Indie developer Sabotage Studio is set to put a spin on another classic genre. The studio behind critically acclaimed action platformer The Messenger has announced that it’s working on a turn-based role-playing game called Sea of Stars, which will be set in the same universe as its first game as a prequel.
Inspired by beloved ’90s RPGs, it will look to build upon that formula by adding exploration elements to the overworld. When not engaged in battles, players can platform around the title’s gorgeous environments and discover secret areas. Sabotage is looking to crowdfund the game, and players can currently back it on Kickstarter.
The protagonists of Sea of Stars are two young Solstice Warriors named Valere and Zale. They use powers of the sun and moon to fight evil creations of an alchemist called The Fleshmancer. The turn-based title will have some action elements with Super Mario RPG mentioned as an example, as carefully timed strikes and preemptive attacks are key to dealing damage.
In total, there will be six playable characters each with their own fighting style and personality. Sabotage is looking to eliminate any tedium such as grinding as the character progression is balanced with the story, and losing a battle is due to a lack of strategy rather than stat points.
“They’re going to be expecting some surprises after having played the first game,” Sabotage CEO Thierry Boulanger said to The Escapist of the change in genre from The Messenger. “We can’t expect it to please everyone as we have some pretty hardcore platformer fans … but it being in the same universe and all, we’re hoping since they care about the world and characters there’ll be some connection there.”
Boulanger explains that they’re going for a low bar ($100,000) on the Kickstarter campaign as they know financial numbers don’t make sense for the average player. “The ask has to be realistic for the individual,” Boulanger says. “All we’re looking for with the campaign is that it was an opportunity to reveal early and claim those themes we’re playing with, and it’s an opportunity to get in touch with our fans that are curious as to what we’re working on … The main thing we’re looking for is validation that players will be there at the end [of development].”
He’s aware that the recent COVID-19 outbreak has made the timing auspicious, but his team will give players a playable demo as soon as possible as players are looking for games to play right now.