One of the Indonesian developers based in Bandung, Masshive Media, already released its first game for PC platform, Azure Saga: Pathfinder. We played that game and enjoyed the gameplay and story. It makes the two years of the development worth to wait.
Now, we sat down and talked with Andika Pradana, Creative Director of Masshive Media. Andika told us a lot about the development process, why they shifted their initial plan for this game, and also what were the challenges that they faced when developing the game.
Can you tell us a little bit on how Azure Saga: Pathfinder project started?
We started making this game after we had finished developing our second game, Chill Out: Zombie. We used that game to explore and learn how well premium games model doing on a mobile platform.
What is your biggest inspiration while developing this game, especially for the gameplay, battle system and also the isometric’s perspective?
Breath of Fire & Bastion were the two RPGs that influence us a lot in developing the Azure Saga’s gameplay and isometric style. We also did an experiment by mixing other gameplay elements such as combo system from other game like Chrono Trigger or Suikoden. And this is the result.
How many people were involved in the development?
We had around 15 people who worked in this game. The core team consisted of four artists and three programmers. There were also some personnel changes during the development progress.
The game Azure Saga that I first saw was shown in the form of a mobile game. But you had changed your plan and then released it in Steam first. Why?
Yes. Initially, we planned to make Azure Saga as a mobile premium game. But along with the development, this project’s scale was going bigger and bigger. So that’s why we shifted our plan and decided to make it as a PC game.
What was your biggest challenge when doing that transition?
The user interface was one of the toughest challenges for us because of the resolution’s difference. The second challenge was the game feature. As a PC game, the initial concept is too simple. So we need to upscale those features.
This is your first game on the PC platform. What is the biggest challenge while in development?
Publication and marketing decision is one of our biggest challenges. The right experience and technique indispensable for this distinct market.
How did you introduce the game to the gamers? And also how did you set the gamer’s hype before this game released?
We participated in some game exhibitions to set that hype and gain more recognition. We also saved the user’ emails who might be interested to buy our game, so we could contact them when the product is available. The previous Steam’s initiative, Steam Greenlight really helped us to gain the public’s attention.
Unfortunately, Steam replaced the Greenlight with Steam Direct last year. In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge when an indie developer release a game through this new program?
Steam Direct makes it possible for indie developers to release their games in Steam easier. But it also makes Steam overflood with new games which also increases the competition in terms of both quality and promotion strategy. We need extra effort to get a spotlight in the PC market, especially on Steam because the quality is not enough to make a game stand out.
We also need to redesign our marketing strategy to reduce the risk so that we can adapt to the market.
You also released some costume packs as a DLC. Why?
We wanted to make a game that was affordable because this was our first product for PC. We also released some DLC for gamers as a token of appreciation for our supportive gamers.
Can you share a little bit about what you have done for the post-release marketing?
We invited some game reviewers to do streaming in Twitch and do some key giveaways. We also participated in some game exhibitions, one of them was BEKRAF Game Prime 2018 earlier this July.
And what will you do next for this game?
We want to port this game to other platforms, so it can cross-promote each other. This was one of our goals when we conceptualized this game for the first time.
Are there any possibilities to make Azure Saga an IP that has products other than the game, or maybe the possibilities for the sequel?
Masshive Media, a developer from Bandung, Indonesia, debuted its first Steam game just yesterday. It debuted an RPG adventure game called Azure Saga: Pathfinder. And it debuted with style! The Gameprime team played the game for a couple of hours. Here is our in-depth Azure Saga: Pathfinder review.
Of course! At first, indeed, we prepared the Azure Saga’s storyline to be expanded with a sequel or other media. We hope that we can polish the story and game mechanism after this.
Thanks for your time, and good luck for Azure Saga!