May 1st, 2011 | By Chris Priestman
Like many other deluded game designers before him, Tom Grochowiak has made the difficult and life-changing step of becoming a full time indie developer with his team at MoaCube. Being the former lead designer at Polish casual game developer Codeminion, Tom and his team had “grown tired of the clone-driven market and the hegemony of causal portals.”
Supported by a talented group of individuals, some savings, and a couple of bright ideas; MoaCube was realised after its team had lost their jobs in the casual games industry. Tom had previously made a magical strategy game called Magi – a wizard dueling game. The newly formed indie studio hopes to remake this original project into something more deserving with ArcMagi. The game’s development is being recorded by Tom and some footage can be seen below:
The game’s presentation has seen a complete overhaul in comparison to its spiritual predecessor, and this is largely due to the art-heavy focus of the studio that incorporates quality hand-drawn 2D images.
Tom comments on this aesthetic choice:
“There’s this idea that most indie games are in pixelated retro style. Well, we like classic games as much as the next guy. We were raised with them after all. But we want to do something different. We’re lucky to work with some fantastic artists, so you can expect our games to look more like live detailed paintings than Atari 2600 or NES output”.
Anyone who has played Magi will be aware of the deep tactical base and character development focus of the game. Apart from the artwork, this will be ArcMagi‘s main points of interest as it offers a rich and very deep battling experience. For those of us who like a thought-provoking challenge and enjoy the immersion of developing their own character should look forward to ArcMagi.
While ArcMagi is deep into the development stage, the studio has another project that they are hoping to release in the summer of 2011. While little is known about this mysterious project, it is certainly going to be very different and epitomizes the studios artwork focus. Cinders is described as “an atmospheric Visual Novel of quality that’s not frequently seen in the genre”. This visual novel will be illustrated by the fantastic works of Gracjana Zielinska and will task players with making a number of choices that intends to make them question the naive and banal morals of the classic story. It’s an interesting concept and one that could only survive in the indie game market nowadays – which is more of a reason to embrace it. Cinders will be released on Mac and PC, but any more details are yet to be released. Nevertheless, look out for MoaCube and their gorgeous-looking games!