Nazralath – adventure RPG by Euclidean Studios

The Euclidean Studios team (which basically consists of Stefan Vukašinović, Uglješa Stevanović and Vanja Knežević) has been quietly working on an ambitious RPG title for the PC platform - Nazralath: The Fallen World - for a couple of years now. The first trailer was released a few weeks ago, so we chatted with the team on that occasion.

SGA: We haven’t heard of Euclidean studios in a long time. What does the composition of the team look like now, in terms of the number of people and expertise?

Euclidean studios: We are here all the time, we just work quietly on the game!

The team is diverse, as it is in small teams – the three of us are at the core. Uglješa is primarily in charge of making the game beautiful and atmospheric, Stefan is in charge of making the game work, and I am in charge of successfully completing the development of the game one day. Joke aside, everyone wears a few hats, and we have a lot of help from friends, both for consultations and for the design and development of the game, from concepts to the final sets that end in the game. Let’s say that in a way, the game has been touched by about 10 people so far, in different capacities.

It is mostly composed of artists, because the game is about visual and written experiences and is built. We plan to experiment with some more complex technical ideas, but we would talk about that when and if the time comes. 🙂

SGA: Do you all work full-time on this or?

Euclidean studios: Most of the team has full-time gigs in addition to working on the game. We are mostly all in the industry, so the change of context after a day of work is not huge – we are still working on game dev, but it’s our game. We are currently moving towards turning the development of Nazralath into a full-time job so that we can bring the project to an end sooner and because it certainly fulfills us more than other things we do.

SGA: You have released the trailer for Nazralath: The Fallen World. Tell us something more about the world in which it is located, the main mechanics, the narrative…

Euclidean studios: Of course – Nazralath is an adventure RPG, inspired by CRPGs such as Planescape: Torment, Baldur’s Gate, and Fallout 1 and 2. We’ve added a Witche or Dark Souls-like action charm, but the central mechanics are RPGs – dialogues, quests, research, decision making. Aesthetics were shamelessly inspired by Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński, and American novelist H. P. Lovecraft. More subtle inspirations are Wayne Barlowe, Frank Frazetta, H.R. Giger, Artem Demura, Mike Franchina, and many others…

The world in which the protagonist Orphiel finds himself is no longer a shadow of the empire in which he grew up and served, and his first goals are to understand where he woke up, and what the order is now. The people he is used to have changed to the point of unrecognizability. Strange beings from other worlds have settled down, speak a language that is not clear to him, or do not speak languages at all, and a group of inherently magical rulers is watching over everyone. Dirphaltur Empire holds economic, political and military power throughout the world which they renamed Nazralath. All the relationships that Orphiel builds, all the struggles he leads and all the decisions he makes contribute to determining his final station on this scattered, ruined corpse of the world.

SGA: You opted for Unreal Engine. How has the work gone so far? Where did you find help if you needed it?

Euclidean studios: As with all the other skills we developed for development, we learned UE4 by looking at tutorials online and through a bunch of trial and error. We had the opportunity to work professionally on two animated series for the Games Workshop, which was a very interesting and useful experience and taught us many things that we apply in game development now. As the stable version of UE5 came out, we are slowly looking to improve the project, so there will be a new stage of learning and coping.

SGA: For now, the release date of the game stands as TBA on Steam. Do you know approximately how long it takes you to complete the project?

Euclidean studios: We are very careful not to make any promises about this. As we have been working in silence for two years on Nazralath so far without any external pressure, we want to maintain such dynamics as much as we can because we are the best at it and we like it the most. After all, as selfish as it sounds, we make the game first for ourselves and so that we are satisfied with it, and only then for the wider audience. That being said – we are sure that we will need at least that much more time to get closer to the end.

SGA: The funding is always a sore point. How did you manage here? Are you planning to apply for some funds?

Euclidean studios: For now, everything was a DIY variant. We could continue like this, but the end of the project would probably be when the heat death of the universe. Since the reaction to the announcement of the game was far greater than our expectations, we will try to use it as a leverage to speed up the process! 🙂

We are currently in talks with the publishers, we are showing them what we are doing and they are showing us how they can help us push the development of the game, but we have not concluded anything yet. We think that it is very important that partnerships are just that – good partnerships at the root, and good business as the icing on the cake. We are open for cooperation btw, if our project sounds interesting for a partnership or investment, let us know!

As for the funds, we have not applied anywhere yet, but we are completely open to explore all the options.

SGA: Do you see differences in the community and the ecosystem now compared to 5 years ago? What has changed?

Euclidean studios: From an objective point of view, we see great growth primarily in casual mobile games, and a bunch of new successful projects as well as huge progress of local giants! It’s really great and certainly inspiring for new people who would like to enter the industry.

In our little bubble of big PC games, things are practically the same for those 5 years when it comes to the local community and ecosystem. This is also natural, because PC games and mobile games are practically two different sub-industries. The few PC projects we are working on are quite isolated from the rest of the community as we are. In our case, it’s not out of whim, but simply because we do different things, and we don’t have such a strong invitation to get involved. We have strong and useful communication with each other, which is great!

SGA: How do you see the future of gaming in Serbia? How can we increase the number of core projects we are working on?

Euclidean studios: Mobile games are in the leading position, and we expect and hope that this will be even more the case as time goes on! On the other hand, the release of the largest PC project in this area will soon follow – Scorn from Ebb Software, whose success will be a great watershed moment and we can’t wait for that. We think that naturally after that there will be more teams that will dare to work on PC games. The best way to increase the number of core projects is certainly education – technical, artistic, design, managerial – and building a network through which people can often meet and collaborate.