Welcome to Show and Tell, our regular feature where we speak to indie developers about what they're working on, what they've just finished, and what they're releasing soon. Today was have Josh Bobruk and Alex Boylan from TOME Studios, a two-man team behind the soon-to-be-released Danger Alliance: Battles.
Can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your studio? Hi, we’re Josh and Alex and in 2010 we founded our two-man team TOME Studios with the intention of creating fun, high-quality games that require a little more thought than your average mobile game.
To introduce ourselves individually, our Technical Director (Josh Bobruk) is a highly-skilled software engineer with a background in electronics and mobile development and has released several games and apps under his own steam. Our talented Art Director (Alex Boylan) has many years of industry experience as an artist and level designer with six of those years spent at 2K Australia (formerly Irrational Games) where he was fortunate to work on such PC titles as Freedom Force, Tribes: Vengeance and SWAT 4 before moving onto console development with Bioshock, Bioshock 2 and XCOM.
Together we compliment each other’s skills perfectly and, despite being located in two different cities, we have managed to fulfil our dream of creating games we want to play.
What game are you working on at the moment? We're about to release our flagship title Danger Alliance: Battles. It's a fictional World War II themed tactical turn-based game inspired by titles like Disgaea, Jeanne d'Arc, Final Fantasy Tactics and XCOM. After it's release, we're hoping to continue to develop more content and updates, such as the Mac version, online multiplayer and the first act of the single player campaign.
Danger Alliance consists of a visually rich 3D battlefield where you will find squads of quirky characters wielding deadly, outlandishly oversized weapons. The goal of the game? Use your brain and their unique skills to humiliate your friends on the battlefield (using hot-seat style multiplayer), or take on the binary power of your advanced computing device (iPhone, iPad and Mac!) and pummel it, in-game, with your baseball bat or monkey wrench.
The first release will feature two game-modes based around a skirmish style of play, including ‘Strategic Victory’ and 'Elimination'. Each squad is customisable and the characters all have their own personal weapons and abilities. You need to learn their strengths and weakness and adjust your tactics accordingly and, as you increase your mastery, the AI is ready to ramp up with you. It’s like Chess, with rocket launchers. We’re giving the game away for free with two battlefields to play on in the "Lite" version, and if you'd like to help us out; paid users will get even more gorgeous, highly tactical battlefields and additional characters to continue the action!
Where and when can we play? Danger Alliance: Battles will be hitting the App Store on the 12th October (Editor's Note: that's tomorrow! be prepared to hit refresh in the iTune store when the clock strikes midnight!) and will be available to play on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. A Mac OS X version is just around the corner too.
What’s next for your studio – any big plans? Danger Alliance: Battles, being the first content release, is just the tip of the iceberg. We already have a campaign storyline in the works and there are plenty of unit and weapon upgrades that will be making it into the game in the near future. We care deeply about keeping the tactics balanced and fun, so that means countless hours of blowing each other up until we get it right.
We are also in the process of fully integrating Apple’s Game Center to take advantage of their Challenge system which means online multiplayer will be making a splash in a big way.
Beyond that, we have many ideas brewing in the turn based strategy genre that will extend Danger Alliance and move into other themes and story lines. If you’re a TBS nut like we are, you definitely wont be disappointed.
Any words of advice for those who want to get into the games industry? While starting up in the games industry is hard, don’t believe it’s insurmountable. One of the biggest blockers for new starters is realising their AAA dream game idea is going to take more effort than they’re able to give. And this results in them talking themselves out of the industry entirely. Don’t be afraid to change your ideas and adapt to find the best use of your skills and talent — and just keep going! While you might not end up with the same game you dreamt of, you’ll be totally amazed at what you can achieve with your own steam.
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