Dream Games, an Indian mobile gaming company has just released 'Rama Force', the "first" Indian Mythology based real time strategy game. Krishna Bahirwani explores the details of the fantasy real time strategy game for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets in an exclusive interview with Umang Mathur, head of marketing , Dream Games.
Where did the motivation to make a strategy game come from ?
We decided to create a game based on epic Ramayana, mainly because it is a classic book of most exciting tales from Indian Mythology. It talks about courage, family values, victory of good over evil, virtue, righteousness. However we did not wanted it to be any regular game where a character is created and used for plain speed games. Lord Rama's whole journey till Lanka involved series of strategies to be able to prepare for the big battle. Rama Force starts off from one genre of leisure to strategic planning whether the player wants to create or destroy, use the resource point or take it back. The idea was to let the player apply strategy at each level to go the next one.
Why did you choose the mobile medium ?
Since playing games on devices has become the most favourite activity by grownups, teens and kids we chose this platform to reach them. Mobile is handy equipment which is used by large number of people to play games and to kill time. Moreover, it is the equipment which is usually available with everyone. Thus it will enable us to have an access to masses.
Since when have you been interested in Indian Mythology ?
We have been listening about the Indian mythology since childhood days when our Grandma's used to narrate us the stories of these great epics. Since then it was a desire in our mind to relate with the Indian treasure of Epics which we had been exploring. Nowadays due to the busy schedules we don't want the new upcoming generation to get detached from our real treasures. So it is all an attempt which is education accompanied by fun. We have also witnessed that not many Indian game developing companies create games on Indian mythology but we wanted to be in that space from the beginning. Characters of Ramayana in this game are well defined with the essence of mythology retained. We wish to come out with more games based on Indian Mythology in future.
Which aspect of the Ramayana interests you the most ?
The entire journey of lord Rama to free mother Seeta from Ravan was the most interesting and challenging part. Lord Rama along with his troop had to face numerous difficulties and hurdles but well-designed strategies enabled the lord to reach his destination and come out victorious. This is what precisely the gamers will experience in Rama Force.
Every aspect of Ramayana has a flavour of its own. Starting from the Balkaand, Ayodhya kand, Aranyakand, Kishkindakand , sunderkand till Lankakand , there is a story which gradually unfolds. We cannot measure the weightage of any kand as they are not comparable, but if you ask my personal preference, then I would say the phase from Kishkindakand , sunderkand and lankakand interests me the most.
Do you have any plans to expand to computers ?
We are at a very initial stage of the process, where it is quite difficult to predict and announce our future actions. We want Rama Force to be well received as a mobile game by the audience first and then focus on the plans to expand to computers in future.
Tell us about your background and how you got involved with game development ?
I come from a strong media and creative marketing background having worked in many leading advertising giants. I have always been very passionate about gaming and ideation of a game like Rama Force was always in my mind. Dream Games is an Ahmedabad based company who is now looking to have its own game developing studio for creating high quality and globally accepted games.
For Rama Force we had a total team of 11 were involved in making this title. A dedicated team of 4 was in art, which included illustrators, animators and graphic designers. 1 Sound engineer and designer. We had a dedicated game producer cum game designer to take care of production, there was a team of 3 developers to develop the game and a dedicated team of 2 game testers, were involved in making this game over duration of 9 months.
What is your opinion of the real time strategy game industry today ?
Real Time strategy games hold great significance in gaming world because these games usually involve lot of thinking and brain application. Unlike turn (conventional) games, RTS do not allow the gamers to take their time, it is played in the real time. It is an interesting mix of action and strategy which makes the game even more desirable even today. That moment of beating others or crossing hurdles in real time doubles up the excitement for players and leave them hungry for more. Because of its fast paced nature, RTS games have beaten the popularity of turn based strategy computer games.
What are your plans for the future ?
We are planning to add more levels to Rama Force once the audience has well explored the game. We wish to roll out version 2 of 'Rama Force; in December 2014. Apart from this we wish to come out with more Quality Indian Mythological titles, which are loved by the gaming fraternity. We want to concentrate on games that has connect with younger generation especially to the people who left India but still wanted to be rooted to their origin. Our idea is to provide aesthetically designed, culturally high and yet interesting / engaging games to the Indian gamers.We have already started evaluating pitches and concepts for the next production. Besides this we are planning to have our own game studio for which we are in talks with potential investors.