The Wii U has become the destination for smaller studios to get their feet wet in the indie market. With user friendly programs, such as Unity and Nintendo Web Framework, excellent support directly from Nintendo, and low developer fees, the Wii U is slowly but surely turning into the premier home console for developers to let their imaginations run wild and make a game they always wanted to make.
TreeFall Studios is a small North Carolina-based company that is taking on a giant with their flagship Wii U title, Forbidden Sanctity. The game looks very promising and should appeal to a large market of Wii U owners — if it can fulfill the lofty expectations they have provided for themselves. We recently had an interview to see what they were about and what players can expect in Forbidden Sanctity.
NE: Tell us about yourself and TreeFall Studios.
Eli: Hello, my name is Eli. I am a 20-year-old guy juggling finishing up my game development degree, a job, and pleasure. I have huge aspirations and goals set for my life, and many of them revolve around video games. When I was five years old, I can remember playing video games for the first time with my father. I grew up playing Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, Croc, and A Bug’s Life on the PlayStation One. From that point on, I had fallen in love with video games, and I spend most of my free time working on bringing experiences to life in the form of video games so that others may fall in love as I have.
TreeFall Studios is a new independent game developer with the sole purpose of going against the normal flow of the current game industry and bring unique gaming experiences to gamers and non-gamers alike.
NE: You recently became Wii U Developers. Why choose the Wii U?
E: The simplest answer to this question is I love Nintendo. I absolutely love Nintendo. I have almost played through or own every game released that has the words “Nintendo” on the box. Well, at least I have tried. It has been a dream of mine to have one of my own creations available for play on a Nintendo system, listed right alongside their titles which, in most cases, are some of the best games ever released, in my opinion.
Now, as a fairly new developer without an established history in the game development industry, Nintendo, for such a large corporation, has been the nicest and easiest company to work with. I went through a few interviews with some Nintendo staff members verifying my game developing experience and then, I was in! A licensed Nintendo developer! My dream is starting to unfold and hopefully will be brought to life in the time following this campaign.
NE: Forbidden Sanctity is vastly bigger and more complex than your previous titles. How is the team handling the jump?
E: Forbidden Sanctity is massively different than the previous titles we have released! First, we released a web browser-sized game, I have created a moderately short 2D platform game playable on PC, and right as we are revealing this campaign, our third title, a 2D point-and-click adventure will also be launching on the PC.
The team is handling the jump very well, actually. First off, it is not the same team; it is an expanded and ever improving team! With Night Detective and Journey of a Special Average Balloon, two of our previous titles, just myself and my partner Tyler have been on the team working on these games. We also have just been working on these titles a little in our spare time. Now, the team includes four full-time employees with even more additional part-time staff.
As of now, we have a six-member team that will be working on this project and we plan to expand even further. At this current time, all of our team members are learning, practicing, developing, and growing in their skills each and every day. This project has a much larger scope than our previously launched titles, but our team is ever evolving and preparing to take on the task to its fullest extent. With that said, I believe everyone is handling the jump extremely well, even as challenges arise.
NE: Gameplay wise, what games would you say will be your influence?
E: Well, with Forbidden Sanctity, we would like to provide an experience like no other and we plan to deliver on that statement. However, we will be looking to great games of the past to help influence our gameplay design. For gameplay, we are looking to games such as the original Jak and Daxter. This game was an amazing 3D platform adventure game that was stitched together seamlessly. For the RPG mechanics in the game, we are looking at one of my favorite titles of all time, the recent Xenoblade Chronicles. Leveling up, party system, side quests, and other RPG elements will be influenced by this game. Also, we will have some puzzle-solving elements throughout the course of the game, and games like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess or Ocarina of Time will have an influence on those types of situations.
NE: How big will the world be in Forbidden Sanctity?
E: The world in Forbidden Sanctity is massive. Think of the world size in Xenoblade Chronicles. I do not want to compare our game to Skyrim, as this game is beyond massive, but our world will be similar in size to these types of games: huge worlds and many places to explore. The land of Hitral is spread upon many different places. The entire surface area is only one-third of the journey. There will be an entire landscape and world underneath the surface and above the clouds. Cities in the sky and chasms beneath the surface will all be huge and provide an immersive experience that hopefully you will find appealing!
NE: Do you have a release date in mind?
E: It is hard to confirm a release date this early in the project’s development cycle; however, Holiday 2014 would be wonderful, but most likely, the game will launch sometime Q1 of 2015.
NE: Any final words for our readers?
E: First off, if you have read this far down the interview, I thank you greatly and appreciate you taking the time to learn more about TreeFall Studios and our game, Forbidden Sanctity. I just hope you all really enjoy our campaign and game concept, knowing that it is extremely early in the development of this title, and will greatly improve in time! Hopefully, you can get on board with trusting in our ability to bring you an amazing game!
If you would like to try out or play some of our smaller titles, we would greatly appreciate that as well, seeing as any support of TreeFall Studios will also support this game and future games! The link to our platforming adventure is located on Desura and our Night Detective link should available soon! Be sure to check these titles out!
If you would like to keep up with us and all of our updates, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube would be the best places to do so! You can find all of these links on our Facebook page. I am so glad you have read this interview and hope you are interested in our title, Forbidden Sanctity. I thank Nintendo Enthusiast for this interview and hope you check out and maybe pledge to our Kickstarter campaign, thank you!
Be sure to support the Forbidden Sanctity Kickstarter effort to ensure Wii U owners get this game!