I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing with award-winning transmedia author Alane Adams, who has teamed up with famous game designer Brent Friedman (best known for his work on Halo), and his Seattle-based gaming company, Artifact Technologies, to create a new gaming experience BattleKasters based on Adam’s book series, Legends of Orkney.
Alane Adams Interview:
1. What made you want to transition from successful book series into a playable, interactive mobile game?<
Creating a game to go along with the book series seemed to be a great way to capture fan¹s attention and get them interested in reading the book! Trying to talk someone into playing a game can be a lot easier than talking them into reading a book cover to cover, but once they’ve had a chance to play Battlekasters and see the cool content, explore the realms, get to know the characters and creatures, players get really excited to continue the experience and read the book.
2. Any plans to carry over to PC or consoles or do you believe that BattleKasters is more suited for mobile?
Brent can probably answer that one better. We intend to have an online PC presence where players can continue to engage with the content and gather more. But Battlekasters is intended to be a mobile location-based experience. In the coming year, we hope to extend the fantastic digital art into a physical deck playing game as well.
3. Will any of your future books be translated into mobile games?
The Legends of Orkney is a book series. So as each book comes out, we will be adding more content, more characters, more creatures to the game and increasing the number of locations.
4. If you, yourself, could become any video game character, which one would you choose?
That¹s easy, Lara Croft Tomb Raider. Most badass female ever, both the game and the movies.
Brent Friedman Interview:
1. How did your collaboration with Alane come about?
A mutual friend, Nicole Hanson, introduced me to Alane to discuss creating a mobile game for her Legends of Orkney book series. Originally, the idea was just to build a mobile transmedia extension of the book property. But, as we discussed the possibilities with my company’s mobile platform, it became clear to both of us that we could create something much more innovative and unique than just another mobile game.
2. Will you be supporting Alane on any future projects?
There are three books in the Legends of Orkney series. Right now, our BattleKasters game has content inspired by the first book in the series, “The Red Sun.” Our plan is to keep expanding the game’s card content by drawing from the incredible collection of characters, creatures and magical objects in the next two books.
3. What really called out to you about BattleKasters?
I remember the good ol’ days of arcade gaming. Before technology brought gaming into homes, arcades were a destination experience. We went alone or with friends to the local bowling alley or pizza parlor, or any place that had a coin-op arcade game, to play with and against friends, and possibly even meet new friends through playing. We played until we could post our score on the leaderboard, then came back the next week to see if anyone had beaten our score. Recreating that excitement — what we now call “onsite gaming” — is what got me excited about BattleKasters from the very start. Bridging the digital and the physical worlds to turn a fancon into a “live gameboard” has become our company’s new mission statement.
4. If you could be any video game character ever created, who would you be?
Wander, the prince hero, from Shadow of the Colossus. Because it’s the one gameverse that, even years later, I never stop fantasizing about inhabiting.
About the Game
BattleKasters is a spell-casting adventure being played at fancons across the United States. A downloadable mobile game, BattleKasters is an extension of Alane Adams’ Legends of Orkney book series. It turns live events into dynamic game boards, allowing questing players to collect digital trading cards and cast magic spells that literally change the state of the game for everyone playing. Fantasy illustrator Dave Dorman, best known for his Star Wars artwork, has created original art for BattleKasters, which players of the game can win.
Created by Brent Friedman (“Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars,” “Empires & Allies” and “HALO 4.”), BattleKasters leverages Artifact Technologies’ proprietary Mixby platform, which uses location-aware technology to unlock rich experiences for users within range of specific hotspots where content can be acquired. For players of BattleKasters, that means discovering an array of interactive quests throughout event spaces such as fancons and other gathering places. Players who download the game are challenged to a race against time to cast the spells that will close a portal – the stonefire – between realms to prevent dangerous dark magic from seeping into the Earth realm.
Gaming Cypher would like to thank Alane and Brent for taking the time to interview with us.