Thirsty Suitors is the debut title from Outerloop Video games and combines the eclectic major gameplay parts of turn-based fight, skateboarding, and cooking. The sport follows Jala as she returns house to Timber Hills on a reconciliation tour following a(nother) unhealthy break-up. RPGamer was given the chance to place some inquiries to Designer and Inventive Director Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake in addition to Co-Founder and Animator Aung Zaw Oo concerning the recreation’s concepts and creation.
Alex Fuller and Johnathan Stringer (RPGamer): Are you able to give a fundamental rundown of Thirsty Suitors and its predominant gameplay mechanics?
Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake (Designer and Inventive Director) and Aung Zaw Oo (Co-Founder and Animator): Thirsty Suitors is a fantastical RPG about tradition, relationships and household stress with turn-based fight, skating and motion cooking. All these mechanics tie again into Jala’s story and her return to Timber Hills after a giant break up. She’s again in her hometown to face her exes, reconcile together with her mother and father and to determine issues for herself.
RPGamer: Are you able to give some backstory on the thought of the sport and the way it was constructed upon?
Outerloop Video games: We had been initially interested by a recreation about immigrant tradition and organized marriage. The identify Thirsty Suitors got here out of that. At the moment it was going to be a card primarily based recreation, and after some conversations we determined we didn’t have sufficient first hand expertise with organized marriage to correctly inform tales about it for a full recreation. Additionally, card video games are arduous to make, so we determined to make one thing easier, an RPG with three entire video games value of mechanics smashed collectively into one.
RPGamer: What possessed you to place interactive skateboarding and cooking gameplay right into a turn-based RPG?
Outerloop Video games: Cooking and passing down recipes is a giant a part of Asian tradition, and it’s a time the place your mother and father may be extra prepared to speak to you about issues. A few of us grew up in households the place issues of significance or issues like emotions weren’t talked about an excessive amount of, and the one approach a few of our mother and father would open up is after they had been centered on actions like cooking. We wished to make use of that method for Jala and her mother and father to reconnect. Whereas the recipes are all actual, we put extra emphasis on the emotional development between characters throughout cooking classes whereas performing wild acrobatic motion packed cooking strikes.
We’ve at all times had some type of skateboard animations in our video games as a result of our animator Azo is a skater. In Thirsty Suitors, skateboarding began out as a playable loading display mimicking 90s skate movies the place the one issues the participant might do was transfer aspect to aspect and bounce on rails to grind. When the early prototype was proven to household and mates, there was an overwhelmingly optimistic response to the skating. So we ended up constructing full 3D skatable environments, and skating turned the primary mode of transportation for the participant. We ultimately added elective skate challenges to the sport to leverage the complete 3D skating mechanics we’ve constructed. These elective challenges are the toughest parts gamers can select to interact in. These challenges take inspiration from Trials’ ninja ranges, 3D Mario platformers and even a bit little bit of Tremendous Hexagon.
RPGamer: Are there any specific goals you had in thoughts when creating the animations and general visible type of Thirsty Suitors?
Outerloop Video games: The battles signify a fantastical tackle two characters digging up their previous, having a heated dialogue and reconciling their variations. Peaceful, non contact fight was the objective from the start. The fight nonetheless wanted to be visually thrilling for the gamers, so the characters are doing very dynamic actions akin to throwing holographic props and flowers at one another utilizing numerous martial arts and acrobatic strikes.
RPGamer: How a lot have the animations and gameplay grown throughout the sport’s growth?
Outerloop Video games: The preliminary battle strikes began out as dance battles that signify dramatic conversational exchanges. Nonetheless, throughout the prototype section, the primary check assault animation is a literal dunking on somebody (with a holographic ball), and that matches the movement of recreation play higher than two characters taking turns to bop. So the dance battle concept was deserted for the primary battles. We nonetheless have a mini recreation model of the dance battle, but it surely has advanced to be extra of a pleasant exercise slightly than a illustration of dramatic trade.
RPGamer: Are there any private inspirations which have pushed components of the sport (in both the narrative or gameplay)?
Outerloop Video games: In fact not! Not one of the tales, exes or members of the family are in any approach referenced from any of our actual life experiences in any respect. This recreation will not be a approach for the crew to work by means of their trauma, experiences and fantasy. Nope. It’s all made up. Yep. Please don’t name our mothers.
RPGamer: Are there any specific gamers Thirsty Suitors is in-built thoughts for or you’re hoping to draw to the sport?
Outerloop Video games: For followers of RPGs that don’t have 100s of hours to spare. We wished to construct a extra centered narrative expertise with partaking gameplay that you possibly can end the primary story in a comparatively quick period of time as RPGs go along with sufficient depth for folk that need extra.
RPGamer: How concerned are gamers required to get into any of the totally different gameplay components?
Outerloop Video games: There are elective battles, elective skating challenges and elective cooking classes all through the sport. For followers that like a specific a part of the sport, there’s extra of it for them. The principle story is about reconciling with every of Jala’s six exes and numerous members of the family. Previous that, there are elective favors you are able to do in your exes to deepen that relationship.
RPGamer: What have been a few of the greatest challenges within the growth of Thirsty Suitors thus far?
Outerloop Video games: The most important problem and pleasure of this mission has been making all these numerous gameplay programs working collectively mechanically and narratively and to inform tales from a specific immigrant viewpoint that we don’t see too typically in video games.
RPGamer: Has creating the totally different gameplay parts supplied any concepts or strategies which have helped in different areas of the sport?
Outerloop Video games: We prototyped a number of variations of the turn-based fight that ended up influencing the turn-based cooking classes the place Jala has to win approval from her mother and father with every cooking step. The rationale we explored the thought of turn-based fight for this recreation is as a result of the dialogue choices and decisions are as necessary because the acrobatic assault or cooking strikes. Jala can use numerous Moods or standing results towards her opponents and after that comply with up with a Ability assault that does additional harm as soon as an opponent is in sure moods.
We use skating as a motion mechanic between battle and areas which result in some good pacing moments and movement between encounters and exploration.
RPGamer: How have saved the type cohesive throughout the numerous gameplay parts?
Outerloop Video games: We now have a ‘placing hat on a hat’ sort method to every little thing we do within the recreation. It may’t simply be cooking, it needs to be layered with acrobatic cooking with ancestral summons, parental fantasies of distant reminiscences, fantastical Interior Worlds for every of Jala’s exes the place every of them see themselves as their finest superhero selves with costume modifications.
RPGamer: Are there any parts that you just’d significantly like gamers to maintain a watch out for after they play the sport?
Outerloop Video games: There’s a whole lot of story constructed into objects and environments that ties again into the story of Timber Hills and its characters. The sport is chapter primarily based, and characters and NPCs have numerous issues to share and focus on in every chapter that’s fully elective, however for folk that wish to it’s all there to expertise. The alternatives Jala makes in dialogue together with her exes and different characters will have an effect on gameplay and story all through the sport.
RPGamer want to prolong our deepest because of Chandana Ekanayake and Aung Zaw Oo for taking the time to reply our questions in addition to to Mbinya Muthama and Talia Rotenberg from Fortyseven Communications for establishing the interview. Thirsty Suitors is in growth for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Sequence X|S, and Nintendo Change, and is being printed by Annapurna Interactive. A demo is at present accessible to check out on Steam.