Exclusive Interview with Ananki Studio and "The Fate of Baldr''-Game Devs
I got the opportunity to make an interview with Game Studio "Ananki Studio" and asked a few question about their upcoming Game "The Fate of Baldr", read the Interview here. Thanks goes also to André for answering all the Questions to our Community.
How did you become a game developer?
Hi, and thank you very much for taking the time to learn about us and The Fate of Baldr!
Ananki Game studio is a small indie game studio from Oslo, Norway. The company was founded in 2017 as a hobby project, but we quickly discovered that game development was a lot more fun than doing our normal jobs. In 2020 we got access to funding that allowed us to quit our day job and focus 100% on game development.
After some minor projects for the mobile market, we really wanted to get into making a proper PC game. We discussed all the ideas we had and decided to make the best game we could with the resources we had available. Since 2021, 3 people have been working full time with The Fate of Baldr.
You are working on the game „The Fate Of Baldr". Could you please tell us more about it?
The Fate of Baldr is a mix of a tower defense game and third person shooter. It is an online co-op game where up to 4 players can play together or as a single player.
You can choose between four different classes, each with its own abilities and access to unique towers.
The player will need to travel the nine worlds of the cosmos and gather quest items to bring back Baldr from the dead. On each planet you need to:
Gather resources. Resources can be harvested from resource nodes around the map or as drops from enemies and creatures.
Build defensive towers in key locations and totems to prevent the enemies from destroying your viking ship.
Repel incoming enemy attacks and finally defeat the world boss to gather the quest item.
There is an overall element of tactics on each planet. The enemies grow stronger as the daylight goes away. You can choose to gather a lot of resources but face stronger enemies or spawn the enemy wave early and fight weaker enemies with fewer towers.
In between the fighting, the vikings rest in their mothership. Here Player 1 (the Host) can spend some special resources to upgrade various things. Some upgrades unlock abilities such as shield, parry attacks, strong melee attack, ammo drops and so on. Other upgrades reduce the cost of building towers, improve tower stats (damage, range, rate of fire).
When will "The Fate Of Baldr" finally see the light of day?
The game will be released in April/ May of 2024.
There are still a few more features we would like to add to the game. Right now we are implementing a class rank system. For instance, when you reach a certain rank with your sniper class, you will unlock the ability to fire a piercing shot, penetrating the enemies. For the Berserker class, you gain an ability that allows your melee damage to ramp up while your health goes down. A different class will improve the harvesting of resources and improve tower build time. These days we are also implementing flying enemies, which cannot be attacked by all types of towers.
How did you come up with the idea for "The Fate Of Baldr"? What inspired you?
The idea itself came from a creative session where we filled a wall with post-its notes containing all the creative game ideas we could think of. After a cup-tie system, where we weighed one idea against another, we ended up with the Sci-fi Vikings. We figured this was the best game we could make with the resources and skills available to us at the time.
We have been inspired by other games we have played. Valheim, Orcs must die! series, Dungeon defenders series, Kingdom Rush just to mention a few.
How did you come up with the idea of choosing Vikings?
The Norwegian school system teaches us a lot about Norse mythology as it is a part of our heritage. All the enemies and bosses the player will face are heavily inspired from this universe. The different worlds the player will visit are the nine realms from norse mythology. However, we did not want to stick to the javelins, bows and arrows of the Viking era. To us, it seemed really fun to equip the vikings with high tech guns and have them roam around the universe in a jet powered viking ship.
Is there anything in "The Fate Of Baldr" that makes it unique and sets it apart from other tower defense adventures?
The biggest thing is the mix of tower defense and third person shooter, which not a lot of other games do.
Also, we like the way we have set up the multiplayer system. If you play together with your friends, you still get to bring the rewards and class rank back to your singleplayer game.
We think players will also enjoy the universe we have created. Not only are we giving vikings sci-fi weapons and jetpacks, but we have created a unique biome on each planet. You will fight enemies in the mountain pass of Jotunheim, the ice covered lakes as Niflheim or the volcanic planet of Muspelheim to mention a few.
What was your best moment during development (until now)
Watching players play and enjoy the game is always great to see! There are some youtube videos out there of players reacting to the early demo for the first time following a Next Steam fest we participated in. It gave us confidence to continue on our path, but also gave us insight to change stuff that did not work as intended.
There have been a lot of hurdles we have overcome during the development and it always feels good to pass one. A few examples:
We managed to get the multiplayer working quite early on. This was a big thing that proved that we could for sure make the kind of game we were envisioning.
A year ago, we struggled with a bug that caused the game to crash in multiplayer after playing for a while. We probably used two to three weeks to find out what was happening. The issue was caused by us sending too much to the Steam servers too often. We were really happy when we were finally able to solve this issue.
What is your favorite game and why?
Oh, there are so many to choose from! Ok, so I (André 43) will pick two that are nostalgic to me, both from the same developer from the Commodore Amiga system.
Sensible World of Soccer - This was an evolution to Sensible Soccer where the stats of the players actually changed when playing the game and you had a transfer market!
Cannon Fodder - You invest a lot of effort into ranking up a soldier from a private soldier. Then he dies, and you have to focus on a different one. Everything in this game had a nice mood. The visuals, the music that played when looking over the graveyard showing all the soldiers that died while serving under you.
Now, there are obviously a ton of newer, great games out there. I normally play smaller games which are faster to complete, but the last game I bought was Baldur's gate 3 and I like everything about it. Especially the D&D dice system and the fact that the random rolls happen in the foreground and are exposed to the player.
Is there anything else you would like to say to all the gamers out there?