PAX East 2016 Panel: Indie Developer Stoic Studios gave an in depth look at all things Banner Saga
Indie developer Stoic gave fans an in depth look at The Banner Saga 2 at PAX East 2016. In addition to discussing all things Banner Saga, Fans got to see the exclusive reveal of "The Banner Saga - In Memoriam" a trailer by Cartoonist Kris Straub.
The Banner Saga is an epic tale about humans and a viking warrior race called the Varyl. In this story-driven game players must make hard decisions on and off the battlefield. Every choice the player makes changes the story around them. So it's up to the player to make the decisions count. The Banner Saga 2 picks up right where The Banner Saga leaves off. A more detailed look into The Banner Saga and the Skinny on The Banner Saga 2 can be found right here on Game Skinny.
Moderated by Jesse Cox, the panel consisted mostly of people from the Stoic team -- with the exception of Grammy Nominated composer Austin Wintory. The Stoic team included:
- John Watson (Technical Director)
- Arnie Jorgensen (Art Director)
- Matt Rhoades (Technical Designer)
- Drew McGee (Writer)
One of the main questions asked by the community was how The Banner Saga come to be? The team at Stoic wanted to create a mix of Oregon Trail and King of Dragons Pass kind of game. They moved the theme from British to Norse mythology to be told over 3 parts. Despite utilizing a brighter color pallet, they wanted to tell a dark, adult, player driven story.
Stoic also talked in-depth about the art style of The Banner Saga. They wanted to emulate a rotoscoped look so that all the movements look more fluid. They also said that the art style was influenced by the Disney movie Sleeping Beauty. That same art style could be seen in their exclusive short that they showcased here at PAX East 2016. Titled "In Memoriam," it was an homage to all the characters that died during The Banner Saga. But to lighten the mood, the video short was done in a more comedic manner.
Check it out below:<iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nSxrkcmDCpk" width="560" height="314" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" />
For Stoic, multiplayer was another hot topic from the community as well. With no real plans to bring co-op or multiplayer to The Banner Saga and The Banner Saga 2, Stoic did hint at maybe adding it to the game The Banner Saga Factions. If multiplayer is your flare, there is also a board game for The Banner Saga available at their booth here at PAX East.
Lastly, Fans wanted to know how much time was spent researching all the Norse mythology needed for The Banner Saga and The Banner Saga 2. Stoic stated that they kept the feel and themes of Norse mythology, but did not copy it verbatim. Since the ins and outs of the game kept changing as development continued, it was easy for them to use books as a reference for the culture, but not the actual storyline. It's why there are no helmets with horns for the "Viking-esque" Varyl. It also allowed the music to change and flow with the story and not be constrained by Norse guidelines.
Without a doubt, Stoic is very invested in The Banner Saga's story and its community. If you want to keep up with all things Stoic has in store, be sure to follow them and The Banner Saga on Twitter and on their website.