The Forbidden Arts will be making its way to PlayStation 4 in 2019, so I got in touch with Stingbot Games to talk about the game’s development for Sony’s home console.
PS4Blog: Hi! Thank you for taking the time to join us at PS4Blog.net! Could you please tell our readers a bit about yourself and your work?
My name is Sterling Selover, and I’m the President/CEO of Stingbot Games. I’ve been a gamer since I could walk and my first console was the Sega Game Gear. I love to make and play video games, play music, travel and spend time with my family. My favorite game genre is RPG, but I enjoy pretty much everything. Stingbot is just myself, but my wife helps with level design. I hire out the majority of the art, but I do all the programming, design, music, story, dialogue, etc. I wear a lot of hats, as is the case with a lot of indies. I do this type of work because I love it and I guess I’m lucky in that regard.
PS4B: The Forbidden Arts is currently in Early Access and will be making its way to the PlayStation 4 in 2019. What can you tell us about the game?
The Forbidden Arts is my passion project. I’d been making mobile games and apps before this, but I wasn’t feeling fulfilled in what I was doing. I was missing passion. So I decided to take a huge risk and create a game that was filled with love, attention to detail and passion. The Forbidden Arts’ story is really a blend of my imagination and real-world experiences, with a bit of lore from Renaissance magic.
The Forbidden Arts is a real thing – just check it out on Wikipedia under renaissance magic. I simply adapted the meaning behind it to fit the game. I wanted the main character to be a Pyromancer. As you play through the game, the hero becomes more powerful and learns lots of new abilities and unique ways to wield the power of fire. The story and lore are quite elaborate and develops as you play through the game. There are elements of action, adventure, and platforming in every sense of the words. I think the best way to have people understand the game is to just let them play it. I’ve put a lot of love into this game to make it feel unique and fun.
PS4B: What drew you to work on an action adventure platformer? What is it about this genre that makes it click for you?
I’ve been playing these types of games since I was very young. Back in the NES/SNES days, platformers were my jam – Mario, TMNT, Sonic, Aladdin, the list goes on. I have a love for the classic platformer. As I grew older, genres evolved, and I think this is something normal these days: to combine different genres to create something that feels new. I love exploring game worlds and discovering cool things.
As humans, we might have discovered all there is in this world, but as game developers, we have the power to shape new worlds and stories and offer experiences for people to enjoy. That’s what I wanted to do: create a unique world with an interesting story and engaging game mechanics. That’s what makes this click for me: doing something passionate that I feel is unique. It’s not necessarily just about the genre. I didn’t set out to create a game like this specifically. It sort of fell into place by the things I loved and was passionate about.
PS4B: How long have you been working on the game so far? Do you have an estimate on the scope of the game, that is, how many hours of content you aim to provide for gamers who play from start to finish?
I started working on the game in February of 2015, so it’s been nearly three years now. The scope of the game will vary depending on the player. If they collect everything in the game and complete all the content, I estimate the game to have somewhere around 30-40 hours of play time. Although, I think it could be beaten in 20 hours if you rush through it and complete just what is necessary. All I can say is I’m doing my best to add lots of diverse content and twists and turns in the story to keep players engaged.
PS4B: And now it’s time for us to go. Is there something else you’d like to add?
This isn’t just a run and jump from level to level type of game – The Forbidden Arts is so much more. There is interaction with NPCs, lots of cool ways to utilize the power of fire, a developing story and expansive lore, and different ways to improve the power of your character, whether it’s through completing challenge levels that test your player’s spirit or acquiring legendary artifacts. You can follow Stingbot/The Forbidden Arts on Facebook/Twitter and check out the game as it continues to develop throughout Early Access on Steam.
And finally, thank you for the interview. We hope people look forward to wielding fire as much as we do!