We are all over Indie Games on My Games Lounge and one that has caught our eye recently was Melancholy Republic by Cloud Runner Studios, a company we managed to get talking to and they even provided an awesome interview for us too! You can read that below but first there is a bit of information on this amazing looking JRPG that is currently looking for Kickstarter Funding so if you like it, it may well be worth helping them reach their target. There is also more information on their Steam Greenlight page here.
Information on Melancholy Republic
At its core Melancholy Republic is built upon the best and most poignant memories from JRPG stories, their cities and their music. Exploring classic JRPG cities such as Final Fantasy’s Midgar and Lindblum or Chrono Trigger’s Zeal are key inspirations for Melancholy Republic. The greatest JRPG moments are found in uncovering the hidden corners and small stories of the game’s populations.
Melancholy Republic tells the tale of the ambitious and flawed Claire C. Lockridge. A female politician whose efforts to end the corruption at the heart of her country will forever change her life and the course of history. The story is told across four chapters, each with its own memorable characters and their personal stories. Using a mix of beautiful illustrations and art to tell the a deep, multi-layered tale, explore the city of Lorna, speak to hundreds of characters and get lost in the mature, story based adventure of Claire C. Lockridge.
As a huge fan of JRPG games, what am I going to love about Melancholy Republic?
I think fans of JRPG games can vary widely in what they love most about the best JRPG games. Melancholy Republic is a game that is inspired from that feeling of exploration, the love of deep and interesting characters, as well as the great love stories from some of our favourite JRPG games. JRPG fans will love exploring and uncovering the secrets and stories hidden across the city of Lorna. They will journey with Claire Lockridge through the dark political plot and with her discover the tragic reality of her city.
What types of games or ideas have inspired this title?
The idea for Melancholy Republic actually came from a question I had since I was young. What if I never left Midgar in Final Fantasy VII? Not necessarily the specifics of what would happen, but the concept of truly discovering the entire city. I loved the idea of a JRPG set within one massive city, the plot confined to the story of this city and all the people who live there. Many different cities inspired Lorna too, such as Zeal from Chrono Trigger, Rabanastre and Lindblum from Final Fantasy. ‘To the Moon’ was also an influence in terms of how a small team can create a strong story driven game that can capture the player with its characters.
What’s your story as a developer, how did this all start and how many of your are making this game?
I was a Physics teacher just eight months ago. I taught in a tough school but was good at my job and really enjoyed it. However it was not something I loved enough to do forever, it is not a good career for someone who is creatively driven. I have always loved writing, imagining foreign worlds and creating characters. I decided that I would build a prototype to see if I could actually manage to create the game I had dreamt about making.
I planned and worked endlessly for 3 months until I was happy that I would be able to make Melancholy Republic a reality. My belief in the characters and world led me to gather my courage to leave my job and work on the game full time. I have been lucky to meet other skilled individuals too and am now in a small team of four, all using our respective talents to work on different aspects of the game. In my free time I am also a massive PC gamer and collect JRPG games (of course!) and I currently have over 200 JRPG games in my collection.
Can you give us an idea of the key gameplay mechanics in terms of combat and exploration?
Melancholy Republic is a story based game, so the plot and characters that you journey with are the focus of the experience. Outside of this is exploration of the city and finding interesting people and hidden secrets. There are gameplay mechanics too such as having choices in conversation which will impact various parts of the story. Combat is not a part of the game, it simply wouldn’t make sense to force it in, Claire would need to talk her way out of tough situation, she is a politician after all! Solving puzzles and gathering votes are also aspects of the gameplay that will influence your own story.
JRPGs are all about interesting and sometime confusing storyline, which category does yours fall into?! And what is going in exactly?
While inspired from many stories and worlds Melancholy Republic will not however follow any sort of conventions of the JRPG genre; no tropes or expected mechanics. The characters are beautifully charismatic but also massively flawed with their own motivations and faults. There is often no clear good vs. evil.
The story is broken into different chapters, Claire will find herself involved in a character’s personal story as she strives to do what she believes to be the right thing. These chapters serve an overarching story of Claire’s political struggle to uproot corruption and uncover her father’s killer. I did not want Melancholy Republic to simply be a ‘mimic’ JRPG made by someone not from Japan, it is instead inspired from my personal love of JRPG games and stands uniquely by itself. As the name of the game suggests players can expect to become emotionally involved in the world and its characters, and it will not shy away from heart-breaking moments for the player in the sake of a ‘happy ever after’.
Can you give any details on how and when you want to release the game and on what formats?
We are aiming for an early 2016 release for PC.