Always Nintendo Interviews the Developers of Alwa’s Awakening

Alwas Awakening Interview

Always Nintendo recently got the chance to speak with Mikael Forslind, one of the game designers behind the upcoming game Alwa’s Awakening! Throughout the course of the interview, Mikael sheds some light on this upcoming old school-style platformer and what gamers should expect to see upon its arrival! Without further ado, let the interview begin!

  1.  How did the idea of Alwa’s Awakening come to be?

It all started after an epic night of gaming at a friend’s house. We played a game called Battle Kid, which is a newly made NES game made by this one guy. I started dreaming big about making my own game. Since I already work in the gaming industry but not with actual development I wanted to learn more about game design and the actual creation of a game from start to finish.

I’ve always been a fan of games like Battle of Olympus and Zelda II so I decided to make my own adventure game. It didn’t take long until an awesome team of four people were working on the game! The ambition is to create and an old-school classic adventure game with the mood and setting from games likes Solstice and Battle Of Olympus but with more focus on puzzle and platforming. We want Alwa’s Awakening to play like the Trine games, but with pixels and sweet chip music!

Alwas Awakening 2

  1. Can you shed some light on the story of Alwa’s Awakening?

I don’t want to give away too much but as you can see in our trailer you play as Zoe, a really skilled NES player that gets transported into the land of Alwa. The people living there are under a magic spell and it’s up to her to set them free. Using her magical staff you progress through puzzle rooms where you need both reflexes and skill in order to complete them. Your goal is to make it through the world to find five unique objects that you need in order to free the land of Alwa.

Trailer:

  1. Are there any unique elements in this game that you think will make it stand out among other modern-retro games?

A lot of modern retro games call themself 8-bit but in fact their graphics is anything but 8-bit. Alwa’s Awakening actually started out as an actual NES homebrew but we later decided we wanted to release on modern consoles instead, making the game more available for people to play. Our attention to the 8-bit limitations with the music and graphics and our game play mechanic where Zoe uses her staff in order to solve the different rooms will make Alwa’s Awakening stand out as an authentic NES-inspired game. Oh, and I know Yacht Club Games did this already but any fan of Shovel Knight will hopefully love Alwa’s Awakening as well.

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Here’s a look at a mysterious dungeon!

  1. Will the game’s levels be separated into multiple worlds? If so, will each one have a different theme?

It will be an open-world game but with five distinct areas, both when it comes to the music and the visuals. The game will follow a quite linear story path but you can always detour and explore the surrounding areas. This will let you find new objects and Stone Fragments, which is needed in order the rebuild the city in Alwa that has been destroyed.

  1. Can we expect some epic boss fights?

Yes! There’s a boss in each world and each boss is the keeper of something Zoe needs to free the land of Alwa. I don’t want to give away too much so we’ll leave it at that. There might be a mini-boss or two in there as well. In the demo that we just recently showed at a convention we had one boss, which was a giant spider. A very angry spider I might add. It was really cool to see the people trying to beat it. It wasn’t that challenging but everyone had a different strategy when attempting to defeat it.

  1. Making games is hard work! Are there any tips you might want to give to aspiring game devs?

Ask yourself why you’re making games – is it because you want to learn something new? Make money? Meet new people? Decide on what your motivation is and adjust your strategy so you’ll reach that goal much easier. Make sure you surround yourself with other motivated people who believes in you and what you do. Connect with other developers out there, either online or offline. Go to conventions and talk to people, there are so many nice people out there!

Alwas Awakening Screenshot

Work hard but smart. Make sure you eat right, exercise and don’t forget about your friends. Use cloud based storage for your project and make sure to create backups every now and then. If you have a team with other people make sure everyone is using the same tools and they all work towards the same goal. Make sure you plan ahead both with programming, design tools and management tools so you don’t end up having to re-do a lot of code/art etc. When it comes to the company part be smart from the beginning and choose a name and company form that you’ll want to have for years and with a name that’s available on all social media platforms etc.

Also, if your goal is to make a successful game make sure marketing is something you consider and do from day one. Even when you draft up your design document ask yourself – “What is unique with my game? Why should people buy it?”. Lastly, make sure you have fun. Making games should be about having fun.

  1. What platforms are you looking to release the game on?

Our target platform is Wii U. But we would love to release on other current gen platforms as well. It’s all a matter of resources, we’re a small team and we all have full-time jobs working with other things during the day. We can only work on the game on evenings and weekends, which limits how many platforms we can release on. What would be really nice and a dream scenario would be if we could release first on Wii U and people would discover the game and hopefully like it. Then we could continue working on it and release on other platforms later on.

Alwas Awakening Wii U Screenshot

  1. Do you have an ETA for Alwa’s Awakening?

We do! It’ll come out some time in the fall of next year. Make sure you follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates about the development. We’re always posting and trying to involve the community in the process. We’re actually naming quite a few of the characters and enemies from people we meet on Twitter. So if you want a slime monster named after you come talk to us!

We just wanted to say thanks again for taking the time out to answer our questions! Best of luck in your future endeavours.

Thank YOU! It was a pleasure talking to you. Thank you for your kind words.

~Mikael Forslind | @MikaelForslind

That’s a wrap,  folks! If you enjoyed this interview, make sure to follow Always Nintendo on Twitter to get the latest indie developer interviews delivered directly to your feed!

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About The Author

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Jelani Thompson is the Owner/Editor-In-Chief at Always Nintendo! He's very passionate about interviewing developers and bringing daily Wii U and 3DS news to the site's readers. When he's not busy saving the universe, he's most likely at his Grandma's house eating her delicious meals.