One genre that still seems relatively unexplored on PlayStation 4 is that of the Mecha. Sure, there are games that have mechs, but none offer the heavy customization and complex mechanics that players have come to love. That’s why it was such a great surprise when we learned about an awesome-looking Mecha title on Indiegogo called DUAL GEAR. We got a chance to sit down and talk with Pongpat Pongsakorntorn, the founder, project leader and art director of Orbital Speed Studio, to discuss the fledgling company’s first project. If you’re interested in seeing how the game is coming along, or want to contribute to the team’s funds, feel free to head over to its Indiegogo page and show some love.
Let the interview begin!
PlayStation LifeStyle: Were you a fan of any mecha anime or games growing up? If so, which ones would you say have had the most significant influence over this project?
Pongpat: I am a big fan of the Gundam series, especially the UC era. The 08th MS Team is my personal favourite. My greatest turn base game I really love is also the SD Gundam G Generation and Front Mission Alternative on the PS1. The most influential on Dual Gear is probably the Front Mission series.
PSLS: You mentioned that members of the newly-formed Orbital Speed Studio have previously worked on projects like AeternoBlade and Deadly Premonition. What’s it like working with a diverse new team on such an ambitious project?
Pongpat: Since this time we are managing the company by our self, there are many new challenges that we didn’t expect before. However, we find it’s not that strange. As starting a new project is like challenging a new harder boss fight. After we beat him, we gain experience and skill that will be helpful on the next project.
PSLS: As far as game development is concerned, what would you say the team’s mission is? It’s early, of course, but are you looking to stick together and develop more independent experiences after DUAL GEAR?
Pongpat: I would like to not only continue making games but I would like our team to experiment on other stuff too. A realistic VR Mecha game is something I am interested in. An arcade game where you are the pilot in the cockpit is also very interesting. How awesome would it be if you kinda mix Steel Battalion and VR together? PRETTY AWESOME!!!
PSLS: Player input has played a big role in the development of this game, with pre-alpha demos and Steam Greenlight feedback helping you use feedback to improve the experience. What’s it like balancing the input of excited testers with your own vision for the game?
Pongpat: We are small studio and haven’t released a lot of titles yet. So we believe and respect what the players like and don’t like about our game. Every feedback and idea are used to help improve the game. It is important to really know what is working and what is not. This way, we can keep improving the quality of the game.
PSLS: You mention on your Indiegogo campaign page that the game will be in three languages: English, Japanese and Thai. Will these translations be done by multilingual members of the team, or are you having someone else handle that job?
Pongpat: Of course, we will have help. We actually went to TOKYO GAME SHOW 2015 and received several contact from the localization companies. So we don’t have a lot of worry about the Japanese language and Thai Language at all. We will certainly hire people to help us translate into several other languages including English and several other European languages.
PSLS: You’ve obviously detailed quite a lot about the mechanics of the game, but will we see a story and characters that evoke the feeling of classic mecha anime/manga as well? What exactly will that be like?
Pongpat: DUAL GEAR is set in 2064, The new beginning of space innovation. The world politic and character relation will play a crucial role in the story. I couldn’t say much right now as there are a lot of detail we will release later.
PSLS: How do you plan to differentiate yourself from other Mecha games?
Pongpat: The fact that this game is a mix between Turn base and third person shooter is what make this game interesting. We barely see a squad base Mech game anymore(that also allow you customize your mech too). The space mission will also be the standout. The Dual gear the will be able to move in all axis in space. It’s still going to be turn base but in free space.
PSLS: On your Indiegogo page, the multiplayer option is labeled as a stretch goal ($95,000). If the campaign fails to hit that goal, do you think the lack of multiplayer will damage the game’s viability as a whole? How might that affect how the single-player campaign is developed?
Pongpat: We really want to do the multiplayer! That is why we set up the stretch goal. However, we prioritize the Initial Goal first. If we make it through, we will definitely think about what do we want to do in multiplayer(in some way) for sure.
PSLS: What degree of freedom will players have to customize their mechs? You’ve detailed some information about the different equippable weapons, but will players be able to make their mech stand out from other players’ with cosmetic differences, etc.?
Pongpat: Each mech is composed of 5 different parts (the head, arms, body, legs and backpack). We planned to have at least 30 different type of heads, arms, bodies, legs and backpacks. Every part will have different stats and abilities. The unit can be equipped up to five weapons, One on each shoulder and arm. The last part depend on if the backpack is compatible or not.
PSLS: Finally, if you had to convince someone why they should give money to help fund your game, what would you say?
Pongpat: We make this game because we love this genre. We really don’t want it (the Mecha Turn Base) to disappear from this generation. We hope everyone who wishes the same would like and support our game on the campaign. Thank!
Thank you so much to Pongpat for taking the time to answer our questions and please, if you have interest in the game, head on our to their Indiegogo Page and take a look.