Guardians of the Rose interview with Broc Copeland

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Make your way across a blood-soaked continent to oppose the forces that have taken your kingdom.  Steal ancient relics from wraith-kings. Bring down underground cities of the Old Kingdom.  Risk your sanity as you travel through the cursed Clock Valleys.  Hunt by moonlight to draw out creatures of the night.  Venture into the snow-ridden Mountain Lands and discover hidden temples in the wild.  Explore the Unfellable Forest while being chased by Sand Giants.  Encounter river spirits, groundlings, and dragons alike.


Controls like a modernized, fast-paced version of old-schoolZelda and Gauntlet games with the RPG elements of the Elder Scrolls Series.

  • Open-Ended Adventuring – The world is laid out specifically so that you can choose to explore in any direction you want. You can choose to progress the storyline at your own pace while immersing yourself inside the lore and sidequests of the kingdom. These sidequests are not your typical “find my chicken” type quests but instead are designed to make the player feel like he is making a significant difference in the lands around him.
  • High Fantasy pitting Magic vs Witchcraft – Magic was taught to the people by a legendary hero that saved the world from the Great Witches long ago. Ever since, witchcraft has been outlawed and users of the craft have been hunted mercilessly by the Royal Guard. Now that witchcraft has risen to power again, you are tasked with saving the Kingdom but you have no magical ability like the great heroes of times before.
  • Choose your own way to play – The player must choose what path to take, good or evil. The only goal of the game is to restore peace to the land. How it is done is up to the player. You can choose to incite revolution from the stealth of the shadows or you can wage all out war. With a completely customizable stats and skills system there is very little the player does not have control over.
  • Multiple Endings – Depending on how you play the game, which path you take in your exploration of the lands, and who you decide to party with, the game’s story and ending can change fairly drastically.
  • Align with Good or Evil – You get to choose whether Good or Evil prevails.  Your alignment is based on your actions.  Killing monsters near a town to save villagers is an act that earns good points while killing innocent villagers, stealing, or using witchcraft will accumulate evil points.  Your alignment affects which NPCs are friendly towards you and which ones are enemies.  It also can change your path in the story, which quests you can take, what gear you can wear, and more.
  • Guild Master of a Secret Society – You play as a guild master of a Secret Society who’s goal is world peace, at any cost. You will need a few allies to help you overthrow the Great Witches. You have the choice to recruit any NPC in the game but if you choose the wrong person to recruit it can turn into a fight and blow your cover as a revolutionary (or if you have taken a more evil path it could blow your cover as an Ally to the Great Witches).
  • Gear – There are all kinds of swords, daggers, bows, headgear, armor, accessories, etc. They can all be enchanted with magic or witchcraft. You can also hunt down epic gear that is already enchanted. Some gear has stat based wearing requirements while others come with the cost of exposing you as a revolutionary or a witchcraft user.
  • Witchcraft – Witchcraft is known in the kingdom as the source of all evil. Using it risks your ability to get along with natives of the land and if caught using witchcraft you can compromise your ability to experience certain endings of the game. If you do choose to use witchcraft you can craft it with items that you find in your explorations.
  • Stats System – Stats are the five character statistics that make your character completely customizable.  Each time you level up you can invest points into your character to tailor it towards the way you prefer to play the game.

Guardians of the Rose was heavily inspired by the classic tales of Homer, Viking Sagas, and high fantasy novels like Lord of the Rings and Winds of Fate.  The game’s style was inspired by old school arcade games (Gauntlet) that I would play as a kid at Pizza Hut and the local bowling alley. Other inspirations include: The Legend of Zelda, Ragnarok Online, and The Elder Scrolls series.

After the Great War, witchcraft was banned and the Great Witches were driven into hiding. The kingdom of old had been all but destroyed by witchcraft until a warrior-king brought the different races together and taught them how to unlock their inner magic. Ever since, the witches of the old kingdom have been thought to be extinct and the remnants of their arts have been hunted and destroyed by the law-keepers of the kingdom, the Royal Guard.

