Gataela is a four-part Kickstarter JRPG-inspired game that is set in the Victorian era. The main goal of the game is to try and get aid for your war-torn town. This is not an easy task, however, as the lords whom you and your party need to ask for money are not always so willing to shell it out. The multiplatform steampunk is being developed by Paige Marincak, who is currently a 4th year student at Canada’s University of Ottowa.
Although Paige is incredibly busy with the Gataela and work for her Computer Science degree, she recently found the time to talk to me about the project.
One of the first things I wanted to ask Paige about was the debate system that is to be a pivotal part of Gataela. Instead of relying solely on weapons and violence, players will also have to rely on their wits.
“One of the big things I wanted to put in the game was that, one, talking to NPCs is actually important, and two, there’s more to just saving the kingdom—saving the world—than beating up everyone who comes in front of you,” said Paige. “What ends up happening is that you need to talk to NPCs and gather more information before you go to the lord, for instance, and try to tell him why he should provide funding to your little town.”
In order to get the funding, it is imperative to talk to as many NPCs as possible and listen to what they have to say.
“You’ll have four options that show up,” said Paige, “and they’re based on the information that you gathered before [from the NPCs], and you have to choose the most correct one.” After choosing a certain number of correct choices, the lord will eventually give you the funding you desire. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. The whole conversation will be timed, and if you are not sure what to pick, then you might be out of luck.
For those of you who want more action, Gataela also will feature a combat system packed full of enemies. Similar to other JRPG-type games, especially Eternal Sonata, combat will be a turn-based. It won’t be as relaxed as some of the other turn-based combat games, however. “There’s a certain amount of time you have to do your action. The higher level you get, the less time you have,” said Paige. The game will move faster the higher-leveled you are.
There will be a number of unique weapons that can be used for combat. From swords, to guns, to gun-swords, combat can be either melee-based, ranged, or both. Players will also be able to craft items. By using naturally found plants, players will be able to create healing draughts or other potion-type things. For players who want to go more offensive, there will also be bombs and an array of different bullets types that can be crafted, among other things. Although crafting is sometimes an underappreciated feature in other JRPGs, in Gataela, there will be no magic—meaning no spells. Instead, items have to substitute, making crafting an almost necessary part of the game.
When you are not battling, crafting, or debating in Gataela, you can explore the over-world. Similar to Tales of Symphonia, the game will feature a “big over-world. You can go explore—you can go wherever you want,” giving people more of an open-world freedom. Party members can be switched in the over-world, and party member costumes and appearances can also be changed.
Currently, Gataela is looking for funds on Kickstarter. To watch gameplay videos or to donate money, go to the Kickstarter page here. If you are looking for more information on Paige Marincak’s game, you can check out Gataela’s officail website here. Gataela is hoping to be available for iPad, Android, Playbook and Windows tablets. Stretch goals include a PC version of the game.