[Interview] "After Reset" Explores the World After The Apocalypse
For the first time in human history, all of humanity is governed by one central government. At first, everything appears to be going well until the alien artifacts landed on earth. Despite the people of earth’s attempts, they couldn’t find anything about these strange devices.
Everything changed on the Twelfth of May…
A nuclear chain reaction caused by unknown means set the surface of the earth ablaze, leaving billions dead and the few survivors devastated by the destruction.
Your family was one of the lucky ones, making it into one of the underground cities before the devastation happened. In this vault is the last of humanities grand civilization and to you, that’s all you’ve known. Humanity isn't meant to live underground however and today is the day you return to the surface.
How will you survive After Reset?
After Reset is a Kickstarter Project from Black Cloud Studios, the same studio that was involved in Fallout D20, and also takes place in a post-apocalyptic Universe. After Reset was discussed further by my colleague Proto Foe in his article on the Kickstarter and its history of funding for this is the projects second attempt.
The game appears to be a challenging survival game with RPG elements alongside hardcore survival mechanics, like in the original Fallout. After Reset looks as if it will provide an expansive world filled with desolation, but an overwhelming sense of wonder as well, making the player want to explore every nook and cranny and most importantly survive.
I had a chance to talk to talk to the creator of After Reset Richard Nixon, to learn more about the game and discuss this desolate world filled with so many secrets.
GS: How did Black Cloud Studios get together?
Richard Nixon: 3 years ago, I began to work on After Reset setting as a hobby, spending my own savings on consulting with historians, scientists, engineers, geologists etc. When the core of the setting was complete with hard sci-fi details, I began to hire free-lance artists and musicians so that they could begin animating my vision.
Then there were modelers, programmers, video editors etc. By the time of fall of 2013, when I decided to put After Reset RPG on Steam Greenlight just for fun, I had a permanent group of free-lancers who I had been working with for a long time. After the surprising success on Steam Greenlight, they formed the core of Black Cloud Studios.
GS: You have put a lot of work into this game! Just how many hours or how long have you been working on After Reset?
Richard Nixon: As I said above, I’ve been working on the game since 2011 as a hobby. I just did that for myself in a way that brought me satisfaction as I worked on the game of my dreams. I didn’t really expect that someone else would be interested in my game. After Greenlight, I was surprised that so many people were interested in the game I’ve been working on. Even since then, I’ve kept being skeptic about it.
My skepticism was dispersed by the real financial support from a decent amount of our backers that pledged for the game via PayPal even after the first unsuccessful trial on Kickstarter. So you can say that those people encouraged me to postpone my primary occupation in favor of the game development.
Due to their attitude and support, for the last month, I’ve worked on the game 12-15 hours in a day. And that goes with my heart, makes me happy, and I do my best to meet the expectations of our followers to make them happy in return.
GS: After Reset looks like it’s set in an established universe that you have created. Other than the game, have you written or drawn the After Reset universe in other mediums? Is there a sort of prequel or supplementary material we should read before playing?
Richard Nixon: Yeah, I recommend you to feast your eyes on The Fall of Gyes graphic novel that acts as a prequel for the game. It is also included the rewards for our current Kickstarter project for the game itself
GS: Just what inspired you to make a game like After Reset
Richard Nixon: Frankly, I was desperately waiting for the real Fallout 3 that Van Buren should have become. I was disappointed when that one was canceled as well as when Project 13 was canceled as well. Oblivion’s mods were able to save memories of true Fallout spirit from extinction.
And yes, I was aware about Wasteland 2, I like tactic strategies like Jagged Alliance and I used to play a little in The Fall: Last Days of Gaia. But I missed old school RPG so much. And there was no one on the horizon. The last drop of disappointment was SWTOR that was promised by publishers as “the better KOTOR” but you know what it turned to be de-facto.
Then Brian Fargo revealed Kickstarter for indie developers as well as Steam opened the “highway” for indies – and I just decided to try to do something own instead of moaning and complaining on forum of publishers’ and developers’ forums.
But I believe that that was the feedback and attitude of our followers and supporters: common gamers that set my mind on become a true indie developer.
GS: What is After Reset about?
Richard Nixon: After Reset RPG - an old-school hard sci-fi post-apocalyptic roleplaying game inspired by such video games as Fallout 1/2, Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment. The story promises to place you on our planet 132 years after the 'Reset', the thermonuclear apocalypse that ended human civilization.
Around one third of the globe is covered by 'Yellow Zones' where the ruins of cities are covered with radioactive dust. In these areas, anarchist survivor groups have taken control where uncontaminated food and drinking water are valued on a par with human life.
Another third of the earth is in the agony of the 'Red Zones', the epicenters of the deadly anomalies that arose as a result of a nuclear chain reaction in the atmosphere and the morphing of the planet. The majority of life is not capable of surviving in the Red Zones that makes them a perfect home for mutants.
GS: Is the story more character based, narrative based or does the player ultimately determine that?
Richard Nixon: The player will be able to determine that. I’ve got several aces in the sleeve as well but I can’t talk about them right now, because quum promiseris facias [Ed: Google Translate interpreted this as "When you promise to do"].
GS: What sort of leveling system do you have in the game and what sort of skills can you level in?
Richard Nixon: We developed our own game mechanics, called SACPIC, that is something between Fallouts’ SPECIAL and classic DnD. Our followers could learn about our game mechanics more on our forum: about feats, critical hits, critical misses, weapon system, stats, etc.
GS: Is it possible for your character to gain a reputation with the things they’ve done? Will people start to recognize them?
Richard Nixon: Absolutely. Moreover we have special traits in game mechanics that are called Achievement Feats and that become available basing on your actions only.
GS: While it is a very dystopian environment, After Reset looks bright and not quite as muddy brown as some other “realistic” games, did you do that on purpose or did you just like brighter colors?
Richard Nixon: Despite we have all planet worked out for the setting, I selected the State of Eagle and the Great Desert regions for the current game right because the atmosphere, colors, weather and environments are more close to the classic Fallout spirit.
GS: What is the battle system like in the game and what are the enemies like?
Richard Nixon: As I said before, we developed our own game mechanics, called SACPIC, that is something between Fallouts’ SPECIAL and classic DnD. That concerns our rule-based real-time combat system as well. E.g. our followers could learn about weapons system on our forum: about critical hits, critical misses, weapon types etc.
GS: This is an open world RPG game? How big is the world you’re playing in?
Richard Nixon: Quite big enough; like Fallout 1 and 2 together.
GS: How many character options in character customization are there in the game?
Richard Nixon: We have nine large stages of character creations: Species, Race, Gender, Alignment, Stats, Skills, Feats, Appearance, Background. Each of them consists of bunch of options.
GS: In After Reset’s setting just how would you try to survive?
Richard Nixon: Be smart. Be tenacious. And there is never “too much” for information, money and bullets.
GS: What Platforms is the game going to be available for?
Richard Nixon: PC (Windows, Linux), Mac OS X. We work hard to follow our promises about supporting all of these platforms. E.g. we had to cancel using Autodesk solutions for GUI and work out our own just because Autodesk’s solutions (which are commonly used by modern AAA video games) do not support Linux.
Thank you to Richard Nixon of Black Cloud Studios for taking the time to answer all these questions. For further information about After Reset, Check out the Kickstarter and the website. As of this interview After Reset has already been funded but everyone should try to take a trip into this post-apocalyptic wasteland and see if you can come out alive.