I first saw Citizens of Earth at an indie press event. The game’s quirky humor and Earthbound vibe immediately caught my attention. In Citizens of Earth, you play the Vice President of the World and lead everyday people like Baristas and even your Mother in your party. All of the townsfolk in the game can be recruited.
About a year later, Eden Industries tried fund the game through Kickstarter, but unfortunately weren’t able to reach their goal even though they had a neat playable demo.
“It’s hard to get the word out. There are so many Kickstarter projects and it is hard to hit that critical mass for coverage. People just don’t know about it. We’ve had so many people come up and say ‘Oh, there was a Kickstarter I wish I would’ve known about it,” lead designer and Eden Industries co-founder Ryan Vandendyck said to Siliconera.
Enter Atlus, the RPG publisher behind the Shin Megami Tensei series and also indie games like Zeno Clash from Ace Team. Atlus picked up Citizens of Earth after the Kickstarter campaign ended and will release Eden Industries humorous RPG. “We were very fortunate. I had met Atlus and have been talking to them even before the Kickstarter. We didn’t have any deal yet, but we were in talks. After the Kickstarter failed, Atlus reaffirmed how much they loved the game and they were sad to see it fail. They said we would love to work with you. We would love to get this game made. They very generously stepped in and helped us out,” said Vandendyck.
I asked, “How else has Atlus helped, aside from funding Citizens of Earth?“
“Funding was a big one,” Vandendyck answered. “They have helped with the marketing of the game. They made a really cool website. We didn’t have a ton of experience making dialog for games. They helped us with an editing pass and with dialog with the game. They brought the game to get voice acting, all of the characters have voice acting, which is really cool. They’ve been really great at lending their eye to it and giving us design feedback. They’ve been a great partner.”
Atlus also hosted a contest where fans could vote on a citizen and the Beekeeper came out on top. She will be made into a citizen who can join your party in the game. The Beekeeper can use honey to heal characters and send bees to attack enemies.
What other citizens are in the game? “One of my favorite characters is the School Mascot. This is a person dressed up as the mascot of the school in town and you never see who is inside,” Vandendyck explained. “He’s a fun over the top character. Everyone in the game has a day job and he gives everyone a cheer. That translates to changing the difficulty in the game. If you raise it up you get more rewards, it’s similar to The World Ends With You if you’ve played it. In battle, he can keep people’s spirits high to do more damage. He’s great at manipulating stats like buffing characters.”
Citizens of Earth is slated for release this October on Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PC.