As a first Developer Diary entry, here is a short Q&A with Joseph, our had developer and Dan, our editor-in-chief.
What was the main idea or inspiration behind the SagaScribe engine?
(DAN) With the first book we did a huge leap of faith, placing our money on what we knew about tabletop roleplayers. It seems that it was a good first try, but we did not make everything right. We received tons of user feedback in form of emails, appstore comments, Facebook posts and so on! It was amazing, even the bad ones. Especially the bad ones. So we sat down and did a huge brainstorming to figure out what to do. We decided to create the best gamebook engine of all times, taking tabletop roleplaying as close to the mobile/tablet era as possible. We’ll continue this road until we figure out a way to make the perfect gamebook engine.
Does SagaScribe give you more flexibility as a developer?
(JOSEPH) Enormously! We changed most of the legacy part of the code, completely re-writing and re-inventing things. Naturally, the most exciting thing to do was the new battle system. I hope you will like it! It resembles tabletop RPG fights with the movements of the figurines, initiative rolls, spells, weapons and action points.
How do you see SagaScribe changing or supporting the gamebook genre?
(DAN) I think gamebook is an interesting genre. I strongly believe that gamebook apps are not competing each other but strengthening the gamebook genre in general. Just like with books: you don’t read George Martin OR Tolkien. You don’t make a selection. You only decide in which order you’re going to read them. The same applies to gamebooks. So a gamebook of good quality, good story and good gameplay will make players download and play other gamebooks.
Gamebooks have a seen a revival of sorts on tablet, do you think SagaScribe is a technology consumers have come to expect for this type of product?
(DAN) I certainly hope so! We hope to make something users will enjoy and play a lot. We’ll introduce new game elements, like the Arena for the battle addicts, character evolution during books, item creation and trade, learning new spells and so on. The vision is to have a tabletop roleplaying experience on a tablet. Gamebooks have been substitute products to me: when we couldn’t play our regular AD&D session, I played a gamebook.
Book 2 of The Narborion Saga is engaging the crossover of table top gamers into an RPG gamebook, do you think this audience is as engaged on tablet as it is with traditional forms of gaming?
(JOSEPH) I think so! We ourselves are in our mid-30s, with family, jobs, kids – we do not have time to play tabletop RPGs as often as we’d want to. We all have smartphones, tablets, so whenever we have 30 minutes, we’d like to do some time-traveling. Naturally, we want to use everything what technology can offer. This mixture is an ideal crossover. We are addressing the younger generation as well: we encourage them to read, play creativity games and experience tabletop roleplaying with gamebooks. They all have smart devices, so why not try this genre as well?
We’ll continue to post regular interviews here, the next one is going to be with the designer/illustrator team early next week. Shorter posts about the evolution of the software will happen more often, hopefully. Check out our Facebook page as well, http://facebook.com/narborion .