Interview with developers of Aztez: A strategy & brutal combat Next-gen game
Aztez: A Game of Conquest of Brutality, a beat 'em up and a turn based strategy game meant for PS4, Xbox One, PC and host of other platforms. The first look at the teaser and you will be like "Gosh, that is so much blood!" Aggression and Brutality are the prime aspects of Aztez. Designed by a person with a 'combat fetish', Aztez will definitely get you into the top most gear after a long tiring day.
We recently got in touch with Ben Ruiz, co-founder of Team Colorblind, to know what the whole story behind the creation of Aztez was. At what resolution will it run on major platforms? What will be its cost? And many more things. Read on to find out all that interests you about, Aztez: A Game of Conquest of Brutality.
Gamepur: Hi, Tell us about Team Colorblind. How is it different from other development studios?
Ben Ruiz: Team Colorblind is different from other studios in that we've got a team of 2 building a game that should be built by a team of at least 6. Haha! We're veterans, we're control freaks, and it our style to take big bites and intelligently chew them up.
Gamepur: What is Aztez all about?
Ben Ruiz: Aztez is about experiencing the might and glory of the Aztec empire.
Gamepur: What inspired you to make an aggressive game like Aztez?
Ben Ruiz: Technical beat 'em ups are my favorite type of game, and I've always wanted to make them. My inspiration for the game is a complicated result of my own combat fetish, in which I'm invoking all of the great sports fights, choreography, and action games that ever excited me.
Gamepur: You described Aztez as "two games at its core", can you provide us some details on what exactly that meant?
Ben Ruiz: Aztez is two games stitched together; a beat 'em up and a turn based strategy game. These are very different types of experiences typically played by different types of people, but we've combined them in a way that we think is more interesting than the traditional beat 'em up game structure. It feels like playing two games in one, but in a way that is fun and engaging.
Gamepur: Coming to a blog post "Aztez: Why I Am Doing This", you talked about beat 'em ups genre and stated that this genre barely changed in 25 years, and currently offers "nigh unbearable game experiences". Can you list out the short-comes of beat 'em ups and are you guys fixing it with Aztez?
Ben Ruiz: I think the critical shortcoming of the beat 'em up formula is that the game structure is so tedious and uninteresting. I'm tired of rote platforming and puzzle solving between combat encounters. What we're doing differently is giving the player a tactical thinking experience in between combat encounters.
Gamepur: What exactly is the Aztez's narrative backstory and how many hours of gameplay does it offer?
Ben Ruiz: The narrative back story is that the game starts 100 years before the Spanish show up, at the formation of the Aztec Triple Alliance. The idea is to survive and flourish long enough to witness the arrival of the Spanish, and eventually be good enough to defeat them and kick them out of Mexico.
Gamepur: The graphics are an interesting part of this game, using a limited number of colors to create something like Aztez. Can you tell us more about the graphics of Aztez?
Ben Ruiz: I thought it would be a fun artistic challenge to utilize an unusual art style. But it also happened to help me from a production point of view, because the style makes it easier for me, the entire art and combat team, create the rich environments you see in the game.
Gamepur: At what resolution will Aztez run of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One?
Ben Ruiz: The game will run on the respective console's native resolutions. i.e. 1080p/60fps on both Xbox one and PS4.
Gamepur: What elements of Bayonetta, Alien vs Predator and Devil May Cry have been incorporated in Aztez?
Ben Ruiz: The feel and creativity of Bayonetta, the sensationalism and mobility of Capcom's Alien Vs Predator, and the precision difficulty of classic Devil May Cry.
Gamepur: Does Aztez offer any level of character or combo/weapon customization? Also will there be environmental variety in Aztez?
Ben Ruiz: The character will be visually customizable in that you will be able to beat the gear (helmets, bracers, loincloths, etc.) off of every enemy in the game and wear them in any combination you'd like. The weapons will not be customizable, but they are by default, very rich with distinct mechanics. As for the environments, we have an unique environment for every single city on the empire map (of which there is roughly 30) and then some.
Gamepur: Violence is another aspect you guys are giving too much importance in Aztez, so can you provide more details to us on this?
Ben Ruiz: I am biased because I have a deep and personal interest in combat (of all kinds), but to me violence is fascinating and powerful. Simulated violence in games is, for me, safe and fun and engaging. And as a boxer, I think consensual, controlled, real-life violence can be good for your mind and body. I'm not encouraging anyone to pick up a combat sport, but if you do, be disciplined and be safe and you will grow.
Gamepur: Coming to combat system of Aztez, it looks like it's had a lot of thought and work put into it. Can you tell us the difficulty you guys faced and how things finally started to fall into places?
Ben Ruiz: Teaching myself how to make a game like this was the hardest part, but once I'd made a handful of mechanics that looked and felt good, the rest came out much easier. Apart from that, just producing the huge amount of content we've produced (and still need to produce) is the biggest challenge. But that's mostly a time issue; there just isn't enough time ever! Haha! But we're slowly getting there.
Gamepur: Have you guys decided a release date and price for Aztez?
Ben Ruiz: There isn't an official release date yet. It looks like later this year and $15 USD but that's not final.
Gamepur: From critics to fans to developers, almost everyone in the video-game industry praised PlayStation 4's unified architecture, 8GB GDDR5 RAM and its GGPU, as a developer what you have to say about PS4, how helpful have these high specifications been in the development of Aztec?
Ben Ruiz: We love the PS4 but Aztez is graphically pretty low end. We're very excited to be on the PS4 market, but the machine is extremely overpowered for a game like Aztez. We love that! But the PS4 specs have little meaning for us.
Gamepur: Coming to Xbox One, the 32 MB ESRAM has been a talk of the town and is said to be the main culprit behind multiplatform games running at lower resolution than PS4. Some developers openly admitted that it is "Bottleneck, Cumbersome, Can't Sustain the speed of GDDR5. On this note, we would like to ask you: A) As compared to GDDR5, is Xbox One's ESRAM slow, bottlenecked and cumbersome? B) How does Team Colorblind plan to use Xbox One's ESRAM?
Ben Ruiz: We're facing a similar situation with the Xbox One as we are with the PS4. It's grossly overpowered for our game, and we've experienced no real bottlenecks.
Gamepur: Thank you so much for your time Ben, do you have any message for our readers?
Ben Ruiz: Thank you for the questions, I'm really happy to be talking to your readers!