Mist of Stagnation Interview With David Gates

By: on July 30, 2013

While I was in Austin at the Rooster Teeth Expo this year I also had the chance to meet with another David! That is David Gates, CEO and Project Manager, from Osiris Studios who have been developing their first to-be released game under this team. If you’re into Steampunk, Mechs, and shooting you’ll want to check this out.

SZ: I’m here with David from Osiris Studios to talk about his flagship game Mist of Stagnation. Can you tell us about yourself, your company, and the game?

David: Sure, so my name is David. I’ve been doing game design for about seven years now. About a year and a half ago we started up Osiris Studios to facilitate the growing of Mist of Stagnation. The idea behind that, making the game, is realizing to use teamwork and what  inspires people to use good teamwork.

SZ: To start off with a joking question. Were you guys aware that the name of your game is also the name of a card in Magic: The Gathering?

David: We are, yeah! It’s actually kind of a little bit of a joke between me, and my founding partner. It wasn’t intentional.

SZ: Can you tell me more about what separates Mist of Stagnation as an FPS and RTS from other games?

David: Sure, so it’s not a very saturated market at all. You have Natural Selection. An awesome game which they’ve had great success with it, but what we’re doing is pulling out a new subgenre. So the RTS instead of your standard top down camera that all RTS games have we’re putting the RTS character as a player in our world, so they’re in the first person view for it. I’d call the other mode as the god view you know? You’re just untouchable. Just up there commanding units so we put that person out on there in a huge mech on the battlefield able to fight and fought against. That’s the main thing that makes this stand out.

SZ: What exactly are you guys doing to entice players that only really play first person shooters to come try out the strategic element and vise versa for the RTS player?

David: Sure, so each role will be able to play a variety of different ways. For example the RTS player who really isn’t into first person shooters can play a support role when he’s in this first person and that would help him gain the rank of Commander. The way that you would become a Commander is based on kills, following your orders, healing your team, going after control points, and things like that to help the team objective get you a higher rank which means your current Commander dies you would be closer to next in line for the position. For the first person shooter players, to get them enticed to it, we have some things that the Commander can do by using up resources from the control points you’re capturing. They’ll have some special available things like upgrading their weapons, and special abilities that will allow them to be there so much like kill-streaks in Call of Duty for example. There is a couple of things we’ve have planned where you’ll be able to shoot out of the sky from some of the airships, and other cool features we’re still working on.

SZ: What influenced you to take the Steampunk theme for your game?

David: So our biggest influences are going to be Mad Max, and Bioshock whenever we get someone for our team I make sure what both of them are, and then we can move forward from there. The reason I say that is because Mad Max especially is a very practical version of Steampunk, so you know it’s not a lot of just slapping gears and sprockets on the characters uniform and all of a sudden it’s Steampunk. It’s actually functional, and something that can be recreated in the real world.

SZ: How was it working with the Unreal Engine, and how was it for your team? What kind of problems did you guys face through the development so far?

David: So the most confusing part for the team so far was finding someone who could work with the HUD system that they have. It’s a pretty powerful system that they have, and it actually works perfect for what we’re using it for, but initially finding people that were familiar with it’s scale form which is something that is done in Adobe Flash, but you have to find an artist who knows how to do that kind of work, and then a technical artist who knows how to implement it and then the coder who knows how to take what they’ve done and put it into the game so the pipeline for that was probably the most difficult part for our team at least.

SZ: What games influence the gameplay present in Mist of Stagnation?

David: So my games I played Counter Strike, Battlefield, the earlier Modern Warfare’s, and I was really big into that. He on the other hand was all about Command & Conquer. He was huge into Starcraft, and when he wasn’t working on a game he would play Starcraft. You know with those two types of people just coming together it’s like hey, you know let’s make a game that incorporates both of these and that’s really where it spawned from. So I’d say the biggest influences are gonna be Starcraft and Battlefield.

SZ: For our readers out there what game would you compare your first person shooter mechanics to the most, and the same for RTS players?

David: Alright, so the first person shooter is probably going to be the most similar to Battlefield with the exception of a couple of its fundamental gameplay elements. We’re going after control points, so a lot of people have compared it to Call of Duty’s domination mode since you’re going after control points on it. For the RTS side it’s really hard to compare it to anything simply because it’s pretty unique in that sense, you know? As far as fundamental gameplay behind it then Natural Selection would be the closest something you can compare it to. The biggest difference is you’re not in that top down view. You’re actually on the field with them.

SZ: Do you have any plans to bring your game to the next generation consoles especially with Sony having self publishing?

David: Absolutely, and that’s something that we’re really excited about when we heard that the new generation was going to be here. I was expecting it to be in 2015 honestly. Our game was always targeted at a higher-end PC. It is scale-able so medium ranged PC’s will still be able to play it just with lower settings. You know, high end PC users will really get a lot of enjoyment out of it because we use all of the latest and greatest stuff. All sorts of cool particles, very high resolution textures, and a lot of stuff that they can get out of it. When we heard the new consoles coming out we were very excited that they actually had hardware that’ll be able to support it. As far as what we’re going to go after, most like the PlayStation, the easiest one just because of their stance on it all. We’re definitely talking to Microsoft to see what all is involved there, but initially we’re just looking at PC, and Mac with the PlayStation being the next viable target.

SZ: Any possibility of it coming for players on the Wii U?

David: Not currently.

If this peeks your curiosity you can check out, and vote on Mist of Stagnation through their Steam Greenlight page. You can likely expect to get your hands on an early release through future crowd funding, and hopefully Steam Greenlight. They’re currently planning to have that happen for Mist of Stagnation by the fourth quarter this year.

You can also catch team members of Osiris Studios, and their game! That is if you’re going to PAX Prime this year. They’ll be located at the 6116 booth!

Extra links: mistofstagnation.com | indiedb.com/games/mist-of-stagnation | youtube.com/user/OsirisStudiostwitter.com/OsirisStudios

About Sean Zingiris

Sean lives in a lovely suburbia a little north of Fort Worth, Texas. He's addicted to games, Italian food, crazy concepts, and to an extent YouTube. His dreams to take over the world with Cool Ranch tacos are in the works however, he'll probably just stick to informing you about the latest news he can find.