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  • A Conversation With NYFA Alum Jeffrey Lay on What It’s Like to Create a Video Game Funded by a Kickstarter Campaign And The Exciting World of ‘TitanReach’

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    I had the pleasure of teaching Jeffrey Lay (BFA in Game Design) in several Game Design classes at the New York Film Academy here in Los Angeles. When he graduated, I had heard he got a job as a level designer at Square Root Studios. I recently found out that Square Root Studios had a new game on Kickstarter, so I contacted Jeffrey to find out more about it.

    Scott Rogers (SR): Hey Jeffrey! Congratulations on launching TitanReach on Kickstarter! How did you join Square Root Studios?

    Jeffrey Lay (JL): Hi Scott! Thank you very much. Funny story, I was in the middle of working on my own project, which was also heavily inspired by RuneScape, however it formed into a more idle-passive (mobile) version due to my limited coding experience. After a few weeks working on it, I saw a Discord post about the game and joined these two guys from Australia, both experienced programmers, and thought the idea was perfect. Now we’re now at about five to six developers. 

    SR: What can you tell me about TitanReach?

    JL: TitanReach is an old school type MMORPG (an online role-playing video game) that focuses on skilling systems and action combat in a massive fantasy open-world with unique quests and a warm social experience! The game is heavily inspired by RuneScape, which had a very warm and calm feeling for it’s skilling system, along with great music, and was a “happy place” you could go to; which we’re combining with the nice warm environment. 

    SR: I think we all could use a “happy place” these days! What makes TitanReach different from all of those other MMORPGs that have come out in the past?

    JL: The biggest adjustment for us is that we’re using action combat, which will be the contrast to it’s skilling system.  

    SR: What are your job responsibilities at Square Root Studios?

    JL: While I’ve been part of TitanReach, I’ve focused on:

    • Level Design: Concepting out areas including the level design of Glimmermoore, the tutorial village, which is seen in the Demo.
    • Game Design: Coming up with the game world & environmental design, content design such as the Slayer Skill with all its details, skilling bosses, mini-games, along with combat design, economy and other various content coming down the line. 
    • Project Management: Throughout the earlier months, this included checking developers are doing their tasks and prioritizing what needs to be done. This also includes finding other issues that need to be addressed although we have someone else who has since filled this position, though I still do some of it.
    • Marketing: I worked a lot on creating the Kickstarter campaign, including the written part of the Kickstarter. I’m also in charge of reaching out to various blogs, websites and content creators to gain exposure.     

    SR: It sounds like they keep you pretty busy! Why should someone back the TitanReach Kickstarter?

    JL: We are being as open to the community as we can be in terms of our development. 

    We’ve released a free demo for anyone to play to see the exact stage we are in, which comes with its bugs and issues (ignore the quest). That demo is continually being patched each week for the community to see how fast we can turn around bugs and add some rough content in a week’s time for people to play around with. 

    With more time, these things can then be cleaned and polished. By backing us it will guarantee the cost of us continuing working on the project in order for us to deliver a polished, nice game. Having gotten this far with a penny, we’ll be able to focus full-time on the project. 

    The biggest benefit for backing us right now is that our Alpha/Beta is unlike most other companies (being 3-10 days) will be throughout the months of the game’s development stage (meaning months of playtime throughout those stages), although a player’s progress will be wiped at game launch, as we don’t want any unbalanced values (economic-abuse) to be transferred over to the official launch like what has happened with the dual universe beta to launch.

    SR: That sounds like a good idea. Too many games have had issues with that in the past. What are some of the issues you find in games nowadays? 

    JL: An issue we see in games nowadays is that they are overwhelmed with Microtransactions (MTX) that bring an unfair advantage to many other users, although it’s understandable why they do it. We want to remain free from MTX, which gives a player any unfair advantage such as gold/xp rates or other unfair benefits. We try to level out the field and give everyone the same chance!   

    SR: That sounds really fair! I think your players will really appreciate that. So, where can we find out more about TitanReach online?

    JL: Our Kickstarter has a lot more information along with our other social media! Feel free to join our Discord of over 12,500 Members and check out our website here!

    SR: Thanks Jeffrey and good luck with the game!

    JL: Thank you!

    New York Film Academy would like to congratulate NYFA Game Design alum Jeffrey Lay on his new game TitanReach and wishes the Jeffrey all the best on the kickstarter campaign.

    For more information on NYFA’s Game Design programs, click here. For more information about about TitanReach, you can reach out to: press@titanreach.com or support@titanreach.com; or check out their social media pages below:

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    October 5, 2020 • Game Design, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1324

  • Big News Coming Out of Nintendo Direct

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    nintendoIn today’s Nintendo Direct, company President Satoru Iwata went through a series of announcements revealing future plans for both hardware and game releases.

    You can watch the entire presentation below, but a few highlights stood out as they will undoubtedly have a major impact on the direction of the company.

    In terms of game consoles, North America and Europe can expect the new Nintendo 3DS XL to arrive on February 13th. While the smaller non-XL version of the console arrived in Japan back in October, there seem to be no plans for an American release as of yet.

    These smaller versions are unique in the fact that they have customizable face plates. But buyers of the upgraded XL version have plenty to look forward to even without these customization options.

    The new console will feature a small C-stick next to its face buttons along with two new shoulder buttons. The upgraded hardware will, of course, run faster. But the major addition is NFC technology, which will allow the use of Nintendo’s Amiibo figurines with the console.

    Amiibos are figurines that double as wireless memory cards. Given that the 3DS is consistently Nintendo’s bestselling console, combined with the fact that Nintendo has a huge roster of characters that could be made into Amiibo figurines, this move could spell good news for the game developer.

    On the game front, Nintendo certainly has no shortage of release plans. But the one that could stir things up is Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, due out in March.

    The game will be Nintendo’s first foray into cross-buy games, something that Sony has already been involved with. Essentially, if you purchase a version of the game for Wii U you will also get a purchase code for the 3DS version of the game (and vice versa).

    There are certainly some big plans coming from Nintendo’s camp. You can watch everything they have in store below:

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    January 14, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 3975