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Interview: Son of Nor Dev Reveals Pros And Cons Of Kickstarter, Looks For A Little Steam

Posted on Saturday, August 17 @ 12:00:00 PST by ryanbates

For every game that begins with the words Super Mario or Call of Duty, there is a game that launches a new IP, a studio, or even a career. But for people like 23-year-old designer Ricardo Valenzuela, it’s a challenge that breeds innovation and excitement:
I always wanted to do games, but living in Ecuador where there's no game industry meant I had to move. I started the process to move to Canada, but since I had to wait several years for it, I thought it would be good to start a portfolio. So I immersed myself in forums and started reading books and other stuff on how to break into the game industry and such.

It was by answering one of those posts that led to a pro bono position at Stillalive Studios, which led to a game designer position for Son of Nor, the upcoming independent third-person action adventure title for PC and Mac.

“When I came in the game was completely different,” said Valenzuela of the Kickstarter project. “There was spell-stealing, two-handed spellcasting, and lots of other stuff that sounds fun and all, but in practice was not all that great. The gameplay was slow, kind of boring, and it took a lot of time to cast one spell, for example. So I made some changes.”

With a little help, of course. “I'm not saying I'm the only reason for the changes,” he adds. “This is team work and we all affect each other.”

Son of Nor revolves around the last remaining humans, bordering on eradication on the game’s planet after The Great War, in which most humans were eliminated by the lizard-like Sarahul Empire. Now hiding out on “The Edge,” the Empire has found the human refuge and has started to advance upon it. As a human mage, known as a Son of Nor, a deity to humanity, it is up to the player to defend the last of the humans from total extinction.

The game, which resembles a Prince of Persia-like desert landscape, utilizes the natural world as part of the magic-casting system, which Valenzuela, who doubles as one of the writers, sees as one of the unique aspects of the game:
Our magic system is based on the catchphrase ‘The world is your weapon.' You can move the sand, pick up and throw almost everything—including tearing out pieces of mountains—and absorbing certain elements from the environment to later release them as spells or to use those elements to enhance the objects you have picked up with telekinesis.

Players can also combine elements to create, destroy, or solve puzzles. Rocks combined with fire can become fireballs; fireballs thrown at sand can become glass. (continued on next page...)
Tags:   Kickstarter, Steam, PC

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