[PS4Blog.net Interview] Witching Hour Studios On Masquerada
We’re currently playing Masquerada: Songs and Shadows for review, so we got in touch with Witching Hour Studios to talk about the game’s development and PS4 release.
PS4Blog: Good morning. Thank you for joining us at PS4Blog.net. Could you please get us started by introducing yourself to our readers and letting them know a bit about yourself and your work?
Hey there! Thanks for having me! I’m Ian Gregory Tan, the creative director and resident loafer here at Witching Hour Studios. We’re a small shop outta sunny Singapore, and we tend towards making strategy and roleplaying games. Story is a big part of what we do, and we don’t expect to be changing course any time soon. Trust me, we’re thought of as quite mad locally. Our latest foray into the madness is what we have here: Masquerada: Songs and Shadows!
PS4B: After a successful Kickstarter campaign to put the final touches on the game, Masquerada: Songs and Shadows will soon be out on PlayStation 4. How would you describe the game to someone who’s never heard of it?
Masquerada is a story-driven tactical RPG, set in a dark and magical world inspired by Renaissance-era Venice. The city, Ombre, is rife with elemental magic — magic that comes only from the masks found within. These mascherines, as they’re called, affect every level of society in Ombre. They are wielded only by the very affluent, used in the crafting of goods that keep the city rich, and even define how you are remembered after death.
In this city of wonder and intrigue, we join Cicero Gavar, called back from exile to find an old friend who had been doing research on the mascherines. Joining him are four companions that come from the great guilds of the city, each with their own past, motivations, and goals. Each with their own tale to tell.
Combat in Masquerada is fast and fierce, but paced to how you’d like with tactical pausing, meaning you can pause when you’d like a bit more finesse in how you command your party of three. You can control the battlefield with elemental combos and mask ultimates. For example, hitting an enemy with a water spell when it has a fire tag on would render the enemy blind in a fog of steam.
All this is told and experienced in a beautifully hand-painted world — we wanted players to feel like they were part of a French styled comic book!
PS4B: How long was the game in the development? When did the team begin to work on the overall concept that would become Masquerada?
It took us about two years to bring to life. The seed of the world we created came from a D&D campaign I used to run for my friends back in high school, so I’d say Masquerada was ten years in the making! Between drunken nights dueling along the Venetian canals with wooden swords to a frustration with how non-magic users become quite boring in the latter levels of D&D, the seeds of Masquerada were sown.
I think Masquerada really took shape when Nicholas Chan, the writer, joined us. Using the skeleton I had, he weaved together a fantastic narrative with characters I’m absolutely certain you’ll fall in love with. With those two pieces of the puzzle set and serving as pillars of our direction, the art team went to town, hard, giving us this vibrant world that we expanded upon to this day!
PS4B: Now that the game is done, is the team working on some new content for Masquerada to be offered as DLC? Or are you working on a new game?
We’re toying with a few new ideas right now, dabbling with VR a little and seeing where it leads us. I do like the idea of going back to our roots and exploring strategy or tactical games though!
PS4B: Once again, thank you for your time. Would you like to add anything else before we go?
Come visit Singapore! There’s a cornucopia of good food I’d love to share with you! =D