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Hey Poor Player interviewed Twin Otter Studios about their upcoming J-RPG Arcadian Atlas:
Get to know a little bit more about Arcadian Atlas--and the people behind it!
2D isometric SRPGs are an absolute treasure if you ask me. There's something about games like Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, and the like that--between their engaging combat, endearing stories, and charming artwork--have always held a special place in my heart. Unfortunately, they're also part of a bygone era... or so I had thought! Despite not being the most popular thing around anymore (were they ever, though?) the world of old-school SPRGs is very much alive and well--with the upcoming Arcadian Atlas being the most recent example (and a very exciting-looking one to boot!).
Maybe you're wondering just what, exactly, Arcadian Atlas is about, though? Or perhaps you'd like to know a bit more about the development process? Well, you're in luck, because we here at Hey Poor Player recently got to sit down and pick the brain of Taylor Blair--one half of the brother-sister duo sitting at the helm of the development studio behind Arcadian Atlas, Twin Otter Studios!
Hey Poor Player: To begin, could you briefly give us a synopsis of Arcadian Atlas in terms of both story and gameplay?
Twin Otter Studios: Arcadian Atlas is a tactical RPG in the spirit of Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, and more modern interpretations of the genre like XCOM and Fire Emblem. We wanted to craft interesting and powerful classes that have different strategic usage in our gorgeous isometric battle maps - using some of our favorite skill tree features from games like Ragnarok Online and Diablo II to make each class further differentiated through wild and powerful abilities.
On the story front, the land of Arcadia is embroiled in civil war when the eldest surviving heir to the throne, Lucretia Belneive, is declared illegitimate by her stepmother, Queen Venezia. Lucretia raises the peasantry - the destitute and downtrodden - to resist and reclaim her throne. The ensuing war, driven by these two cold, calculating tacticians, forces the entire continent to choose sides, including our heroes: Vashti Dahlman and Desmond Rhines. But as the world around them burns, our characters find the bonds of love and family fray and snap. Arcadian Atlas is the story of that burning - and of what can be saved from the ashes.
HPP: Based upon what we can see in the Release Date Reveal Trailer, Arcadian Atlas seems to have PS1-era retro-ness about it. Was that done on purpose? If so, were there any games in particular that you would say helped to inspire you during this game's development process?
TOS: The retro-quality of Arcadian Atlas existed from the very beginning and was born from our love of the SNES/PS1 era. Growing up in the '90s, we lived during the golden age of pixel art, when Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy VI, and Chrono Trigger pushed the artistry of these tiny pixels to their most endearing. We fell in love with these 16-bit characters. We felt their pain and rejoiced in their triumphs, even though they were just a collection of dots. Because we saw ourselves in them. We wanted to bring that depth of visual storytelling to Arcadian Atlas, and the retro style let us do that as a small team.