Sad to say that I don’t currently have time to invest into playing through a role play game, although I’ll certainly add Tears of A Dragon to my games to complete list 🙂
A review from me wouldn’t have been fair or done Donovan’s work justice, so instead I asked him a few questions to share to give others a background in both the game and the devs history.
Tell me a little about yourself, and why you chose the medium of an old school rpg to share your story with the World:
So Old school RPGS were games I grew up with, the likes of the early Final Fantasy games 1 – 6, Chrono Trigger and similar. It reflects where the birth place of my gaming love is. As for myself, I’m 31 years old. I work full time as a website and app developer for an estate agent. I had a dream when I was 14 years old.. The thought of “Wouldn’t it be cool to be in a video game”. I never expected to have the skill or anything like that to ever make one though. Erm as for more about me.. I’m married and have a daughter.. Both of which love gaming also. I’ve been a youtuber for about 5 years now too sitting currently at 345 subscribers. I also have a Patreon page where people can donate a monthly amount and even get their characters created in my game in future updates etc.
Is Tears of A Dragon your first game, did you learn as you developed?
Yes this is my first game. I had to learn Ruby as a coding language in order to do any scripting for the game due to the nature of the engine I used to develop it. I have a basic level of design and development, but this is my first time designing characters, bios, stories for them etc along with a world to explore etc.
Did you pre-write the story, conversations?
Actually no.. It was all born in my head as the story progressed, I went with what felt natural and what messages I wanted to convey. The fact the game is based on my real life.. The people I’ve met, the relationships I’ve had, my own self doubts and darkness.. I feel alot needed to be said within the game to help explain just what it’s like to try and be “normal” while having such a darkness inside you (that darkness being my depression).
Any particular influences; games, artists, writers or musicians
Erm.. No major influences really, games wise Like I mentioned before, Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Legend of Dragoon, similar JRPGs were a big part of my childhood gaming experience. Music, well my taste is very much in the rock and metal genre with nods to classical and orchestral power ballads etc. So that was a large influence on my musical choicses for the game. A lot of inspiration came from my favourite composer Nobuo Uemetsu, famous for the Final Fantasy franchise as the lead composer etc.
So games; what’s your favourite, last one you completed, last one you bought, what are you currently playing?
Favourite game of all time will always be Final Fantasy VII. I identify so much with Cloud Strife it’s insane. Always trying to be the very best that everyone else needs you to be while not letting others down. Always seeking to protect others when you can barely protect yourself. Last game I physically completed was something very against the grain to my usual gaming and that’s Rayman Legends on the PS4. Last game bought, I literally picked up Elder Scrolls Online for PS4 yesterday so I’m excited to see what that has to offer. Currently playing through God of War, The Last Guardian and Bloodborne at the moment. Still fairly new to the PS4 scene and loving every second of it.
Why would I play Tears of A Dragon?
I’d like to think that Tears of a Dragon has a strong message.. One about Depression as an illness or anything that makes you feel as though you have demons inside of you mentally. To convey that you don’t always have to fight alone.. and that asking for help is ok. Sometimes it’s really hard to explain what depression feels like to someone who doesn’t fully understand it.. It’s not just about feeling sad about your life.. But instead it can be about feeling nothing at all towards anything..
What did you learn building it, any haha moments?
I learnt that game building is hard… But with enough support and people rallying behind you, anything is possible. With the support of my family, my friends and my publisher, I saw a childhood dream from 15 years ago see reality and there is no greater feeling.
As for haha moments… I would say enjoying turning some of my closest friends into video game persona’s was a lot of fun.. Especially when embedding dialogues which nod to different things from our real life encounters.. Always makes any of us laugh as we get the… “Oh yeah!” moments when experiencing them again in the game.
Thanks again for your time on this Donovan, and please anyone who is interested pick up for Tears of a Dragon on Steam for less than 5 Euros!