"Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness" [VIDEO] is an isometric, single player, party-based action-RPG [VIDEO]. You'll be set in the fantasy world of Yerengal where a multitude of races share the world and claim their own land. The environment is always changing around you, based on your own interactions and actions. Everything you do will affect your gameplay experience one way or the other. I had the chance to sit down and talk to the Black Geyser Team about their project and they were more than generous.

Interview

BN: A little background on your team, how did everyone come together and what were some obstacles you faced that you overcame together?

Black Geyser Team: GrapeOcean Technologies was founded by RPG enthusiasts from all over the world.

Our team members have a variety of backgrounds in different kinds of software (I started in business software, for instance) so we had to work through a variety of different approaches to get our studio up and running. The game industry requires a unique approach and philosophy in several aspects of the development process (which we lacked back in 2014 when we first started). Since then, we have learned a lot and extended our team with experienced game industry professionals. They have offered us new perspectives and were critical to the game's development.

BN: What do you think bringing back classic RPG elements and gameplay means to the community, and do you wish there were more titles like yours in the genre?

Black Geyser Team: The community of people who love classic games is large and dedicated.

Even without the recent remasters, many people still play the original "Baldur's Gate." Unfortunately, there was a long period where CRPG fans had very little to play in terms of new games. More often than not, forum-goers would end up debating whether this game or that was a CRPG despite being a first-person shooter or some other game with only light RPG elements. I think the community is ready to return to games that are genuinely in the style of the classics they love.

There has been a recent renaissance of isometric CRPGs coming to the market, and I think that's great. Games like Pillars of Eternity and Divinity: Original Sin helped bring attention back to the genre. Lovers of these classic-style games are always on the lookout for more quality titles to sink their teeth into, so more well-made CRPGs is always a good thing!

BN: The main idea of "Greed" as being the antagonist, what were the challenges of creating the dynamic AI (merchant prices, hostile attacks, Temple donations) and why did you choose Greed?

Black Geyser Team: The main challenge in the implementation of the greed is its systematic, global nature.

As a ubiquitous feature, you need to make it present in every part of the game without endangering the well-known atmosphere and mechanics of classic-style RPGs players are used to. We chose greed because it has a dual nature: it has a divine origin, but relies and feasts on the very nature of mortal beings. It exploits something that every mortal has had since his or her creation. It confronts us with our own dark side that has always existed, turning it against us. This is much more dangerous than the demon and undead invasions seen in other RPGs because it corrupts humans and our society from the inside.

More about 'Last Epoch: Couriers of Darkness'

BN: Once finished, will you look to a new project that you've had in mind, or will there be continual updates and additions to "Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness?"

Black Geyser Team: For now we're really just looking to the future of our current game. We want to make Black Geyser the best it can possibly be. Since we're a small studio, we have to focus on that for the time being instead of splitting our attention between multiple games. That said, we do have expansions planned and will definitely be improving the game over time. When Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness is a success and we've devoted as much time as we need to finish making it excellent, we'll start thinking about other projects.

BN: Love the name "Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness." What was the process of choosing a name (Arguably one of the most important things about a game)?

Black Geyser Team: We wanted a name that addresses the fans of classic-style RPGs and also expresses an important aspect of the game’s backstory: greed is spread among the living by mortal souls of the dead turned by the goddess of greed, Zornilsa. They act as couriers of darkness.

BN: What is your most exciting feature of your game (single player party system? dynamic AI? etc)?

Black Geyser Team: There's a lot to look forward to in Black Geyser. It's really difficult to say as a developer what the most exciting aspect of your game is- hopefully, players love all of the features! I guess I'd have to say that we're most excited to provide an interesting, deep narrative experience. We really want players to love the story we're telling. Going back to your earlier question, we're also excited to show people the Greed mechanic- throughout the game, players' actions will influence the game world around them depending on how greedy or generous they choose to act. In story terms, this represents a curse spreading across the land of Isilmerald, and in gameplay terms, it presents interesting choices that players will have to think about. Nobody else has done this, and we're looking forward to enhancing players' experiences with new and interesting mechanics!