When I was first introduced to Enferi my initial thought was this looks really cool but where are the levels? Oh was I in for a surprise. Enferi does have levels alright, horde levels that is. Developer The Hatchling Games is set to bring us a fast-paced hack and slash experience with the single player, couch co-op and online multiplayer modes. The goal of this game? Survive the hordes and beat the boss at the end to move on to the next round. Sounds easy right? Well, then I don’t think you are paying attention.
Armed with an electrified sword, two rifles and dark magic it will still be difficult to survive as each horde increases in difficulty. You will be able to level up your character to help your chances but don’t worry, if you die it all goes away. That is right, permanent death for you and your friends. Hey nobody said this was going to be easy. I am ready to test my skills in battle, so much so that I asked the developer to do an interview and he obliged.
Would you like to introduce yourself and let the readers know if The Hatchling Games has worked on any previous projects?
“My name is Rodney van Stijn, I’m currently a solo developer working on Enferi in Arnhem the Netherlands. I’ve been studying and working on game projects for 10 years now, including multiple internships. In my internships, I’ve worked on educational games and simulators and I developed an RTS for children, teaching them about green energy. I’ve specialized myself in Character creation and Animations, with over 4000 hours of experience and more than 1,5 years of experience with visual scripting in the Unreal Engine.
I’ve studied Communications and Multimedia Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Arnhem, in my second year, I started on the Game Design semester, working on my very first character. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to work in the gaming industry. I loved creating characters in 3D and see them come alive once I animated them. I also knew that in order to work in this industry, you have to work hard and keep pushing yourself to be a better artist, to learn new ways of designing, improve your workflow and pick up your speed. I have developed a professional workflow and pipeline in creating assets and I trained myself in using multiple programs. I even took a few years off from school to teach myself and improve my skills and portfolio.
I founded The Hatchling Games 2 years ago, in the first year, my goal was to write a business plan in order to get a loan to get the first project started. I made this choice to get the game the best running start I could. Game creation deserves your full, undivided attention and dedication and that’s the way it should be done. Until now, I’ve worked on 6 other projects, with Enferi being my first commercial project.”
Knowing that Enferi is a horde mode style game with co-op play can you tell us what gave you the inspiration for this game and if there are plans for any other modes in the future?
“My first inspiration for this game came from Warhammer 40.000: Space Marine, it had a horde mode with co-op mode and split screen. And I loved every second of it. It gave players a fun evening with their friends or a great challenge for players alone. The gameplay itself was very simple, but in even the most simple games, great beauty can be found.
The years after that game, I wanted Hack and Slash games to feature such a game mode because it’s great fun to play. But sadly only a couple of them did, but even less had a co-op option or split screen. And if they did, they were mostly anime/cell-shaded games, which although great, isn’t my cup of tea.
Gameplay style wise, my inspiration came from games like Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden, Dark Souls, and the Bloodborne series. I love the speed of DMC and Ninja Gaiden and the gameplay of the Soulborne series and I wanted to combine those two together, mixed in with a competitive and fun mode that was open to all kinds of players.
There are other game modes planned for Enferi, but that greatly depends on the player base. I want to see how the players respond to Enferi in its current form and hear what they have to say. I’d love to carry the game over to other game modes that the players might enjoy, there are a number of possibilities that can be added to the game, but first I want to see how the game will evolve and especially what the players themselves feel what the game needs.”
We have seen other horde games fighting against numerous enemies before so, what can you tell us that will entice players to want to play Enferi?
“Most multiplayer horde mode games that I have seen were shooters, Hack and Slash games have had horde modes in them, but they were mostly single player games. Which is great of course, but I wanted to give the fans of Hack and Slash games the option of playing with their friends, instead of playing alone. When I go over to my friends and they have a new Hack and Slash game, it’s always one of us playing the game, there is nothing wrong with watching someone else play a game, but it’s much more fun to play together. It’s great fun to team up together and achieve something together, it’s the best way to spend an evening together in my opinion. That’s why I wanted to make a Hack and Slash game that actually has split screen mode, so fans can enjoy their favorite genre together.
Of course, Hack and Slash games have had co-op modes in them, like Dark Souls or Monster Hunter, but all these games require the player to level and gear up in order to play with their friends without being carried. And that’s not very inviting for new players, especially when your time is limited. Enferi is the game that you can play on the side without having to worry about your character being on par with the others. Everyone is equal in this game, it doesn’t matter if you spend 100 hours in this game or if you just bought it, and everyone has an equal chance in stats, plug, and play.
Enferi is best described as the Hack and Slash counterparts of zombie mode games, like Black Ops or Killing Floor. Due to Permanent Death, nobody has an advantage, it’s all a matter of your skills in the game, not the hours you’ve grinded or the money you’ve spent.
The game will, however, play like any other Hack and Slash RPG, you will be able to level up in multiple disciplines based on your XP, but if you die or your team gets wiped, Permanent Death will kick in and reset your right back to square one.”
If Enferi is successful upon release will there be plans for The Hatchling Games to start working on another game or do you have ideas already in the works?
“If Enferi is successful, 2 things will happen. First of all, Enferi will grow as a game, more Tiers will be added to the game, so players will have more maps and bosses to beat and a much bigger game to enjoy. If the player base keeps growing, the game will evolve with more game modes and more personalization for the players.
The second thing is that the studio will start to work on a single player game with a full story. I love games with a rich story that really encompasses the player in its lore and I would like to develop such a game. But that is only if Enferi is successful, Story driven games aren’t easy to create and I want Enferi to grow into a game that many can enjoy. I don’t want it to be sacrificed so another game can be made.”
I know you are wanting to get a Kickstarter going for the game. Can you tell us what you would like to accomplish with the Kickstarter campaign?
“In order for the game to be completed, I have to reach the Kickstarter goal. The loan from the bank got me this far and the game is running and looking great, but it’s still at least a half a year of hard work from its release. The Kickstarter goal is modest, and so is the price of the game. I’ve kept it low because I want the game to be enjoyed by as many people as possible. Also, this is the studio’s first commercial project and that is something that might hold back some players. I don’t want the price to hold back players to give the game a try.
The Kickstarter funds will be used to keep developing the game so that it can release on Steam early access. After this release, player feedback will be collected in order to work out any problems that might arise. Once these problems have been worked out, the game will be ported to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and the Switch.”
Can you let the readers know where they can follow you in order to stay up to date with your progress? Thank you for your time and we look forward to seeing future updates.
“I have multiple social media sites on which I am active. I spend most of my time on Twitter, Instagram or GameJolt. After the Kickstarter, I will set up a development blog on my website that readers can enjoy. But for any questions they might have, social media is the best way to get in touch!”
I want to say a big thank you to Rodney van Stijn for taking the time and answering my questions. Please go give him a follow @HatchlingGames or visit thehatchlinggames.com in order to stay up to date with the game. We here at the PlayStation Brahs look forward to the game and wish the developer the best of luck.