[PS4Blog.net Interview] Cape Cosmic On Phoenotopia: Awakening

by EdEN, Owner

We’ll be working on a review for Phoenotopia: Awakening, so I got in touch with Cape Cosmic to talk a bit about the game’s Nintendo Switch development. Come check it out?

PS4Blog: Hi! Thank you for joining us this afternoon. Could you please help us get started by telling our readers a bit about yourself and your work?

I’m Quang – aka Quells – with Cape Cosmic. We’re a small indie studio, and we make games. This new title is our first commercial release!

PS4B: On that note, Phoenotopia: Awakening is ready to go on Nintendo Switch. How would you describe the game to someone who’s never heard about it?

Picture an epic adventure game that has you leaving your quaint farming town to chase after an alien ship that has abducted your neighbors. You’ll explore towns, brave dungeons, interact with charming NPCs, and fight terrifying foes. You’ll also fish! It’s a game that’s a bit like Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, but with some modern features.

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PS4B: How long did it take to develop the game? Were there any hurdles or challenges that had to be overcome during the whole process?

We began development six years ago, right after the flash game ended. The hurdles and challenges encountered during this time were innumerable. We didn’t even set out to make Phoenotopia: Awakening, but the sequel.

Somewhere around the two-year mark, we realized we had overscoped, and considering the low marketability of a sequel to a flash game, we made the decision to pivot and aim for remaking the original game first by using what we already had. We somewhat document the whole six-year journey in our development blog, which you should check out!

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PS4B: What made you decide to focus on releasing Phoenotopia: Awakening on Nintendo Switch as a timed console exclusive?

The original game was made with Flash, which is its own walled-off ecosystem. Having developed, it didn’t really give us much insight into typical PC commercial game releases. So coming to this fork in the road, our skill points were still very much unallocated, so to speak.

Add in the fact that the game takes a lot of inspiration from The Legend of Zelda series, and how we heard from various developers that the Nintendo Switch was the place to be for these types of games – it seemed like an obvious choice! Plus, the Switch’s whole coolness with the portable handheld factor – it was something we personally wanted! Going with the Nintendo Switch first also afforded us some developmental niceties like having a standardized control scheme.

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PS4B: Any chance we could get a limited print run physical release for Phoenotopia: Awakening on Nintendo Switch?

We are working with an Asian publisher to bring the game to Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan as a digital and physical release, so it’s already happening for that!

For America and Europe, no one has approached us yet. We are interested in doing it, but we haven’t yet had the time to explore any avenues.

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PS4B: And that’s all the time we have for today. Would you like to add anything else before we go?

We won’t hide from the fact that the game has received a lot of praise AND a lot of criticism. One of the most common complaints is for the game’s high difficulty and general inaccessibility. We want to assure you we’ve just submitted a patch that we think will address those concerns. So if you’re interested in the game, but you’re on the fence, I’d recommend checking in 3 weeks or so to see if your concerns have been addressed. Thank you for reading!

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