Co-Optimus: What was the hardest part of the development?
Jason: Sticking with it and being humbled by mistakes; working for so long on one project, it is easy to get discouraged.
Matthew: For some reason, I always thought that we'd finish this game. Maybe I'm just an optimist? Still, the hardest part for me was the "juggling act" between time for the game and time raising my daughter, finishing my schooling, finding a job, working and having fun. As an indie developer (one who truly has no budget to work with) it is extremely easy to put the game project aside to focus on other elements of your life.
Co-Optimus: Was there a moment when you both just said "this is it! We've got it!"?
Jason: No, not really. We always try to improve the game. We have even discussed how we'd do an expansion for the game.
Matthew: I think the closest we ever came to saying "this is it" was when we finally added item-generation and item-crafting to the game, along with "The Crawl" game mode. We were so addicted to our own game at that point. That and when we finally got to play the Final Boss and experience the ending on Normal Mode; that was a pretty cool moment for us as a team.
Co-Optimus: Why co-op?
Jason: Why not? Haha! I grew up on co-op games so I've always been looking for great co-op experiences; they're hard to find!
Matthew: I'm a firm believer that 95% of games would be more fun with a friend playing alongside you. With RPGs specifically, people tend to forget that the foundation of the role-playing experience was a co-operative one in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (the board game). I see no reason why we shouldn't strive to provide a similar co-op experience for people in our video games (like Bioware is doing now in Star Wars: The Old Republic). Wanderlust: Rebirth takes a bit more twitch-skill than most online role-playing games, which helps to emphasize the co-operative aspect even more.
Co-Optimus: What's been one of your favorite co-op moments in the game?
Jason: Beating Chapter 3 on Epic Mode. It took a lot of skill and planning to finally break through that chapter the first time we played it. It was truly awesome when we made it through (that evil cave of ours) and celebrated our victory as a team!
Matthew: Epic Mode (which is unlocked after you beat Normal Mode) is where the co-operative aspects shine brightest. It becomes a huge struggle to beat a few of the Chapters and it is extremely gratifying when you and your teammates make it through a particularly difficult one. Just recently, I was able to finally beat Chapter 10 on Epic Mode when a new player came online with her Cleric and joined up with Jason, myself, and one of our beta testers. It truly felt like I had achieved something special alongside both a new ally and some old friends.
Co-Optimus: What's next?
Both: As we said earlier, we've already planned out an expansion to the game! The question remains, how to find the time to create it; we were fortunate to be able to work on and complete Wanderlust: Rebirth while we were finishing college, but now we both have to 'make ends meet' by whatever means we can. If you enjoy the demo, please support us by spending the $10 to unlock the full game! It's a small price to pay for hours upon hours of content, especially if you are into action games or role-playing games! We promise you will not be disappointed! As a bonus, if we can sell enough copies to where we don't have to find summer jobs, an open-world expansion will be on its way!
We'd like to thank Matthew and Jason for taking the time to answer our questions. If you're interested in checking out Wanderlust: Rebirth, you can find out more at the Wanderlust website. Check out our impressions of the game as well!