Slide To Play Q and A: Bladeslinger

When we saw the trailer for the upcoming Western-themed, demon-filled, Unity-powered action game called Bladeslinger, we had to know more. So we got in touch with Sam Williams, the general manager of developer Luma Arcade, for more information on this gorgeous game. Watch the trailer below and read on to learn more about Bladeslinger.

What’s the basic storyline of Bladeslinger?

Bladeslinger is the story of William Glaston. He’s a warrior recently returned to his home town of Hammer’s Peak, but what he finds is a nightmarish corruption of the town he remembers and it’s citizens. He’s a plodding, stubborn, yet resourceful character who’s determined to confront the evil he’s found and, of course, dispense some justice.

There’s a deep narrative behind William, the origin of the corruption, and this entire universe that we want players to explore and discover for themselves, so we’re going to be pretty tight-lipped with details for the moment.

At two points in the trailer, it looks like the player has to trace a symbol on the screen. What does that do?

In several instances throughout the game, we designed touch-based gestures into the gameplay. They’re a natural analog on touchscreen devices for the kind of actions players typically initiate in console games with a dedicated action button or button combination. The wonderful thing about touchscreen devices is the player can see, in realtime, their touch input, and whether it matched what we designed into the game.

If you succeed, you advance the story by opening up new playable portions of the environment. In the game, William is trapped by magic spells that impede his full progress through the environment, and he has to complete a given set of tasks and acquire key information in order to undo these spells and proceed through the rest of Hammer’s Peak. This is the first instance in the trailer.

In the second instance, William is using a technique he learned earlier in the game. He chooses a technique called Static Discharge, traces the outline on his technique card (which is used up in the process), and initiates a powerful move that inflicts deadly damage on his enemy.

The game looks very action-intensive. How do the controls work?

We designed the controls for Bladeslinger specifically for touch screen devices, which is not easy to do for an action game! We’ve all played the games that use some form of virtual analog sticks, or virtual buttons that make a game feel like a transplant from other platforms rather than an experience designed for these devices. We spent a lot of time experimenting with various controls schemes, offering varying degrees of movement freedom and control. We think we have found a really great fit for this genre with Bladeslinger, giving the player full control of William to explore the environment as well as combat enemies with fun, natural-feeling, but sometimes challenging skill-based gestures.

On Bladeslinger’s website, it says your character is upgradeable and customizable. Can you tell us about some of the upgrades?

William starts off the game with a core, deadly arsenal of combat abilities and techniques. With successful progress through the story, players will also collect gold redeemable for additional techniques and abilities. These items have been very carefully thought through and tested to ensure the game is still a balanced, fun experience, even after William is fully leveled up and equipped with the most powerful items, techniques, and abilities.

Will there be an iPad version of the game?

Absolutely! We’re big believers in gaming on tablets, and in fact, we may not have even been convinced to make Bladeslinger in this high-fidelity for mobile devices at all if it weren’t for tablets. The bigger screen with touch input controls and better viewing of all those pretty pixels are nice advantages.

When will Bladeslinger be released for iOS, and how much will it cost?

We’ve announced a release date of Q4 2011, and that’s about as specific as we can get at this point. We’ve been jamming at full production speed on this game for 9 months now, and most of us want to celebrate a semi-relaxing holiday season in December, so I think we’ve got good reasons to get Bladeslinger out the door and up in the App Store as soon as possible. That said, you really can’t rush these things, and we don’t like breaking our promises, so it’s ‘Q4 2011′ for now.

On the cost front, we want to get this in the hands of as many gamers as possible. This being a completely new IP, and one that’s very story driven, we wanted to make sure that everyone who plays it will have a really fulfilling, fun, satisfying experience. We’re getting the price down as low as we can possibly justify, letting players choose how much they pay while ensuring we deliver a full experience of the IP to everyone who plays. The in-game economy is tied to scores, customizations, achievements, abilities and items that all players can participate in, whether they elect in-app purchases or not.

That’s about as much as we want to say now, but as we get closer to release, we’ll be happy to describe in more detail how all this will work.