladin– you can heal, you’re mostly defense, but you have a few strong skills.

As it is, we have our 5 base classes and we’ve already looked at 4 others that we’ll release later. so we’ll continuously be releasing different classes. And the other thing is we also want to do jobs. So you could have a class and a job. And basically, the jobs don’t relate to battling necessarily. One job would be like the traveler skill set, which would help you with movement. Or the merchant job class skills would help you with buying and selling stuff to the market.

How will the PVP include and what will it sell for?

 

We’re trying to keep it around $15. You get 4 trackers and their tokens, ring cards, gem cards. So that all comes together. The app we use will also be a free download.
Early adopters of the game will notice that the Legends of Rakasa has a very different look.
Early adopters of the game will notice that the Legends of Rakasa has a very different look.

Alright, those who have been following the game know that there have been 3 kickstarter campaigns up to this point, however,  you decided to go a different route for funding, manufacturing and distribution of rakasa, why the change?

There’s just a couple things… its kind of a hard game to conceive. Especially when you get like 2 minutes to view our game and get what our game is about. You can’t comprehend Rakasa in 2 minutes and get a good idea. So its hard to reach people on KS the way we want to.
I think a lot of game developers go that route, I mean… we did it. We experienced it 3 times, because we thought that was the best method. But then over time, we realized it wasn’t what we wanted to do with our company. So, the kickstarter campaigns were key—a lot of major progress was made on the game from launching kick starters, because we would push ourselves to create this great game and develop all of this (extra) stuff.

The biggest reason is, we want to have way more interaction than just having people buy our game on KS. We want you to get to our site or find the game by playing it with us or going to some place where you play it and really interact with it. We didn’t need KS necessarily for the funding of the game, we wanted to put it out there so we could have that interaction with the community.

Through interacting with the community both online and at various events, you can earn Trivatch Points to obtain promotional content and extra/replacement components.
Through interacting with the community both online and at various events, you can earn Trivatch Points to obtain promotional content and extra/replacement components.

The other thing is that we could produce and provide so much more for our fans than we could on KS. So when we put out stuff, it’ll still be free like you would on KS, but its free because you’re interacting with the community. Which isn’t hard, like if you go on our forums and share information, you’re getting points.  So just that interaction will get you points and you get free stuff.

So I mean, that’s kinda why I went the other direction. if we’re gonna build momentum around a community, we don’t want it to be just for 30 days and then we’re done…we want you to come and be part of the community of trivatch.

So we talked about the future of the game—When will your first bulk order copies will be available?

The bulk order, the published version of the game, will be delivered on July 6th, and will be available on Amazon and our Store this coming week for about $50 (incl. tax.)

Thank you, David, for talking with me today.

The guys from Trivatch hosted an event in L.A. at Anime Expo 2015 over the 4th of July weekend, July 2-5, 2015. Attendees were handed envelopes with a colored ring, a wooden coin, and a promotional card providing a bit of game lore as well as informing them of their destiny within the game (aka which clan a player belongs to—see below.)

These events sound like a fairly ambitions activity involving a clan war within in the game, which also serves to introduce a long-awaited game mode—PVP. The coin, mentioned above, has a QR code on it which acts as a participant’s entrance to the event, tracker for all rewards earned during the event, and acts as the means to unlock skills during the game. Everything is being stored on the Trivatch servers, however, the same basic system will be available for home use after the convention. (At launch, this system will only be available on Android devices.)

If you’re curious to try this system out for yourself and happen to be in California, near the Sacramento area in September–the guys from Trivatch will be hosting a very similar event at SacAnime 9/4-9/6/2015. You can also read more details on the PVP and the Apps on the Trivatch website.


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PyroFrog is a gamer through most every medium as well as a father, novice blogger, hopeful game designer, and hopeless Kickstarter supporter. His blog is dedicated to gaming news and tends to focus on interesting and high value opportunities. He regularly organizes game nights where he and 3-8 friends frequently try out new games, playtest new IP's and enjoy popular favorites.

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