As the Royal Guard searched out and persecuted the users of witchcraft, a small group of them were tainted by the very thing they swore to destroy. With the power of the Royal Guards now in their hands, the Great Witches rose up again and overtook the kingdom from the inside, destroying all that the Royal Guards were sworn to protect. It is now up to a faithful group of companions to overthrow the Great Witches and the tainted Royal Guard that you once loved. This group calls themselves the Guardians of the Rose.

Can you incite revolution among the people? Can you turn witch against witch by staying in the shadows of the Royal Guard? Or will you have to start a second Great War and battle an army of undead, orcs, and witches face to face in an epic struggle between good and evil?

Boss Reveal:

Possessed Sword and Shield Boss - drawn by Justin Stolk
Possessed Sword and Shield Boss – drawn by Justin Stolk


Summoner Mage Boss
Summoner Mage Boss

What is your first gaming experience?
My first gaming experience was playing Duck Hunt/Super Mario Bros with my uncle on his NES when I was 1 or 2.  He later gave it to me when he was shipped off to war.
What got you into programming games?
I used to be a web developer so I slowly learned to code just as a requirement for some jobs.  Pretty much right after I realized that I could program games in a web browser with the skills I had learned in Flash I was hooked on the idea that I was going to make games for a living.
What development tools  or coding did you use?
For Guardians of the Rose I am using GameMaker Studio with GML coding.  I have a half-made metroidvania that I made in Unity via C# and I’ve also made a few games in Flash via AS3.

What hurdles did you have making your current game?
Mainly just time.  My biggest concern is getting the Kickstarter Campaign funded so my wife can extend her maternity leave indefinitely which allows me to work on this game 12-14+ hours a day.
After the completion of the game what game will you make?
I will finish the before-mentioned metroidvania because it’s engine is pretty much complete, I just need to do a few minimal things and build out some assets for it and it’ll be ready to ship.
What other games have you made you made?
Everything I made was hosted on MochiMedia so it’s all gone into the ether now.  The one game that got a tiny bit of traction (I believe you can find review videos on it still) was called Super Cool Kids: Dungeon Adventure.  If you go look at it please keep in mind that I made that 4 years ago and I have gotten much better since then!
My favourite computer was my Amiga and console the Megadrive do you have a favourite?
My favorite computer is the one I am sitting in front of now.  We sadly didn’t get a computer in the home until my mother married my stepfather when I was 12.  My favorite console would have to be SNES just based on how much fun I had on it when I was a kid.  I definitely still have a soft-spot for Nintendo.
What is your favourite retro game?
That’s a big question.  I really don’t know but my instinct is saying Mega Man X and Duck Hunt.  I played Mega Man X for hundreds of hours at least.  Same with Duck Hunt.  I still play Duck Hunt on my Wii U.  Another big one was the old-school arcade version of Gauntlet.
Do you still game on the current consoles if so whats your favourite game?
I don’t currently spend any time doing anything but eating, playing with my sons, and working on Guardians of the Rose.  So my favorites are a little out of date.  My favorite game at the moment is tied between Dark Souls and Pokemon X & Y.  I really can’t wait till I have enough free time to play Dark Souls 2 & 3!
Whats the worst game you have ever played? 
Oh wow, I really have no clue about this.  Instead let me try and think of the worst game I have ever bought.  5 minutes later: I really can’t think of anything specific but I have a feeling it was probably something to do with Winter Olympics or some other badly executed sports game.
Finally what game or feature would you like to see on Retrogamesmaster in the future?
Guardians of the Rose 2, Guardians of the Rose 3…Really, I’m not sure because I don’t have time to browse around about what game devs are doing right now because I’m too busying developing my own game.  There is a cool metroidvania coming out by a friend of mine on twitter/tumblr:
It definitely looks like it’ll be my style of game.