Tag Archives: A Matter of Time

Q&A With Haywire Studios Volume 2

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of playing and reviewing the game A Matter of Time created by Australian developers Haywire Game Studios. An action-oriented top-down 8-BIT RPG, tells the story of a 12th-century warrior named James, who after an intense battle, is transported by a mysterious organization 1100 years into the future in order to combat an evil entity known as the Dark Atomos, which is ravaging time and space. I’d been following this project closely since the success of its Kickstarter campaign back in 2018 and after having played the finished product, I was pretty impressed with how the game turned out, despite numerous different changes on the project throughout the course of its development.

After having previously interviewed the game’s principal designer, Cameron “CamCog” Coggins, I got in touch with him again ahead of the game’s full release on Steam later on this month to ask a few more questions about the game and how the developmental plans had changed dramatically since the launch of the Kickstarter campaign. Here’s what Cameron had to say about the developmental process behind creating A Matter of Time:

What other RPG series inspired the creation of this game besides Undertale?

Large inspirations for A Matter of Time were RPG games such as The Legend of Zelda, Hyper Light Drifter, and Fallout (apparent within the Wasteland setting).

How well has the game been received by the community ahead of its release?

The game is yet to be shared with the community on a large scale. However, the Kickstarter backers and those who have tested/reviewed it have seemed to receive it well.

Last time we spoke, there were a lot of things planned for this game in terms of the inclusion of more abilities for the paradox cape, such as hypnotizing enemies, which ultimately didn’t make it in. How did the developmental process change throughout the course of the game’s development cycle?

Due to time constraints, I decided not to implement these abilities within the game. I didn’t feel as if these mechanics were a priority and they would have been extremely time-consuming to create.

Which were the historic battles that inspired the creation of A Matter of Time?

The Battle of Hattin is the inspiration for the game’s initial setting.

How are you and the development team feeling ahead of the game’s release?

Mainly relieved that the game has finally reached completion. Furthermore, I am very much looking forward to sharing this three-year-long project with the world.

What’s next for Haywire Studios?

Nothing has been planned as of now. There may be a hiatus with developments due to other commitments but I’m sure Haywire Studios will eventually return!

What would you say about the game development scene in Australia right now?

I haven’t exactly noticed anything significant. However, there is certainly a lot more time for indie developers to code due to COVID. 

In my review, I mentioned that there is definitely scope for expansion on the game’s mythology. Are you looking to revisit this series in the future?

Depending on how this pilot game is received by the community, the AMOT series may be revisited. However, there aren’t currently any plans in place for a sequel.

If you and the team were given the opportunity to develop for a big-name video game series, which would you pick and why?

I believe it would be very enjoyable to develop for the Fallout series. It is a familiar genre (RPG) and there are so many elements, features, and storylines that I would like to see implemented within the series in future games.

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

When working on a long-term project, budgeting and time-managing correctly are paramount in keeping organized. If you fail to do both of these, you may end up either spending too much or falling far behind in development. 

Do you have anything else to add?

Thanks to ScouseGamer for the review and Q&A opportunity!

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Cameron for allowing me to appraise the game before it’s release and for both Q&As conducted over the last few years ahead of the release of this game. You can download A Matter of time upon release via the link below:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/974310/A_Matter_of_Time/

It’s an enjoyable title with a variety of combat options and potentially extensive mythology behind it and I wish Cameron and Haywire studios the best of luck with this title.

Game on,

Scouse Gamer 88

A Matter of time (PC)

Developer(s) – Haywire Studios

Publisher(s) – Haywire Studios

Programmer – Cameron Coggins

Developed by Australian indie outlet Haywire Studios following a successful Kickstarter campaign and due for release later on this month:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/974310/A_Matter_of_Time/

A Matter of Time is a top-down combat-focused RPG, telling the story of James; a hero sent to a different timeline to combat a great evil plaguing the land. Turning out massively different to what the game looked like in its early stages of development at the time when I first interviewed Cameron Coggins, the game turned out to be quite enjoyable with a fair bit to offer in terms of combat options and telling a pretty different story to anything else seen in gaming. 

