Pawel Jarosz is an indie developer making an action RPG game called WitchCrafter. As something that started out as a simple idea, WitchCrafter is shaping up to be something special. We had the pleasure of chatting with Pawel about the game, his process and more.
You can follow WitchCrafter progress on Twitter, support the game on Patreon or Ko-Fi, and you can even play the demo over at Itch.io.
Hello there! Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions today! Let’s dive right in. So WitchCrafter is a 2D side-scrolling RPG action game. From what I have seen so far and after playing the demo the game has lots of potential. What was the inspiration to make a game like this?
Witchcrafter is a great example of the evolution of an idea. What idea? A simple one – let’s make a game! I was always eager to create one, since my teenager’s attempts to create text games in Pascal, C++, then graphical in Game Maker, Unity or mods to the first Witcher game! None of them was neither advanced nor polished enough, but I learned a lot! Then the time for Defold engine came in and I thought of a simple match-3 mobile game, but with magic attacks, inspired by Good Knight Story. Somewhere on the road, it changed into a platformer with match-3 elements and now it’s turning into a story-based RPG platformer action game! How? I’m not sure, I must have been wishing it from the very beginning, but was not confident enough with the tools. It was in my subconsciousness after playing a ton of great games like The Witcher, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Mafia, God of War, Baldur’s Gate, Celeste, Magicka, and many, many others!
More specifically, how did you go about creating all the characters and the world that the game takes place in.
I’m creating the world of Witchcrafter step by step. My brother, who’s a writer is helping me with the plot and dialogue – we are brainstorming and analyzing, whether the world or plot needs something else to be more believable and interesting. Each character has his/her own temperament, background, motives and relations with each other. Political and economic aspects are taken into consideration, geography, history. It’s not an easy task in game development, as there are many compromises. Nevertheless, we strive to create dilemmas for players as difficult as ours, regarding game design 😉
Why the name WitchCrafter?
The answer is obvious – the protagonist is a Witchcrafter, a sorcerer able to control four elements and skilled in alchemy. Recently, it is often mistaken with the Witcher, because of its growing popularity, but it’s not the same of course. I assure you it’s true, because I’m a huge fan of the Witcher, who read all the books and stories as a teenager, then played each game and watched every piece of cinematography. And I’m from the very same country that Mr. Sapkowski and CDPR are!
The pixel art and the animations look really cool. Was the use of pixel art always the plan for WitchCrafter?
Yes, I love pixel art, it’s amazing when you can show anything in such a small amount of pixels. I love abstraction, so that’s why I love both drawing and programming.
The spell system seems to be an important element in the game. Is that something that will have a lot of depth to it?
Yes, it’s the apple of my eye, as well as the story. I strive to create a system when each element could interact with each other, often causing chain reactions, so you could use the environment to your advantage or… disadvantage. Everything will have its price.
Do you have a specific process when it comes to game development? Creating a game of this size can’t be easy.
It’s not easy, creating games will never be, you need to deliver new value to players, consider a lot of things, ensure it’s fun to play. Being indie allows you to freely switch between different areas, so whenever I’m stuck or bored I just start doing something different and it really helps. Also, I have a lot of documents, sketches and ideas on notes, so not everything is in my head – it is really important, even for solo devs.
During my playthrough of the demo, I noticed that the camera kind of zooms in when you attack. Which I found to be a very interesting little element in the game. Can we expect to see more attention to detail like throughout the entire game?
I am definitely spending too much time on such details! But I won’t stop probably, sorry! Thanks, that you take your time to play a demo! When I want to release something there’s always something that is not yet polished, so I need to meet halfway, but I will make sure to polish the game as much as I can before the final release, with all the details I have in my mind 😉
I see that you made the jump to Patreon. That must have been a big decision. What was behind making that jump to Patreon?
So basically, developing Witchcrafter is my hobby, between taking care of my sweet little twins and loving wife. I started a Patreon (and Ko-fi too), because I wanted to meet those amazing people eager to play my game and give them something special for their support. Without the community it wouldn’t be so pleasant as it is now, knowing that someone is willing to experience the same as you! Moreover, this allows me to focus on development without leaving behind such important things as art, music and promoting!
Have you thought about working with a publisher?
Yes, I was even talking with some, though nothing is considered for now – simply because I’m comfortable with my own pace. I value my independence. I’d rather make a delayed, but polished game instead of rushing to the deadline.
Rapid Fire Questions About The Dev:
1. What’s your favorite game of all time?
The Witcher (and Mafia, I guess as much)
2. What is your favorite food?
Traditional polish vegetable salad with boiled eggs
3. Do you have a favorite game studio?
CD Projekt Red of course! (and Rockstar Games too)
4. Favorite thing to do outside of game dev?
Playing with my kids!
I like to ask all the developers this question at the end of each interview. What advice would you give people just starting out in game development?
Never give up! It’s easy to say, but I know, often hard to implement. Nevertheless, every released game is better than all unfinished projects together. That’s what even I keep telling myself. Good luck!