May 29, 2023

Like many indie hits, motion roguelite Flame Keeper had reasonably humble origins.

Initially referred to as Ignis, the sport began as the results of the TK Sport Jam again in 2018, made by a staff that included workers from a wide range of Polish video games studios, akin to Techland, Bloober Workforce, and T-Bull.

The mission ended up taking second place within the competitors and the builders knew that they had been onto one thing.

“We created a small prototype the place you play as a bit of magical coal. You needed to acquire power from hearth. It provides you your life,” lead developer Paweł Tomaszewski explains.

“And also you needed to acquire a number of sources from across the map and produce them to the primary hearth camp. It was only a small loop for this prototype.

“After that, we wished to proceed it and make it right into a full recreation.”

Nevertheless, confronted with the problem of creating Flame Keeper solely of their spare time, the staff took proactive steps and engaged in a dialog with the CEO of indie writer Untold Tales. This led to the inception of Kautki Cave as a subsidiary and a considerable funding within the mission.

Bringing Flame Keeper to its full potential required further funding as effectively. The Kautki Cave staff launched into a quest to safe funding, decided to raise the sport to new heights. But, they quickly encountered one other formidable problem, this one in pursuing monetary assist.

“We created a small prototype the place you play as a bit of magical coal”

Paweł Tomaszewski, Kautki Cave

“Sadly, it was a little bit of a bizarre time as a result of all the larger traders had been trying to again greater AAA initiatives,” the CEO and head of Kautki Membership – in addition to VP and head of promoting for Untold Tales – Pavel Skaba says.

“However then I noticed that the primary batch of the Xsolla Accelerator program was about to begin, so I reached out to them to pitch the sport. Fortunately, they preferred it.”

With the assist of Xsolla Accelerator – one arm of the sport commerce firm’s funding initiatives – Kautki Cave’s journey was given the increase it wanted. Whereas the exact quantity stays undisclosed, Skaba signifies that the studio acquired between $50,000 to $150,000 in funds, which is the monetary increase that offered Kautki Cave with the means to convey Flame Keeper to life.

“We would by no means created a roguelike recreation earlier than,” Skaba says. “So we sat down collectively, brainstormed, spoke to pals from totally different firms and so forth. Along with Adrian [Ślusarek, art tech] and Pavel [Tomaszewski] we constructed out a improvement map that was restricted to what we might do with the quantity of money and time that Untold had invested. After that, we mentioned further content material and concepts that we might develop afterward with, for instance, exterior cash.

“We ended up with a very strong manufacturing plan, however the concept was nonetheless to make the sport higher and assist it stand out in a aggressive style. The roguelite is among the busiest genres on Steam. We wanted to make the sport greater simply to compete with these titles.

“We determined we would have liked further cash simply to assist make the sport higher. That is why we had been in search of funding and due to the cash we acquired from Xsolla, we had been capable of construct all of the core mechanics and launch the sport earlier this 12 months.”

Flame Keeper is on the market on PC and Nintendo Change

Given how fierce competitors is within the roguelite style, it was important that Kaukti Cave and Untold Tales thought lengthy and exhausting about tips on how to assist Flame Keeper succeed.

“The very first thing that we determined to do with Flame Keeper – as each firms, Untold Tales and Kaukti Cave – was to make this mission as an motion recreation that has roguelike parts,” Skaba says.

“All people goes to search out one thing they like between these two issues, however we had been 100% certain that if we go blindly into roguelites, we’d be in a tricky place. The video games that Flame Keeper could be competing with aren’t actually indies anymore, proper? In case you are spending $10 million on a recreation, it isn’t an indie anymore.

“Positioning was one of the crucial essential issues, together with correct concentrating on. We did a playtest on Steam and acquired a bunch of feedback from useful players. The suggestions was very constructive and actually helped improvement.

“The largest query mark for a roguelite is tips on how to maintain individuals enjoying. On the very first playtest that we did behind closed doorways, we acquired a remark saying they preferred Flame Keeper as a result of they didn’t have an enormous period of time to play video games anymore. We needed to tweak the gameplay a bit to encourage gamers to remain a bit longer with the sport.”

Flame Keeper launched into Steam Early Entry and Nintendo Change in March. The funding that Kaukti Membership acquired from Xsolla helps the studio add to the inspiration that it has created.

“Now we’re engaged on two issues,” Skaba says. “There are content material updates on the best way – just like the remaining two biomes, fight enhancements and so forth. That is all associated to gameplay.

“However we’re additionally trying to go to the console market. The sport is on the market on Change as a model 1.0 and we’re engaged on patching in additional content material. And we shall be wanting into doing ports for PlayStation for certain, although Xbox isn’t set in stone but. The purpose is to launch the ultimate model throughout PC and all of these consoles within the first half of 2024.”

Whereas the cash was definitely useful, the studio has acquired loads of non-financial assist from Xsolla.

“What I actually appreciated was the individuals at Xsolla and their mentors centered on recreation improvement,” Skaba says. “One a part of the Acceleration Program is pitching the sport to the companions we do not usually have entry to as a writer, primarily from Asian markets. There was a bunch of firms that we would by no means spoken to and now we’ve talked. This was an awesome alternative to showcase the sport in several territories that may have a distinct perspective on how motion roguelite video games ought to be developed.”

On prime of help on the enterprise aspect of issues, being a part of the Xsolla Accelerator additionally resulted in Kautki Cave receiving recreation design assist.

“For some time, I used to be in search of an individual who might assist us with all of the maths behind the sport,” Skaba explains. “However then we got a advice by Xsolla for somebody in Poland who might assist us with the optimization and recreation steadiness. Generally, every time we had an issue or query like how will we proceed with a content material plan, each single time the Xsolla staff was keen to assist, whether or not that be from a gameplay perspective or product and gross sales.

“We’ve had a bunch of suggestions from Nintendo gamers, which is a very totally different viewers”

Pavel Skaba, Kautki Cave

“When you work on a single mission for a lot of, many months, you normally need to cope with these sorts of duties, and normally you solely have your perspective to depend on. So it is actually nice to have the ability to speak to somebody who can put you in contact with totally different individuals from totally different areas or territories. That was of giant worth for us.”

Because the recreation’s launch in March, the Kautki Cave staff has acquired all kinds of suggestions. The title boasts Constructive suggestions on Steam and has been well-received on Nintendo Change.

“We’ve had a bunch of suggestions from Nintendo gamers, which is a very totally different viewers from Steam,” Skaba says. “They’re additionally hardcore players however they’re in search of completely various things.

“We’re additionally engaged on localization and delivering on the sport on each platforms to totally different audiences. We’re planning on showcasing the sport at a number of occasions. We took it to Digital Dragons in Krakow earlier this month and we’re taking it to an occasion in Japan, too.

“It is a incredible journey, showcasing the sport all all over the world. Japan and Korea are fantastic territories and the suggestions we obtain from them is completely totally different to what we obtain from Western Europe and the US markets. However nonetheless, they’re priceless classes.”

Flame Keeper is on the market to buy on Steam, Epic Video games Retailer and Nintendo Change.

To search out out extra about Xsolla Accelerator, a programme that connects builders with funding and invaluable suggestions – together with a 16-week mentorship program – you will discover extra data right here.

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