Roguelikes are a popular style of game, and great for pick up and play. The upcoming title One Step From Eden is a roguelike with combat based on the acclaimed Mega Man Battle Network series. Coming from a successful Kickstarter campaign, surpassing its $15,000 goal fourfold, the game will release for Nintendo Switch and PC onMarch 26, 2020.
The game’s director, Thomas Moon Kang, was gracious enough to answer some questions OnlySP had about his creation.
OnlySP: What prompted you to make One Step From Eden and why the Battle Network style of game?
Kang: One Step From Eden was originally a small game jam project. I had just started getting into game development and released a small game on Steam so I needed a new game to work on. I really missed the style of combat Battle Network had and wanted to see if I could recreate that feeling somehow, but better!
OnlySP: How did you go about making the grid-based and deck-building combat of the Battle Network series more of your own style?
Kang: One of the most obvious changes is that you have access to your entire deck in real-time during battle. You quickly go through your cards by choosing from one of two slots, which was enough to give the player options but not overload the player. Another thing is the fluid movement and the increased grid size to 4×4. In Battle Network there is a delay after each movement, while in One Step From Eden you can move much more quickly and naturally. It allows you to move around the larger grid more easily.
OnlySP: When it comes to other roguelikes, what were the biggest inspirations for One Step From Eden?
Kang: Nuclear Throne had a really good feeling and “juiciness” that I wanted to incorporate in my game. Since there is a lot of intense action in OSFE, it’s important to give feedback to the player through juicy effects. For example, there are different sound and visual effects depending on how much damage a hit does!
Slay the Spire came out during development and MegaCrit elegantly solved many problems in the deckbuilding roguelike genre. For example, they made it as simple as possible to play the cards where you simply drag and drop on a target. They also showed the cards moving around the screen from deck, to hand, to discard pile which makes the cards feel more real and physical and helps the player keep track of where each card is.
OnlySP: How has the reception of the game and its Kickstarter been, especially because of the lack of similar style games of the Battle Network series?
Kang: The reception was better than I expected, I had no idea there were so many fans of Battle Network. When I started development the only people I knew played Battle Network were from middle school. I thought only a small group of people would be excited for it but I soon found out there were fans everywhere! The Kickstarter funded over 460% and was a huge success. I created the Kickstarter campaign on my own so I did not expect that at all.
OnlySP: Why did you choose to make One Step From Eden a roguelike over an RPG or linear story game like the original Battle Network series?
Kang: While I love RPGs and a good story, they can be a bit too time consuming to play through. As an adult, I have less time to sink into games. The combat in Battle Network was the most unique part of the game and a roguelike was the perfect format to deep-dive into the combat mechanics and explore them thoroughly. An RPG world also would’ve required a bigger team to pull off for me to be happy with it.
OnlySP: How long would it take for someone to unlock all cards, spells, and endings?
Kang: It depends how good you are! On average maybe about 40 hours. But there are so many unlocks from outfits to ascension levels, to really 100% everything, it might take 60!
OnlySP: What was the inspiration behind the poster character Saffron?
Kang: Saffron was inspired by Makise Kurisu from Steins;Gate and Ciel from Mega Man Zero. You can clearly see their influences on her design. All three of them are scientists!
OnlySP: The game holds a large cast, how many characters are playable and what makes each one different, any possible inspirations?
Kang: There are nine playable characters each with two different “kits.” Each character and their alternate kit play very differently. I had a lot of fun exploring all the different ways the game’s mechanics could be used. I feel like most games miss an opportunity by making all their characters pretty much the same. Most of the inspirations came naturally, but Hazel is based on the Engineer from Team Fortress 2 (or Torbjorn from Overwatch). She builds turrets and can use her weapon to upgrade them.
OnlySP: Along with the large cast comes enemies and bosses how many are there for players to face off?
Kang: There are around 50 different enemies (with four tiers each), and 12 different bosses (with six tiers each). In addition to the tiers, the way enemies mix and match and can get randomly generated buffs, always keeps you on your toes!
OnlySP: What is your personal favourite spell and which character is your favourite to play as?
Kang: It’s hard to choose one spell, but I always take “Monument” which summons a huge tower that you can knock over onto enemies, dealing massive damage.
My favorite character to play is probably Selicy. Dashing around the field and slicing through enemies is so satisfying and makes you feel really cool.
OnlySP: What boss was the most fun to design and which was the hardest for you to personally defeat?
Kang: The most fun to design may have been Violette, I basically learned how to develop a rhythm game and all the caveats that came with it. There’s a ton of custom code just for her so that her attacks always sync with the music even if time is slowed or stopped!
The hardest boss to defeat might be Saffron. Fighting her is similar to playing against a real person! It really puts things in perspective and makes you realize you’re not always more powerful or weaker than the bosses you’re fighting. Saffron’s boss battle has quite a few surprises for new players!
OnlySP: Are there plans to bring One Step From Eden to other platforms, or for additional content or DLC?
Kang: Yes, there will be other platforms but I don’t think it’s announced yet. I plan to work on some free updates if the game does well! Of course there’s also mod support, so that should provide plenty of content for persistent players.
OnlySP: Do you have any plans to make a physical copy of One Step From Eden?
Kang: We’ll be announcing more about this later!