We had a lot of fun reviewing Healer’s Quest, so I got in touch with Pablo Coma to talk a bit about the game and its development. Come check it out!
PS4Blog: Hi! Thank you for joining us this morning. Could you please help us get started by telling our readers a bit about yourself and your work?
Hi! My name is Pablo Coma. I’m a solo game developer from Belgium. I worked for more than ten years for the Smurfs’ studio, where I was creating HTML5 games and supervising the creation of games starring the Smurfs (Smurf’s Village, Smurfs Epic Run, etc.). During my spare time, I developed Healer’s Quest alone. The game was released on PC in 2018, then a year later on Mobile devices, and in February 2021, it landed on the Nintendo Switch.
Since the PC release of Healer’s Quest, I’ve been working on a new indie game called Necro Story. I also left the Smurfs’ studio and am now working full-time as Game Director and Game Designer for Appeal Studios, a Belgian game development company.
PS4B: On that note, Healer’s Quest is a game that we enjoyed playing on Nintendo Switch. How would you describe the game to someone who’s never heard about it?
Healer’s Quest is a comedy RPG where you play as the most underappreciated party member in any fantasy realm: the Healer. As per usual, your teammates are a band of inept jerks. The game reproduces situations that could arise when playing the Healer in an MMORPG but in a single-player environment. For example, your allies will blame you when they die. The game has been created to put the Healer/support role back in the spotlight.
PS4B: How long did it take to develop Healer’s Quest? Were there any particular challenges or hurdles you had to overcome during the process? Did the game’s design change much between the initial concept stage and the final version we got to play on Nintendo’s console?
The original PC version released on Steam in 2018 took four years to complete it, but I’ve been updating the game after that. For example, I added the Expert Mode, which allows you to play with a selection of five different spells instead of four, at the cost of playing on a higher difficulty. Custom rules were also added later.
And indeed, when I started Healer’s Quest, it was supposed to be a very simple game, but I expanded the scope a lot over the course of the development. This is mostly due to the fact that Healer’s Quest is my first game release, and I learned to program while working on it! At the beginning of the project, I was unsure about what I could achieve on the programming side. For example, there wasn’t an inventory planned when I started to work on the game. I added it at around 50% of the development process. Much later, I added the feature of upgrading objects, and even later, close to the release, I added the fact that when you equip a weapon, the skin of the in-game character is modified and is actually holding that weapon in his hands instead of only the basic weapon.
The challenges I encountered were mostly to stay motivated to work on the project for four years, especially as I was doing everything alone and working on the project after hours. The Kickstarter I did in 2016 did help on this, allowing me to work full-time on the project for three months and raising my motivation to a higher level.
PS4B: Any chance we could see a physical release for Healer’s Quest on Nintendo Switch? A physical manual with an art book section and a soundtrack CD would be awesome.
That would be so cool, but I’m afraid it is not planned at the moment.
PS4B: And that’s all the time we have for today. Is there something else you’d like to add before we end this one?
I would like to thank you for allowing me to speak about Healer’s Quest on PS4blog.net. I hope that people who played it – or will play it in the future – had or will have a lot of fun with the game!