Graphics – 8/10

The game makes use of traditional 8-BIT graphics to present a diversely designed world with each location being more wonderfully outlandish than the last. Taking place in lush forests, dark caves, otherworldly dimensions and even a post-apocalyptic city, the game’s visuals are the best aspect of the title; there is also a wide range of different enemies the player must contend with with the introduction of each new area; some reminiscent of classic video games enemies such as the slimes from Dragon Quest. 

Gameplay – 7/10

A top-down RPG with a linear progression, the game is very heavily combat-orientated with light RPG elements such as leveling up to increase health and enhance the magical abilities the player can take advantage to maintain an edge in combat, such as a dash ability and the ability to stop time temporarily to defeat multiple enemies simultaneously. The combat aspect is quite well put together and quite satisfying to undertake; though a lot of enemies use similar attack patterns, the difficulty is racked up considerably towards the end, requiring the player to strategize accordingly. 

Controls – 10/10

The game’s control scheme is not only easy to get to grips with, but it also does something rather unique; when the player uses the dash attack to take out multiple enemies, the player must use the mouse to indicate which enemies they need to attack. At first glance, this seemed to become more of a hindrance than a help, but ample time is given to players to make that decision; even when the ability hasn’t yet been upgraded. It reminded me somewhat of the original Metroid Prime; unique controls, it takes a little time to adjust, but once adjusted to, it’s no problem. 

Lifespan – 4/10

The game’s longevity is most definitely the worst thing about it. The game can be finished in less than 2 hours, which for an RPG even with light elements, is a pretty short time to last. That being said, if the game is played through, players will find that there is most definitely scope for expansion to this world’s mythology; be that through either a sequel or DLC. The series does potentially have a bright future ahead of it, but a game of this magnitude deserves to last far longer than what it does. 

Storyline – 6/10

The story of the game follows a 12th-century barbarian named James, who is taken to an alternative time by a mysterious organization that enlists his help to defeat an evil known as the Dark Atomos which is wreaking havoc across time and space. James is also in search of his daughter, whom he claims to be the last thing he has left. It’s an emotionally charged story with a few twists and turns before the end and it makes it stand out somewhat among the circle of indie RPGs released since the start of the eighth generation.  

Originality – 7/10

All these elements combined within the game make it a fairly unique experience; one worth playing through at least once. There are these elements of it which show that the game was a labor of love undertaken over a period of many years and as there is a lot of room for expansion in most of every aspect, there is definitely scope for there being extensive mythology attached to this series; but overall, this game is a decent start to all that. 

 

Happii

 

In summation, A Matter of time, whilst having a couple of issues here and there, is a respectively good game worth at least one playthrough and a solid start for this up and coming development team. It has an emotionally charged story, decent gameplay, unique controls, and some extremely well-crafted visuals and it has a lot of potential to expand into a great series down the lines. 

Score

42/60

7/10 (Fair)

Q&A With Haywire Studios

During my recent hiatus from writing, I was contact by another independent game development studio I had approached some time ago about bring to the attention of my readers another upcoming indie game, which had successfully met it’s backing goals. Haywire studios, operating out of Adelaide, Australia are currently working on an open-world top-down RPG name A Matter of Time. Employing a classic 8-BIT visual style, and mixing aspects of medieval fantasy and science fiction, the game also incorporates the manipulation of time into it’s core gameplay, with the main character James being armed with a relic known as the Paradox Cape. Not a great deal is known about how exactly the Paradox Cape will affect the game’s mechanics, since it is still quite a ways away from being finished, but the main coder known as CamCog, agreed to answer some questions I sent over to him to get more of an insight into some of the game’s details. Here are their answers:

 

What were the influences behind your game?

The historical side of ‘A Matter of Time’ was very much influenced by my interest in historic battles and how they have shaped the way of warfare. Also, some of the gameplay was inspired by other indie RPG titles such as Hyper Light Drifter and Undertale.

What has the developmental process been like?

The developmental process of the game has definitely been a good experience overall. It has taught (and is still teaching) me much about how to create a great game and what to avoid when doing so. Unfortunately, given that this is my first time developing a big project, it’s been quite a new experience and there have been a lot of unexpected setbacks.  For example, it took way longer than planned to get a graphic designer which led to some of the game’s development being delayed. It’s also very time-consuming and tiring to code a whole game independently, even with the major help of a sound and graphic designer. Despite these setbacks, progress of the game’s development is beginning to go more smoothly and I am hopeful that the final product will be something that I can be proud of.

