Best
Games

An Interview With The Waylanders’ Executive Producer Fernando Prieto


Drawing inspiration from classic RPGs, Gato Studio’s real-time-with-pause RPG The Waylanders is finally here. Gamers Heroes recently spoke with Fernando Prieto, Partner and General Manager of Gato Studio and Executive Producer of The Waylanders, to learn more.

Gamers Heroes:
The Waylanders taps into Celtic myth from the Spanish region of Galicia. This is something that is incredibly unique in the gaming space – what made you want to explore this?

Fernando Prieto:
We wanted to give the game a different approach, far from the typical high fantasy game inspired in the medieval period of Central Europe or nordic legends. As we were coming up with the initial ideas for the RPG that would become The Waylanders, we realized that our region, Galicia, has many legends inspired by the old heritage that can be spotted all over.

For example, Galicia has more than 3000 hill forts from the Iron Age. When we read the stories told in the Lebor gabála Érenn, a book chronicling the taking of Ireland (S.XII) and talking about the people living in those hillforts crossing the sea to conquer Ireland, we knew we had an excellent and epic story that could work as the foundation for our game.

Gamers Heroes:
The team has mentioned that The Waylanders was inspired by classic RPGs like Dragon Age: Origins, Neverwinter Nights, and Baldur’s Gate. What were some of the elements of these games that inspired The Waylanders?

Fernando Prieto:
The games you just mentioned are some of our favorites. With The Waylanders, we looked to these titles as well as a few others like KOTOR for inspirations in our design. Although we’re a small team, we did our best to capture that combination of compelling narrative, deep lore, and strategic battle in the game. More directly, we wanted to build a real-time-with-pause RPG that uses both third person perspective and isometric cameras for exploring and combat.

As The Waylanders is a party-based RPG, the way we look at companion characters is also drawn from BioWare’s titles. We created them to be flexible and upgradable gameplay-wise, but also to have compelling backgrounds that players can discover as their individual story and romance arcs are explored.

We also wanted to create a game with exciting character-filled moments told through cinematics—there’s more than two hours of game cinematics throughout The Waylanders, so we’ve also made the equivalent of a feature film in there.

Gamers Heroes:
On that note, one of the hot topics of The Waylanders is that there are romance options – what inspired these elements?

Fernando Prieto:
BioWare’s romances were the biggest inspiration, not only in their recent games, but all the way back to Jade Empire and Baldur’s Gate. I think that’s true of many RPGs released over the last decade. The different romances you could pursue in Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect really changed up how RPG fans related to their companion characters. We especially see this in the fan communities who create their own stories and ships for characters in their favorite universes. In a way, seeing how popular your game is in communities like AO3 is a good measuring stick of a story’s success.

In our community, Nazhedja and Heraklios are both very popular romances and we’re excited to see people explore each of the relationships available in The Waylanders. We also wanted to give people looking for more types of relationships options by giving some characters poly and ace romance arcs.

Gamers Heroes:
What inspired you to design The Waylanders board game?

Fernando Prieto:
Since the beginning of the project´s design, we have thought of The Waylanders as a 360º project. We wanted to take the IP out of the videogame, and designing a board game was something the team was very interested in. With all the lore, characters, and mechanics that go into RPGs, a board game seems like a natural match, especially as our game has strategic/tactical components as well.

Gamers Heroes:
What was it like working with three-time BAFTA nominee Inon Zur?

Fernando Prieto:
Inon is an outstanding professional. He quickly understands what you want to convey and captures the emotional arc of a character, place, or event with ease which makes it easy to work with him. I know few people with his capacity to take a team’s ideas and transform them into a piece of art. I can’t wait to hear what he’s scoring for Starfield.

Gamers Heroes:
The Steam community for the title has been red hot since its Early Access period, with things like photo contests and regular updates from the team. What was it like working with the community during this period?

Fernando Prieto:
We designed this project to be very close to the community from the beginning. We developed a demo which gamers at the 2018 Gamescom event could play. After that, we launched a successful Kickstarter campaign, and later, in 2020, The Waylanders reached Early Access.

We hear a lot of feedback on Kickstarter updates, social media, and our Discord, but the Steam community has been our biggest group of vocal supporters. The team has been reading opinions and answering community questions every day—their feedback has been very valuable and we sincerely appreciate the honest comments and suggestions we have received over the last year. We’ve tried to address as much as we could update-by-update, and the feedback we’ve received from the Steam community has made The Waylanders a better game. As we go forward post-launch, we’ll be continuing to listen to the community!

Gamers Heroes:
How has The Waylanders grown and evolved since its Early Access period?

Fernando Prieto:
We are an indie team making a massive effort in a country, Spain, that has a fairly small video game development, and we released Early Access in the middle of a global pandemic. I think we have done a great job considering the situation, but there’s more to do.

Since launching in Early Access, we’ve published many updates adding new areas, early parts of the companion romance arcs, combat improvements, UI changes, tutorials, and more. Many of these updates implement recommendations and bug fixes based on feedback from the community. I think that every time we released a new update, the community saw something new, from quests to cinematics to new gameplay. We also kept the community updated with teases and plans for the future.

Gamers Heroes:
While you mentioned that there are no plans for an expansion, can you tell us a bit more about some of the post-launch quests coming to the game?

Fernando Prieto:
We kept several quests for the post-launch that don’t affect the main course of the story, however we think they will add more fun and probably will push RPG fans to replay the game changing the selection of the advanced classes for the party. I don’t want to share too much ahead of time, but will say that they aren’t just fetch quests. 😉

Gamers Heroes:
Outside of The Waylanders (of course!), what has the team been playing?

Fernando Prieto:
I have been playing Solasta, Pathfinder, and BG3 in Early Access, and I would like to play God of War, and Guardians of the Galaxy, as soon as I have some time. The team is all over the map playing everything from indies to AAA, but there’s a common RPG thread throughout.

You can find The Waylanders on Steam here, which currently features a 20% discount.



Source link

Good Ads

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button