Vagrant Sword is an upcoming top-down rogue-like action RPG. In it, the player takes control of a wandering ronin—a samurai without a master—who stumbles across a small village being terrorized by an onyi—a Japanese demon. The player must navigate different dungeons in order to liberate the town of the supernatural menace.
Vagrant Sword is the second title to be released by Elektri, a local video game developer.
Elektri was formed by a group of programmers who met at St. Clair College.
“We started this company with the intention of making video games,” Co-Founder Steven Splint explains. “When we started, game development tools were incredibly expensive. So, we started off as a software company to make the relevant tools.”
Elektri spent a few years trying to build their own development environment. However, they ended up abandoning this project as, by then, game development engines had become much more affordable.
Elektri’s first title, Project: Blue, was made with Unity 3D. The game is an endless runner inspired by classics such as Megaman.
“It wasn’t a tremendous success,” Steven admits. “But, the game’s finished. And we learned a lot along the way.”
Elektri’s second title, Vagrant Sword, has been developed using Game Maker Studio.
“It’s kind of like Diablo!” Steven explains. “There’s randomly-generated dungeons. A town with villagers you can talk to.”
The production process has been a demanding one for this small team. Currently, Steven has a full-time job with the Greater Essex School Board as a Programmer. On weekends, he meets with his two other colleagues to prepare Vagrant Sword for its launch date.
“There’s three of us doing the day-to-day working on the game,” Steven states. “There’s a couple more who contribute some resources. It’s been slow-going, with our other obligations. We’ve made this game on the periphery of our lives, whenever we can.”
“Scope-creep is a really big problem”
However, one of the largest obstacles Elektri has had to overcome has been creating artwork.
“We all work in I.T.,” Steven explains. “One day we happened upon the realization that none of us are artists. So, generating good-looking animations for our game has been a real challenge. We’ve been trying to do what we can ourselves. If there’s something we can’t make, we use what profits we can to contract it out.”
And when it comes to aspiring video game developers in Windsor, Steven encourages them to appropriately scale their debut project.
“When you’re starting a project, make sure you scope it out properly,” Steven states. “Scope-creep is a really big problem. You’re not going to be able to make the game of your dreams in your first shot. Build up to it. And don’t be afraid to quit a project if it’s not working out! Don’t pump three or four years into something if it isn’t working out the way you want.”
Vagrant Sword will be available on Google Play and the iPhone App Store. Elektri also has plans on getting the game released on Steam and itch.io.
More information is available at elektri.ca.