LionWing Publishing President Bradly Halestorm On The Appeal Of Doujin Strategy RPG Sorcery Tempest


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Two weeks ago, we reported on strategy RPG Sorcery Tempest’s localization Kickstarter, which is being spearheaded by LionWing Publishing. With time ticking down to the deadline of November 12, 2019, the Kickstarter project has now headed into its final stretch, with still a ways to go to reach its USD $5,500 goal. Siliconera reached out and caught up with LionWing Publishing President Bradly Halestorm, to talk about just why this particular strategy-RPG-cum-visual-novel caught his eye, and more.


As a reminder, Sorcery Tempest is a strategy RPG with a grid-based battle system that will require players to plan out their every move, and a strong focus on its dark story that is the brainchild of Morihito Tatsuya, who wrote games such as visual novel Kiss Bell. You can check out our previous report here for more screenshots and details on the game, as well as the trailer below:


Meanwhile, LionWing Publishing’s President Bradly Halestorm is certainly well-known in the localization industry. Bradly has personally worked on localizing visual novels and RPGs such as CLANNAD, CLANNAD Side Stories, Grand Fantasia, and Aura Kingdom alongside other translators like Marik, who not coincidentally is also set to be the main translator of Sorcery Tempest if the crowdfunding succeeds.


Check out our interview below:

Have you been keeping track of Sorcery Tempest since the game’s release in Japan in 2017, or was localizing Sorcery Tempest a relatively recent decision?

Bradly Halestorm, LionWing Publishing President: “Yeah, we’d been keeping tabs on the game since December 2017, but we have a few other projects happening behind the scenes, so it wasn’t until recently that we were able to get around to hammering out a licensing contract with MUYM.”


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In the Kickstarter, you mentioned why Kickstarter was chosen, and why funding is so important for localization. However, I’d like to know why you personally chose to spearhead to localization of Sorcery Tempest with LionWing Publishing. What’s the appeal of the game for you?

Bradly Halestorm: “I chose Sorcery Tempest because it’s a combination of all the games I love: SRPGs, visual novels, and of course board games. I also was intrigued with its story, which does some really interesting stuff and tackles a bunch of important issues. Its story is also quite a tragic one, which was personally appealing. I like when a writer isn’t afraid to kill off important characters.”


As someone who has worked in localization for a while, I’d like to hear about the scale and amount of time and money that has been involved in previous efforts for localization. How tough was it to tackle games like CLANNAD, or more recently with LionWing Publishing, the anime tabletop board game Sainome Colosseum R?

Bradly Halestorm: “CLANNAD was a massive project with a team of over a dozen folks. Our projects are more contained, intentionally chosen for a small but passionate team who loves doujin games. A title like Sainome Colosseum R was our perfect launching point because it was manageable in scale both financially and workload wise. But tabletop games come with their own challenges that are unique unto the medium. While Sainome was exponentially less sprawling than a project like CLANNAD, Sainome required a precision that was wholly its own. After all, one cannot patch a mistake with printed media. That’s of particular note too, seeing as board games require an accuracy other mediums do not. Mistranslate or edit a rule or card? Your game is broken forever; there are no do-overs with analog games. So while CLANNAD was an enormous undertaking, so too was Sainome simply because the localization precision it necessitated. Sorcery Tempest is the best of both worlds in that regard.”


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I’d also like to hear about what you think of the SRPG aspect of Sorcery Tempest. Which feature jumped at you the most, the grid battles, or the party management, town, and world map sections, especially since preparation is usually half the battle in SRPGs?

Bradly Halestorm: “The grid combat was super interesting to me. Not only the aesthetic of the combat grid but how it incorporates its mechanics; having to match the number of your attacking fighter’s hex with that of your enemy’s. It creates this really intricate and addictive planning loop that, when executing a great series of coordinated attacks, is extremely satisfying. The customization options were also appealing; there’s a healthy amount of character outfitting along with weapon-crafting to make you really feel like your party is your own.

I also loved the importance of battle prep–knowing where to start your fighters on the battlefield so that you can effectively set up attacks down the line. It all just creates a really distinct synergy.”


Finally, I’d like to ask about why localization has remained your passion, and why LionWing Publishing focuses on doujin games.

Bradly Halestorm: “It’s remained a passion because it’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was 12 years old when my mom told me that people get paid to localize Japanese games, after I droned on and on about how much I loved Working Designs’ Dragon Force. I chose to focus primarily on doujin games because so many great works never make it outside of Japan. I wanted to do my part in helping more people see the smaller works coming out of Japan.”


Currently, Sorcery Tempest’s localization is around 30% funded, sitting at USD $1,787 of its $5,500 goal with less than 10 days to go until its November 12, 2019 cutoff date. You can find more information on the localization’s Kickstarter page here.


Sorcery Tempest released in Japan in 2017 for PC. If the Kickstarter is successful, the game is expected to release in July 2020 in the West.

Alistair Wong
Very avid gamer with writing tendencies. Fan of Rockman and Pokémon and lots more!