Recently I posted about a game I really like the look of called “Steel & Steam”, and I’ve caught up with the developers – charmingly known as “Steak” and “Pork Belly” (well the studio is known as “Red Meat Games” – though to be honest I’ve always felt pork straddled the line between red and white meat, but anyway…) – and asked them about the game and its development.
1/ Tell us a little about "Steel & Steam"
Steak - Steel & Steam is a Retro JRPG set in a Fantasy Steampunk based world of Terra Corpus. It’s like taking the Lord of the Rings and mashing it up with the Wild West!
2/ How long has the game been in production?
Pork Belly - It has been in production for a little over a year. However most of this time it was being developed as an “after work” during free time project. Now that we have made the leap into full-time development, what was done in a month before now only takes us a few days.
3/ Has it always been your dream to make a steampunk JRPG?
Steak - Heck yeah! Ever since I heard of Steampunk a few years ago, I wanted to make a world to share. I grew up being the DM or GM for many role-playing adventures with my buddies and I love world building and storytelling!
Pork Belly – Steampunk is a vast and ultimately fluid genre to work in. It can be shaped and molded as needed and can be used to highlight so many different political or societal issues.
4/ What have been your inspirations in drawing up the plot and gameplay mechanics for the game?
Steak - Definitely some of the early JRPG’s such as Final Fantasy and Phantasy Star, some of the adventures they shared with me still give me goose bumps just thinking about it. Heck some of the newer games such as FF13 bored me to tears, but I can pop up the intro to FF3 (FF6 in Japan) and I am instantly blown away!
Pork Belly – For me it’s the old tabletop and JRPG’s back in the day. FF7 was a big influence for me.
5/ How many episodes are planned in total? Will each episode have its own complete plot within an over-arching storyline?
Pork Belly - A total of three episodes are currently planned out, and story it’s being developed using a three act structure common in literature. Each episode will be a chapter with its own plots and the sub-plots will intertwine through all the episodes. It’s a lot of writing, but it’s a fun experience.
6/ What have been your biggest challenges in developing the game?
Steak - It’s a grand story and a huge world. Easily as big if not bigger than most of the early JRPG’s but the difference is that we have only a few people working on the title versus the much larger teams. We really need 36 hour days!
7/ What aspects of it are you most proud of?
Pork Belly - The world and the characters, they really stand out in my mind. I look at a lot of other games heroes and I really do feel proud of the look and feel of our characters.
8/ How important is it for you to get Greenlit?
Steak - It’s a niche market, I totally understand that, but Steam is like Facebook for gamers, and to be accepted there I feel like it adds a level of acceptance from gamers as a whole.
9/ What advice would you give to aspiring indie game developers?
Steak - You can do it! It takes time, effort, coffee, but the tools are out there to help any story teller, game designer to make the games they want to make!
Pork Belly – Dedication and patience are key ingredients, along with leveraging your resources to make things bigger and better than you could ever imagine. Also, just do something! Start small, learn your boundaries, and create something that takes you from concept to completion.
Thanks guys for doing the interview and we look forward to seeing the finished "Steel & Steam" games!
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