Our last article discussed the challenges of starting a game studio, but what is Yvora actually working on? We mentioned before that Yvora founder Simon Veenker comes from an IT project management background - that might seem surprising for the founder of a games company, but it’s extremely appropriate given the goals for Yvora’s current project… and we are going to share a bit about it with you today!
In short, our game - working title Project Roya - is a multiplayer RPG where players are provided with the tools to create their own stories and worlds. Whether they have an adventure story in mind that they’d like to play with their friends, or they simply want to explore stories with people around the world, it will be possible! Of course nobody has to start from scratch- unless they want to - we’ll provide content packs and a few adventures of our own. People will be able to use our content ‘out of the box’, or edit and personalize it in-game. Furthermore, in addition to sharing their complete stories, players will also be able to share individual creatures and items they’ve made themselves. If you meet a cool monster while out questing, maybe you’ll be able to use it in your own stories.
The multiplayer aspect is very important in Project Roya - we want to build a game where people can go on adventures together, and share meaningful experiences - either that they’ve built themselves, or that other people have built. The inspiration for Project Roya comes from road trips with friends, holidays to new places, those moments when you and a buddy discover something new in a familiar city that you thought no longer held any secrets for you. The lockdowns from coronavirus only make it more clear how significant shared experiences can be, whether it’s refreshing old friendships or forging new bonds with people.
Of course there’s nothing stopping people playing solo, or even building their own adventures designed for single players. We’re designing the game with multiplayer at the forefront of our minds because our goal is to build a game that encourages human connections. This will be the case for the creative part of the game as well as the adventuring - we hope to see people working together to build amazing things. Of course to establish a community, you need to do more than just give them tools and sit back, and we have plans to encourage and nurture social connections between creators.
Balance of Energies
While Project Roya is all about players creating their own tales, that doesn’t mean it’s a blank canvas. There is a backstory to the world and lore behind how players will develop their characters. We wanted to do something different to the traditional fighter/rogue/wizard type class options, and offer players more freedom in creating their in-game avatars. Our solution was the concept of different types of energy, which can be harnessed by trained individuals.
A key theme within the game is the balance of different kinds of energy. The history of Project Roya’s universe revolves around a world where people learned how to harness the energies of the world to unleash powerful abilities, and even create new worlds from their own imagination on so-called ‘demi-planes’. Players can learn the power of energies, whether it’s to seek adventure or forge a demi-plane of their own.
It’s an exciting project, and our team is hyped! Many things start with visuals, like the concept art you can see above! We (virtually) sat down for a chat with the creator, artist Kevin Bastiaenen...
Interview - Kevin Bastiaenen, Concept Artist at Yvora
Hi, can you introduce yourself?
Yes of course! My name is Kevin Bastiaenen, 24 years old and I currently live in Eindhoven. I am a concept artist, which means I get to design the characters you encounter in the game.
How did you get into game development?
At some point I found out there's a genuine career to be made creating games. Since I like both games and art, I signed up for the Visual Arts Department at the Breda University of Applied Sciences (formerly NHTV). During my final year I had the privilege to work as an intern and trainee at Guerrilla Games.
What inspirations do you use for the Project Roya artwork?
I like to take inspiration from real life and translate it into something more stylish and exaggerated for the game world. Sometimes I take a look at certain games to see their interpretations.
What’s your favourite piece of art produced for Yvora so far?
So far I really love the way the Yeti turned out.
Yvora is planning to have players develop their own content - does this affect the art you create and the overall art style?
Yeah, the player can really project their own fantasies into the game and bring their own unique creations to life. They can look at something and can come up with a crazy idea that we didn't think of yet and give new meaning to our assets, whether that’s variants of our characters or entirely new creatures to encounter. That's basically the modding community.
Do you have any concerns about the overall quality of assets once players start making things?
No, I'm confident that players will create cool new content to personalize their worlds and push each other to level up the quality for themselves and maybe others who share the same taste.
Is it hard to ‘let go’ and accept that other people are going to be adding things to the world of Project Roya? Or are you excited to see what people will come up with? Or both?
It’s definitely exciting to see what people will create. Like I said before, I’m curious to see how people will personalize their experience and create their own perfect story and adventure.
Thanks for your time!
What do you think?
We’d love to hear your thoughts on Project Roya, as well as your experiences with getting into games development. Or maybe you have your own thoughts on Unreal and Unity to share, or questions? Feel free to follow our Company page here on LinkedIn and Twitter: https://twitter.com/YvoraGames
Until next time!
Simon - Founder Yvora.