Disclaimer: This interview was published in October 2019 in Portuguese, but now it’s also available in English.
I confess that I didn’t know the Portuguese studio Foresight Games, but after I ran into the trailer of their first game – Project Haven – I fell in love with their project. So I’ve decided to get in touch with the studio to know a bit more and the game and, at the same time, spread the word about another national product in the world of video games.
I want to thank Joana and Sérgio for the time they took to answer these questions.
– Foresight Games seems to me to be a relatively new studio. When did you decide to take this huge step? Was this always a goal or did it arise as a consequence of events?
It’s always been in our plans to create our own games studio. Foresight Games came about in 2015, when we saw that the idea of Project Haven had the potential to move forward.
– For those who don’t know Project Haven, can you talk a little bit about it?
Project Haven is a turn-based tactical RPG that is being developed for PC and will be released via Steam. The game takes place in the not too distant future, where players control a team of mercenaries who are doing what is necessary to survive in the dystopic city of Haven. Through free targeting and non-restrictive navigation systems, Project Haven offers a stimulating way to play a dark story, especially aimed at a more mature audience.
– How did the idea for Project Haven come about and what are your inspirations?
Sergio: It started with a Unreal Engine experiment that had come out that week. At the time, I remember regretting that there wasn’t a Jagged Alliance 2 type of game that you could play in co-op mode. So we decided to start by developing something like that. After implementing some mechanics, including the free targeting system, and seeing a new universe emerge in our project, we decided that this experience had the potential to become a complete game after all.
– As far as I could tell, Project Haven received a “green light” at Steam in 2015. How long have you been working on the project?
We made a prototype for the Greenlight in 2015 and have been working on Project Haven ever since. However, not always full-time.
– I’ve read that the narrative of the game has the help of Edwin McRae, who is responsible for the same aspect in Path of Exile. How did this collaboration come about?
Joana: The story of the game is a very important part for us, so we knew at an early stage that we wanted to have an experienced writer. We had already developed a specific idea, regarding the story we wanted to tell and the universe we wanted to create. After an online survey, we contacted a small selection of writers we thought were the best ones for what we had in mind. With Edwin, there was a compatibility right from the start and we thought he would be the best choice for our project.
– In what ways is Project Haven different from other turn-based games?
Our game combines tactical complexity with a strong narrative component, not seen in today’s kind of games. You can follow our devlogs where we reveal more information explained in detail.
– When it comes to game mechanics, if a character dies during a mission, is it a permanent death?
In Project Haven there are a finite number of characters to choose from. To create an interesting story with an immersive experience, it was important that each character had a unique background and personality. Since characters are a limited number, they become a precious resource. However, for players who like to step up the difficulty, the option is there if you want.
– I found it curious that it is possible to aim while shooting, rather than the automatic process in games of this genre. What led you to implement this mechanics?
We wanted to offer an immersive way to control the aiming and, at the same time, avoid the feeling of injustice when we miss those shots with a 99% chance of hitting, and that have given a lot to talk about in the worlds of memes related to other games of the same kind.
– For now, the game is only confirmed for PC. Are there any future plans for other platforms or is it not something that is on the table at the moment?
At the moment, we have no plans to launch on other platforms.
– There’s that myth of “ah you play all day!”, but we know this isn’t true. When you get home, do you like to play something or do you try to stay away from “your work” as much as possible outside the office?
Our studio is in our house. But yes, in the few spare time left or when there’s a need to relax, playing is one of our favourite forms of entertainment. We are gamers after all. 🙂
– Are you playing any games at the moment?
Joana: I just finished Uncharted 4. I’m halfway through Dishonored and would like to finish it. But right now I’m waiting for the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC.
Sérgio: In my spare time I’ve been playing Rainbow Six Siege and Apex Legends. But when a cooperative game comes out, which we find interesting, we always find time to play with our friends. The last one we played was Overcooked 2.
– What are some of your favourite games or moments that have left you marked?
Joana: The games that marked me most were games with a strong narrative component, such as, but not exclusive to, Neverwinter Nights, Witcher, Dragon Age and Mass Effect.
Sérgio: Although I currently enjoy playing more competitive games, the games that marked me most were those with the greatest tactical complexity like the original Jagged Alliance 2 and X-COM (until Apocalypse).
– In your plans, is there any date scheduled for the game to be released or is it still early for those kind of predictions?
The release date is yet to be announced.
– Before we finish, where can people find you on social networks? Thank you very much for your time and I hope the game will be a success!
Thank you. 🙂
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