Updated: Feb 5, 2022
My last interview was with Ukrainian developers from the Fair Pixel studio making the Era: Exordium game. This time I suggest you be transported to a Russian fairy tale! Namely, I want to offer an interview with the Russian studio Far-Far Games and their debut game in the genre of ARPG Epic / The Epic. This is a magical world inspired by Russian fairy tales. The game has already participated in the annual Unreal Engine game developers competition, which is held jointly with Epic Games, The House of The Dev, and Disgusting men. The game reached the final and won two nominations: The Choice of Epic Games and 1C Entertainment.
The guys from the Far-Far Games studio provided our editorial office with exclusive images of a man's model from their incredibly beautiful and fabulous game!
And now the most important thing! The interview itself, which in my opinion turned out to be very interesting and contains a lot of new previously unpublished information.
XECO: How long has your studio been established?
Far Far Games studio has been in existence since the end of 2019. We are based on the service for the search and control of creative specialists Hands to create. Initially, the studio was created with the aim of developing its own IP and we started our existence with the development of the Epic. We develop cool, large-scale games with a focus on a real, interesting plot and unique game mechanics, tell great stories, destroy and create universes.
XECO: How many people worked at the initial stage of development and how many are working now?
At the initial stage of development, 2 people worked in the studio.
Alexey Ilyukhin - Founder and Creative Director
Ivan Mikhailenko - Art Director
Subsequently, the team was joined by other specialists who made up the backbone
Alexander Vodar - 3D Director
Artem Razzakov - UE developer
Elena Alt and many others.
At the peak of prototype development, there were 10 people in the team.
Now we are entering the active stage of development, which means the actual processing of current materials from 0. In this situation, we plan to scale the team to 25-30 people at the peak.
XECO: Do you have an office? If there is, what city is it located in?
The team is based in Moscow. At the same time, we are apologists for remote work and distributed teams. The current epidemiological situation in the country and in the world does not give us the moral right to endanger employees by maintaining work in the office. Our main task in organizing work now is to create effective conditions for the remote implementation of the project and it seems to us that we are coping well with this.
Although we do not deny that probably one day we will open an office in Moscow and outside the Russian Federation.
XECO: Why was the Unreal Engine 4 game engine chosen?
At the moment, this is the most advanced, advanced engine on the market that will help us make a cool product that users will like.
XECO: Have you thought about going to the Kickstarter site?
We have plans to launch a crowdfunding platform as a project promotion tool. We do not set a goal to earn money for production in this way.
XECO: I saw an article on the Internet stating that the release is planned for PCs and consoles. Which consoles will the game be released on?
The information will be updated (this is a very important point that the announcement will be later), but for now we plan to release on all major consoles.
XECO: The console theme is very important to us, so I'll ask a few more questions about consoles!
XECO: Is a simultaneous release planned on PC and consoles, or will the console versions have to wait?
It is difficult to answer this question now, we need to wait for the official announcement.
XECO: Microsoft has an ID@Xbox division that helps indie developers. Have you considered the option of cooperation and what do you think about such support from Xbox?
I can't speak for everyone, but personally, I (Alexey Ilyukhin) am an extreme apologist for Microsoft and Xbox as a gaming ecosystem, we would be happy to work with them in the future if there is an opportunity.
XECO: The second great feature of Xbox is the Xbox Game Pass subscription service, in which indie developers have recently released games. What do you think about the Xbox Game Pass service and about the possibility of playing in it? Do you see any advantages in it for yourself as an indie developer?
If our project is in the Xbox Game Pass, it will be a great pride for our project and recognition. Xbox Game Pass is a breakthrough in subscription gaming that competitors have not surpassed and have not come close to success. In fact, this is a system seller, and in the context of purchases of new studios, it is also a killer feature.
XECO: Basically, indie developers are trying to release their game only on PC and specifically only on Steam. How did you come to the decision to release the game on the console as well?
We have an experienced, competent and large publisher)
XECO: Have you encountered difficulties when developing a game?
With an incredible number of difficulties that you can talk about for a very long time. We have broken so many copies and stepped on so many rakes that you can give a lecture about it or write a book about how not to do it under any circumstances. We are still facing the consequences of the short-sighted decisions we made earlier, but we hope that a way out of this industrial pandemic awaits us very soon.
One of the main difficulties of development in the Russian Federation in particular and in the world is the lack of qualified personnel. The industry is very young, and there is no experience in developing games on PC in Russia. We don't do third-person action or FPS shooters, which means there are no specialists. Yes, Mobile games are developing by leaps and bounds, but at the same time Mobile games are a different market, different products, different prices for specialists. In general, you can talk about market problems for a very long time)
XECO: How much percent is the game ready? Or at what stage is the development?
Now we are taking a step back to make a big leap forward and upward. In this regard, we can say that we are starting full-fledged development from 0. Our visual style has completely changed, a full-fledged, cool plot with complex characters has begun to appear, we are developing mechanics together with industry leaders. This regression was necessary to make a good game.
XECO: Are there any special or interesting mechanics in the game?
Yes, we will tell you about everything later, but already now I can say that the concept of "Heroic Strength" and its development will affect a very large number of indicators and mechanics in the game.
XECO: How did you come up with the idea of making a setting in the style of Russian fairy tales?
Well, is it on the surface? In our country, there is an incredibly large, interesting cultural layer that is not used in game development, practically not used in cinema. It's stupid not to take it to create interesting universes. In general, there is still a lot to borrow from our culture. Imagine, for example, a story about the first human flight into space? How many cool events and conflicts can be developed on this basis? Gagarin flew into space and got into a wormhole near the earth. For everyone, his flight took 10 hours, but in fact, he wandered through different worlds and galaxies for decades.
XECO: Since our audience is mostly English-speaking and, accordingly, is not familiar with Russian fairy tales, a question immediately arises. Will this setting be interesting to everyone? How would you describe a game for an English-speaking person, so that he would immediately want to immerse himself in this world?
Yes, that's a good question and we have the answer. We are doing an international project in which Russian fairy tales are an entourage, and the story is quite international and the questions we pose are also quite understandable to other people. The setting adapts perfectly to an international audience, take Black Book for example.
Our story is not about fairy tales, but about a man who finally understands that the world is worth saving. The story is about a character going through a transformation. We hope that it will be close to an international audience.
XECO: Is there any interesting fact about the game or perhaps new details about the development that has not yet been published?
Oh, I think I've already told a lot of unpublished facts today. In general, we are very open to our audience. By the way, we have a page on Patreon ( Far-Far Games is creating A plot-based Open World, Skill-Driven, Slavic ARPG | Patreon ) we are about to start conducting it, there may be exclusive information about the project)
XECO: Can you name the top 3 games that you personally like?
Our editorial staff and I personally (the Russian guy) will continue to monitor the development of this fabulous game. If possible, he will publish new details in our Facebook group.
You can also follow the new information on social networks and Patreon developers!
YouTube: Far-Far Games - YouTube
VKontakte: Былина | VK
Telegram: Telegram: Contact @epicthegame
Official website: The Epic (farfargames.ru)
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