This interview has been edited and condensed.
Connecting the foundations of a card game connected with virtual reality, Cedric Tatangelo, founder of Ninpo, and his team decided to create an MMO TOWER DEFENSE!
The most intriguing game of PGW was Vanishing Stars Colony War, developed by Ninpo — mostly since we were surprised to hear that these two genres could be merged into one; the independent scene allows this type of originality. And to hear Cedric's passion for his tower defense MMO, we can’t wait to play it!
But, where did this idea of a mix of genres come from?
“By creating the universe of Vanishing Star, with all the illustrations, the background and the codex of the races, and all that goes with it,” says Cedric, “a problem has come down to us: how (can we) communicate with a card game that just has an illustration, explanatory text. We then said: let's create a mini-game to talk about the world of the game. Basically planned to be on Facebook, we have completely changed direction and [then] the beginnings of an MMO appeared on the team !”
From a small project, it has become imposing.
Cedric remarks, “We are only three people: a lead dev, an artist, and me. We have worked with several talents as the project progressed, and with the help of the CNC we hope to recruit. While remaining a small but effective structure, we want specific talents with specialized expertise in their respective fields. It is an ambitious but risky project.”
As to how the project is evolved today, post launch, Cedric states, “We showed the game at the GDC... There was only one playable planet. We have since given access to our site for players to test the game for free and give us their opinion. We have also opened a devlog on the itch.io website to show where we are going. They will see the gameplay and the aesthetics. If they hang (around), they can continue to follow the evolution of the game.
“We want to build our game in stages to give us time, because we are a small team! First, we want, free of charge, to develop PvP and a community providing feedback, to build a game intelligently with our vision. We will then provide via a DLC (around €20), (adding PvE conquest and navigation in the galaxy).”
Why focus on MMO?
“I wanted the player to conquer the universe, so a solo game is pretty limited...! A matchmaking PvP with ten to twenty people, maximum, is also limited: the MMO concept has imposed itself on us, with thousands of players connecting in the same environment and galaxies with thousands of planets. The player can enlarge his territory and have interactions with neighboring planets by waging war or grouping together,” enthuses Cédric.
“And (there’s) an AI in the Cloud that will try to conquer the galaxy. The player will play the human race that had to leave the Earth following a war against two alien races and colonized other planets in order to survive and improve its technology. The idea: all players, who are part of the human faction, will have to counter the AI that plays 24 hours a day in the cloud to contain it and understand where it comes from. The ultimate goal is to defeat her.”
What about PvP?
“We want to mix the PvP and the PvE in real time (with) planets that alternate. And (there would be) MMO classics: cooperative worlds bosses, or planets on which you can play only 2 or 4, with different factions by deciding to ally or turn between them rather than fight against the AI — but, the goal is to beat the AI...”
Finally, be aware that the game should be available from December 2017 in an alpha, with a target of 2018 for a full version. By then, Ninpo will need the help of players to always improve Vanishing Stars Colony War — that's what we like on the independent stage!
(The board game itself will also see the light of day: Ninpo is looking for manufacturers to launch it, which connect cards with VR and hologram projections.)