Old School Gamer Magazine chats with Sky9 Games’ Mike Sleva, who breaks down the fun of the new Zelda-inspired adventure game, A Knight’s Quest.
About A Knight’s Tale:
Daring, debonair, and just a little bit daft, Rusty is a kind-hearted, but clumsy adventurer who accidentally starts a chain of events which threaten to destroy his world. A Knight’s Quest invites you to play as Rusty in his quest – controlling the elements, dodging perilous traps, and battling challenging enemies through the fantastical open world of Regalia.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How was this game born?
Mike Sleva: We’ve always wanted to make a big game and we cut our teeth on small 2D browser and mobile games, so for our first 3D outing, we looked to some of our favorite games from our youth like Ocarina of Time, Prince of Persia, and Monkey Island.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What was your role in the game?
Sleva: With a small team everyone needs to wear a lot of hats, but my main duties were as environment artist and level designer.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How did you get involved in the industry?
Sleva: We’re a two-man development team from Toronto. We started out making Flash games like the Strike Force Heroes and Raze series before graduating to mobile games. A Knight’s Quest is our first foray into 3D so we created a prototype and pitched it around.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What was development like?
Sleva: It was a great learning experience. We were able to work with D3T and streamline the game to be more focused. When you’re used to working with just two people the extra resources really helps.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What makes this game special?
Sleva: The main thing that makes A Knight’s Quest special is its personality, from the sense of humor to the enemies and characters you meet, there’s an irreverence and playfulness that will keep players on their toes.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What games influenced this one the most?
Sleva: Zelda is the most obvious inspiration in terms of structure, particularly the Nintendo 64 titles. We play a lot of games so we tend to look for inspiration everywhere but the most important ones for A Knight’s Quest were old-school PC adventure games like Monkey Island and PS2 classics like Ratchet and Clank.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Any fun stories or wild moments during development?
Sleva: Because we’re located in Toronto and Cuve and D3T are located in the UK, there was a lot of flying back and forth. We ended up essentially moving to the UK for several weeks to work side by side with D3T, which was an awesome experience.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What were the major lessons learned?
Sleva: Everything takes way longer than you think it will, which is true for most things in life but doubly so for game development.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?
Sleva: I don’t think you can ever get away from primordial gameplay mechanics. The difference is that what used to be a hardware limitation that had to be designed around out of necessity is now a choice. Look at how Dark Souls was essentially able to create a new genre based around save points. So I think old mechanics are never really gone, they’re the foundation on which new games are built.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What’s your favorite memory as a gamer?
Sleva: Back in the day I used to love going to other people’s houses and seeing what games they had on their PCs or consoles. There was no internet and no easy way of keeping up with what games were out so there was a real mystery every time you started up a new game and that basically doesn’t exist anymore.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How do you want this game to be remembered?
Sleva: As a game that captures some of the magic that made the classics that inspired it so special and the first in a long and fruitful game-ography.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What’s next?
Sleva: Something with couch co-op.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Anything else you’d like to add?
Sleva: We hope you enjoy A Knight’s Quest!