We talked with Nikolay Bondarenko, the project lead at AurumDust Studios, about Ash of Gods: Redemption, and it was just amazing! Here's the full interview:

1. First of all, Ash of Gods: Redemption has an amazing main menu! It has that mystical war feeling to it. Also, the intro is so cool. The fight scenes are crisp and thrilling. How did you come up with that and what were the things that lead to making it?

Thank you! We've been thinking where to start - in the Intro we decided to show the part of the story that will make you ask the biggest questions - what happened here, who are all these people and ‘non-people’. Throughout the story, the players will eventually find answers to their questions. For the main menu, everything was easy - each of the team members had to come up with ideas to create the right feel for music and graphics. The artists made sketches and when we looked at them, we just knew it had to be in the game. And that’s how we made that beautiful main menu.

2. Next thing is the mechanics. The health and energy mechanics are just brilliant. And the fact that you can inflict double damage on an enemy with no energy makes the player want to choose wisely. I, personally, have never seen something like this. What do you think about it?

I and Dmitry Erokhin (game designer) worked on the combat system. We were to decide on three things - design classes, basic rules and mechanics. We wanted to give the players two basic feelings-the mind blowing dynamics, and a kind of tension until the end of each game. We started out with a pencil and a piece of paper – adding new stuff and removing mechanics that slowed down the game. So, we saw an opportunity to sacrifice a part of the health for inflicting especially strong blows - I see that part of players don’t understand this well, however I think that it is a game’s conditionality which makes everything a lot better. The double damage on characters with empty energy adds a new tactical layer to the way you play. Attack units to inflict damage on health or remove their energy to prevent them from running and then quickly finish them in your next move, or maybe you are counting on the card “exchange of souls” (swaps health and energy) and so you can kill everyone at once?

3. There are two modes in the game, A classic mode, and a story mode. How do they really make a difference?

Now there are three of them - classical, story and ”iron man". They are like difficulty levels- in story mode, all your units have increased parameters and auto fight enabled. In most cases, you don't have to fight at all. In the classic mode, the difficulty curve is softer; you have enough resources for experiments. In the "iron man" mode, you’ll have no place for mistakes - even a few wounds might lead to the loss of a team member.

4. The constantly evolving story is something that really strikes in Ash of the Gods. The storytelling is really smooth and the animations are strikingly beautiful. How much does this contribute to the game?

This was the most difficult part while working on the game. If you read a couple of topics on our forums on steam, you’ll see how different people tell different stories about what’s happening in the game or what this game is all about (motivation of heroes, event, meetings). We've made a promise to players to be able to “write their own stories". At the same time, it has a downside - with one pass, you cannot find out about everything that could happen and what it can lead to.

5. This game clearly draws inspiration from 'The Banner Saga'. But it is different and unique in its own way. How do you respond to that?

I'm a big fan of the whole TBS series and it has affected this game too. For most players, it is “all the same", although I believe that this game is different in a lot of ways. The main thing that unites the style is multi-realism.

6. How would you describe your game?

An interactive visual-novel RPG with tactical fights and truly affected decisions that determines the whole gameplay. The game with lots of reading and in-depth story, in which not even the main characters are safe from death.

7. The game is currently released on PC, Mac, and Linux. How is the game doing so far? Can we expect it to come out on other platforms, like mobile platforms and consoles? The mobile industry is really exploding over the few months especially with the release of PUBG and Fortnite. What do you think?

We are already working on the console versions and plan to finish it by the end of the year. Immediately after that, we will start working on a mobile release. I think it is very important to deliver the game to as many platforms as possible so that everyone can play where they are used to.

8. The game runs on Unity3D, a favorite for a lot of indie game developers. Can you explain how it has affected your game? Also, any advice for new developers?

Unity has its own positive and negative sides as a popular engine. Unity makes things faster and easier. As for myself, I went from hate to love and just one advice to all new Unity developers - just keep calm and don`t jump to conclusions.