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Q&A With Joseph Thamir

After once again scouting crowdfunding platforms for new upcoming titles looking for backing, I came across a promising RPG game in development set for release later on this year entitled Guardians of Lumen. Created by Canadian programmer Joseph Thamir, Guardians of Lumen is a turn-based RPG allowing player control of multiple characters, each with their own unique attributes and abilities, as they journey across the expansive world of Lumen, completing story-driven quests as well as a vast amount of planned side quests, minigames, puzzles to solve and endless monster hunting quests, with the game currently boasting a minimum of 20 to 30 hours of gameplay. Curious to know about this immensely ambitious project, I reached out to Joseph to put forward to him a series of questions about how this game came to be and what it will come to be upon its full release later on in 2021. Here’s what Joseph Thamir had to tell me about Guardians of Lumen:

 

What were the influences behind your game? 

Originally, Games like Shadow of the colossus, monster hunter, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2, with their massive worlds and massive monsters influenced the game a lot, and while I can still say that for the exploration, material gathering, and the like, with the change in genre, the combat takes inspiration from games like the classic Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger and the like.

 

What has the developmental process been like?   

In a word, Steady. Like I said on the IndieGoGo page, I started work on this game in May 2019, but before that, I had spent hours planning out everything from costs of development to what side jobs and contracts I’ll need to do and manage to keep me going. I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t have been able to get to this point without that planning.

 

How close are we to seeing the finished product? 

If all goes according to plan, the Demo will release on Jan 11, 2021, and the full game on June 15, 2021. Of course, there are always complications that can come up so I like giving myself a week of breathing room, just in case. 

 

What has been the most exciting aspect of development?   

The most exciting aspect? I have to say, it’s setting things up at the start of development and, months later, finally seeing it all fall into place. There’s an odd rush I get when I want to do something and I have everything in place that all I have to do is pull it all together.

 

What has been the most challenging aspect of development?   

The hardest part of development (and this’ll sound kinda obvious) has to be problem-solving. I’m working alone with lots of different hats I need to wear. Whenever a problem comes up, I can’t just ask for help. Research, trial, and error have become common uses of my time.  

 

You mention on your IndieGoGo page that Guardians of Lumen was previously an action RPG. Are there any other ideas for the game that have since been scrapped or reworked into the current project?

The original structure of the story has been completely scrapped. At first, I was going to have this little personality test when you first fire up the game, and the game would match you up with the main character that fit your personality the best. The story was only going to show you events through that character’s POV and whole chunks of the story would be locked behind 2nd or even third playthroughs. 

I decided against the idea mainly because of the games Octopath Traveler and Bravely Default. Octopath has 8 stories each tied to a different character while Bravely Default only has one, arguably simpler story. While I like Octopath’s story(ies) better, the friendship that builds between Bravely’s characters is just so much more fulfilling to see play out.

In the end, I felt that I NEEDED something like that to really push the story.

 

How well has the game been received so far?   

From what I’ve gathered, everyone seems to be interested. I can’t say anyone is dying to play the game but I think I’ve done a good job at the very least getting people to read it over and think about it.

 

What platforms are you looking to bring the game to?  

PC at first. Getting the game finished and out there is a top priority and PC is the easiest for me to develop at the moment. After that, it would be amazing to see my game on Switch and PS5.

 

If you were given the opportunity to work for any developer on any game series, which one would it be, and why?   

Can I just name the entire JRPG market? Ha, if that’s a no, then I’d love to work on the Fire Emblem team. I’ve always loved the giant, fantasy world and the amazing combat and with their most recent game, I feel like they know how to effortlessly tie the two together.

 

Have ideas from previous games you’ve developed found their way into this project? 

The rework to a turn-based RPG takes chunks from an unreleased game I made a few months ago. The game was just a test to challenge me to see if I could make an FF-Tactics style game in a day (Humblebrag: I could 😀 ) but the system was simple enough that I could copy it over. Besides that, I can’t say I have much that I could move into this project. I’ve done a lot of contract work over the last few years but it’s been mostly helping artists with mobile games or character controls for FP Shooters.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring developers that may be reading this?  

If you are like me, just coming out of college and you want to start something like this, everyone will tell you not to. “It’s not stable” or “maybe you should work somewhere first to build up the experience”. They’re valid and you’d probably have better luck following that advice if you want to make money quickly. BUT, if you really want to do it, to make something you’ll be proud about, plan it through, take that extra work on the side, then go ahead and do it.

 

Where on the Internet can people find you?  

You can check me out on youtube at:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC88Po54InRp516Sm5kMUBIw

Or check out my website

https://www.josephthamir.com/  (Though I gotta warn you that it may be a tad outdated :3 )

 

Do you have anything else to add?  

I’d love to hear what you think (even if it’s just from the IndieGoGo page, the Demo, or my response to these questions.) I love hearing where I can improve and where I can hold my head up with pride.

 

As always, I’d like to thank Joseph for taking the time out to talk to me about this wonderful and promising RPG. If you like the look of Guardians of Lumen and think you’d like to play it too, you can support the project on Joseph’s IndieGogo page via the below link:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/guardians-of-lumen–2#/

I’d also like to take the opportunity to wish Joseph the best of luck with Guardians of Lumen and I hope you guys enjoyed learning more about this game as much as I did.

Game on,

Scouse Gamer 88

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