Interview with Game Designer Dennis Bagstevold by Peter Ward
X-Tactics (“Cross-Tactics”) is an episodic tactical RPG, which blends tactical and fighting game mechanics for a fresh take on the genre; and also offers an online collaborative urban exploration sandbox experience to players, by leveraging GPS and other real world data streams.
Taking place in a world where top-secret government agencies and secret societies, maintain the world order, X-Tactics puts players in command of a ragtag cast of secret agents, adventurers, and treasure hunters, risking their lives to keep the truth in check. Wrapped in dark humour and a stylish anime punk art style, X-Tactics brings a new twist to modern conspiracy theories and urban legends, by placing the player in the shoes of those that know, and manipulate, the truth to maintain the peace and civil order.
- Turn-based tactical combat with real time fighting game elements.
- In-game battle conditions affected by real world location and data
(e.g Zombie enemies are strong at night and weak during the day).
- A wide variety of unique characters each with their own special abilities and story arcs.
- Turf Wars mode where players challenge other players for control of real world “Turf”.
- Hundreds of levels within all difficulty levels, both for shorter and longer play sessions.
- Weekly updates with themed events containing new characters, stories and levels!
- Synchronous PvP
- Co-op play
First of all Welcome to Retrogamesmaster.
Hi there, thanks for having me!
Could you give us a brief introduction?
Sure! My name is Dennis and I’m a 22 year old Swedish game designer who is working at the Japanese game company Gamkin, Inc based in Tokyo, Japan!
What is your first gaming experience?
I’ve been a gamer since as long as I can remember starting from when I was 6, so I guess you could say that I have a lot of experiences in that department. In my younger years I fell in love with the Final Fantasy series and tried to collect and complete them all. Later when I became a teenager and found out about online games I became very focused on e-sport playing Counter Strike, Team Fortress 2 and Starcraft 2. Now when I’m working with games there isn’t as much time for grand JRPGs and e-sport carriers, but I still manage to get some hour of mobile games and Overwatch here and there!
What got you into programming games?
To me games have been a great source of good memories and friendships. Through the medium I’ve experienced many great stories, and also learned many useful things like teamwork with other people. As such, creating these kinds of sources of inspiration and ways for other people has always been obvious for me.
What development tools or coding did you use?
For X-Tactics we used the engine Corona SDK and coded the entire game in LUA.
What hurdles did you have making your current game?
With X-Tactics we’ve had several very capable and experienced talents and this coupled with a clear vision of what the game should be prevented any major hurdles in the development process itself. However, our biggest challenge as we are indie developers has been to reach this vision of the game with a very slim budget which may or may temporarily turned us into Game dev Macgyver from time to time.
After the completion of the game what game will you make?
Right now X-Tactics is released on both iOS and Android, however, we are still working on improving and creating content for the game with weekly updates. We decided to release the game to our players when the core was ready and good (unlike Early Access games) and then build upon that gradually over time with new features. In the future way may look to expand the games to other platforms as well!
What other games have you made?
GAMKIN as a company has worked on other projects as an outsourcing company which is a very common practice in Japan. These projects has been everything from games on TV shows for children to other smaller app games. With these projects we’ve used the funding to boost X-Tactics in any ways that we can.
My favourite computer was my Amiga and console the Megadrive do you have a favourite?
If I’d let my nostalgia have the upper hand I would definitely say the Playstation 1 with all the amazing Final Fantasy games that was released on it. Then with less nostalgia bias I would say that the PS Vita is my favourite however. To me it has the complete mobile experience; high technical specs, innovate features, a great screen and this while still being very light in weight. The only thing missing from it right now are those triple A games, although there are still many great indies being made for it.
What is your favourite retro game?
Haha, well it depends on what counts as retro! No, but I think if I’m being honest, although it might be a boring choice, is Tetris! Many hours has been sunk into this game both as a child and adult and I just adore the way it forces players to practice their twitch skills and push players to the limit.
Do you still game on the current consoles if so whats your favourite game?
As someone with a rather small living in Tokyo there isn’t much space for huge screens and dual wielding of X-Boxes and Playstations, so right now it’s the PS Vita and mobile thats in for me. On Vita my favourite game is Persona 4, and on mobile it’s Final Fantasy Brave Exvius currently (sorry Pokémon Go).
Whats the worst game you have ever played?
That’s a really tough question! Hm, I can’t really think of anything, perhaps Flappy Bird! I remember installing it when everyone lost it and the game was hyped to the skies. I died twice and instantly uninstalled it, I have no patience for those kind of games haha!
Finally what game or feature would you like to see on Retrogamesmaster in the future?
I think it would be really interesting to hear more from the creator of “Back in 1995” which is a game that looks like it came straight from a time traveling machine.
Any closing statements?
Thanks again for having me! If you’re interested more in X-Tactics you can download it now on Google Play and Itunes and follow us on our social media channels to keep yourself updated with the game. If you’re in Japan we’re currently doing a pre-registration for our Japanese version which is scheduled to be released around August and September this year.