How close are we to seeing the finished product?

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much work on the game previous to the Kickstarter so the finished product is still quite a long way away – winter 2019 to be exact. However, if all goes to plan, a demo for the game will be released in early 2018, which will at least be something for people to see.

 

What has been the most exciting aspect of development?

The most exciting aspect of development has definitely been the making of the ‘A Matter of Time’ universe along with the locations and characters that are included in it. Apart from that, the thought of seeing players’ immerse themselves in the universe that you created is something that inspires me to complete the game.

What has been the most challenging aspect of development?

The most challenging aspect of development is that the whole game is mainly being coded by me. While it is great to be able to take the wheel and code whatever you want with the only limitation being your skill, it is very difficult for only one person to take this massive workload. I sometimes am finding myself staying up until 2am just trying to figure out how to get a simple issue fixed, which I know could be solved in a matter of minutes by a small team of developers. However, as I stated earlier, the whole developmental process has been somewhat educational and learning to do so much work alone has definitely helped in teaching me so much about game development.


What other kinds of additional abilities will the Paradox Cape have
?

A lot of The Paradox Cape’s details are going to stay a secret until the game’s launch. However, I can give some small details to give you a ‘taste’ of its power. For example, the Paradox Cape will be able to act as a temporary ‘invisibility cloak’ when stealth is key. It will also, when the ability is unlocked, be able to pacify enemies up until a certain strength. Additionally, it can also act as a comfy blanket on a cold day!

 

How well has the game been received so far?

There have been some positive comments on the game’s Kickstarter which indicates that people are somewhat excited for the game’s development. There has also been some small discussion on the game’s Discord server which is good to see as well. Apart from that, however,  not much has been going on in terms of the game’s audience due to there not being much gameplay available for people to witness.

How big a part will time paradoxes play in the outcome of the story?

Time paradoxes aren’t too huge in terms of the game’s storyline, but they will definitely have a big part to play in the game’s mechanics. Unfortunately, due to this being a feature of the Paradox Cape, I am not willing to share the exact details of what will happen.

Was real-life history part of the influences behind this game?

It certainly was, with an obvious example being the place where James is first found, the Battle of Hattin. Groups that are famous in history are also influences for the game. In fact, they are a big part of the game. Some examples are the Templar Knights and the Ayyubid forces.

 

What platforms are you looking to bring the game to?

The demo will be available for free on itch.io, and the finished game will be available on Steam for an estimated $5 (USD).

Will time travel be implemented into the gameplay?

Definitely. You will even see time travel in the game’s demo when James is transported from the Battle of Hattin to the future.

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

Given that I am a new developer, there is not much amazing feedback I can give. I suppose that the biggest piece of advice I can give based on my experience with this game is to PLAN AHEAD. You do not want to be going into a big project with a ‘just wing it’ attitude. This is one flaw in the way I’ve developed this game that even I have to admit. Not planning ahead caused me to run into a lot of obstacles that I am even now still having to overcome. I will say it again – before you start any big project, it is VITAL that you plan your storyline, mechanics, approach to marketing, budget, etc.

Where about on the Internet can people find you?

Website: http://haywiregamestudios.weebly.com/

Discord: https://discord.gg/pbjyb5B

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/haywiregamestudios/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GameHaywire

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEcnPRw3knE2OzBtfycc6jg

PayPal donation pool: https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/7Z7UNggAQc

 

Do you have anything else to add?

To everyone that has shown support to me throughout the creation of this game. You guys have been a massive inspiration for me. I would certainly not be creating this game if it wasn’t for you. Thanks 🙂

 

Though we may be a long way from experiencing this unique take on the action RPG genre, I have every confidence that this game will be worth the wait. I would like to take this opportunity to thank CamCog and for answering my questions, and to wish him and the rest of Haywire Studios the best of luck with A Matter of Time.

I hope you guys enjoyed my first article back, And there will be many more to come soon.

Game on,

Scouse Gamer 88