Old School Gamer chats with Neeraj Kumar (Founder & Lead Developer, Silvine Game Studios) about his new adventure on Steam, Artifice: War Tactics.
Taking a page from retro classic XCom, this is one you don’t want to miss.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How was Artifice: War Tactics born?
Neeraj Kumar: Silvine Game Studios was founded because we shared a passion for turn-based strategy games. We aimed to create a new game concept focused on reactive gameplay with attack zones that are triggered when enemies enter them.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What is your role in the game?
Kumar: Although my primary responsibility is leading the development and acting as a part-time producer, we often take on multiple roles in our small indie development team!
Old School Gamer Magazine: What has development been like?
Kumar: Our studio specializes in both design and technology. Creating an art-heavy game has been a challenge for us, since we don’t have any in-house artists. However, we’ve conducted extensive research, made iterations, and received a lot of help from our friends. We’re thrilled to have successfully met our expectations and are excited to unveil more awesome features during Early Access.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What makes Artifice: War Tactics special?
Kumar: What makes Artifice: War Tactics special is that it emphasizes reactive combat instead of traditional turn-based combat – allowing players to enjoy a whole new take on the genre.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What games influenced this one the most?
Kumar: Primarily XCOM – followed by Into the Breach and Darkest Dungeon.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Any fun stories or wild moments during development?
Kumar: Right before our demo was uploaded to Steam Next Fest, we encountered a major, frequent crash. We had no idea why it was happening. After three long, excruciating days of debugging, we finally found the issue, fixed it, and made the demo live – 15 minutes before the specified time. There was a silver lining, though (which is where the name Silvine comes from, by the way): While trying to reproduce the issue, we ended up spending loads of time playing the game together and having fun!
Old School Gamer Magazine: What were the major lessons learned?
Kumar: We’ve learned that it’s crucial to carefully consider our team’s strengths when deciding on a game’s ultimate scope and aesthetic. We also know that we should begin the marketing phase as early as possible and set shorter milestones with clear, visible updates to stay motivated.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?
Kumar: We believe it’s important to preserve tried and true mechanics, but we also must learn from the past and innovate with newer generations in mind. For example, we love how a lot of older games respected players’ abilities and skills – trusting them to face and overcome challenges on their own. But at the same time, a lot of newer games respect players’ time and give them a helping hand wherever necessary.
Old School Gamer Magazine: The marketplace is crowded. How do you think you stand out?
Kumar: We’re a small indie team based out of India who want to stay small and keep making great games! The marketplace is undoubtedly crowded, but there’s always a place for talented developers.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How have your previous experiences in the industry helped the game?
Kumar: Having prior experience is definitely beneficial; it has instilled confidence in us to develop games with a limited team. We’ve realized that commencing the development of a game is a relatively effortless task, whereas concluding it is the most challenging part of the process. Having successfully created fully-functional games with an accomplished team at my side really empowered me to aim higher with Artifice: War Tactics.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How do you want Artifice: War Tactics to ultimately be remembered?
Kumar: Our passion for playing games led us to pursue game development as a career. Artifice: War Tactics is the result of that dream; we hope it brings joy to others – just as it did to us while creating it. Our ultimate goal as a studio is to create unforgettable experiences that inspire others to pursue their passions. This is just the beginning for us!
Old School Gamer Magazine: What’s next?
Kumar: Our team is preparing to launch Artifice: War Tactics on Early Access within the next few months. We’re dedicated to providing ongoing updates and support – along with new features, champions, and enemies. We’re particularly thrilled about our upcoming Multiplayer Update. After completing the Early Access phase, we also aim to bring the game to consoles. In addition, we’re currently exploring ideas for our next project!