On the final day of PAX Aus, I dived back into the PAX Rising area to have a last look at the Indie games on display. I ended up playing a little game called Fiend Legion, which is a weird cross between a collectible trading card game, a turn-based strategy game and a tower defence game. Developed by the local team Spree Entertainment, I got a chance to have a yarn with the Founder and Managing Director Andrew Lau about their first foray into the gaming world.
Josh: So here I am, Day 3 of PAX, last day of PAX. It has been a massive, massive weekend. My feet are sore. My knees are sore. I’ve walked something stupid like 48 kilometres but I am here at the Booth for Fiend Legion with Andrew. How are you?
Andrew: Yeah good how are you going?
Josh: Struggling. Struggling at best. But let’s get into it. Tell me a little bit about yourself. Tell me about Fiend Legion and Spree Entertainment, where you’re from. Give me the rundown.
Andrew: We are based in Victoria, and started in 2015. This is our first ever title and we have been working on it for two years. We have received some funding from Film Victoria for the game as well through a grant we won. Also, earlier this week we won another investment.
Josh: Awesome, congratulations. So tell me about the game. Tell me about Fiend Legion. Where did the idea come from?
Andrew: So, Fiend Legion basically is a collectible card game, with elements of turn-based strategy and tower defence games in it. The aim of the game is to destroy the enemy’s tower before you can win. So really, it’s three genre’s all rolled into the one game.
Josh: Well, you certainly didn’t cut yourself any slack by picking three genre’s and jumbling them all together. You said you have been working on Fiend Legion for two years?
Andrew: That’s right, yes.
Josh: When did the idea first come to you that you wanted to make games, and this game in particular?
Andrew: Personally, I am from a financial services background. I was in think-tank so I wrote a couple of pieces of software to be used in Banks and Insurance Companies. Then two years ago we thought ‘Look, you know that’s great. Business applications – Fantastic. The think-tank space is quite exciting too, but it’s not as exciting as the video game space.’ So we decided that we would drop everything, start this, start Spree Entertainment. We have a staff of 5 people at the moment, including myself, and we work on this full time.
Josh: Well that’s interesting to hear. So we are standing beside the booth here at PAX Aus, and there is a version of the game being played here. I played it a little bit earlier this morning, and it’s kind of a 1v1 local multiplayer game. Tell me more about what other ideas you have for the game. We spoke earlier about a single player campaign. What are your hopes and dreams for Fiend Legion?
Andrew: Yeah definitely. So early next year we will release an early access version, mainly focusing on multiplayer 1v1 online. We also want to build the infrastructure around it to facilitate guilds so you can do GvG, as well as run online tournaments. We really want to focus on competitive play, but of course for those players that prefer to play single player we will be putting out a single player campaign mode.
Josh: Now, we spoke about it a little bit earlier this morning about your aspirations in the eSports field. Tell me a little bit more about that.
Andrew: So, for eSports, definitely we want to make this game an eSports game. I think that in the eSports field at the moment, most of the games are from abroad. There isn’t really an Aussie homegrown game that is being played by the masses. This game is not only a challenge to play, but is also a real pleasure to watch for players as well so that’s why we reckon it can really be an eSports game. There is definately some roadblocks along the way to becoming a true eSports game globally, in terms of timing and so forth. But we are going to keep working on those, and people in the industry are very supportive. Especially in Victoria, with the Indie scene being very strong. So we will get feedback here from everyone, especially the players, and make it a really great game.
Josh: You said you were looking at an Early Access period next year as well?
Andrew: Yeah, early next year as well, in the first quarter we will do an Early Access for multiplayer.
Josh: Obviously, you are aiming at Steam for the game. Are there any thoughts in the back of your head to move towards other platforms?
Andrew: There has been a lot of suggestions about mobile as a platform, but interestingly this game as the very first prototype was built in iOS on a tablet.It’s just later on, we thought we would go back to PC, polish up the game and mechanics and then head back into that space.
Josh: Again, we had the conversation briefly this morning and you said the initial concept brainstorming for the game was actually set up as a board game. So you had cut out the board and the tokens and the like. Is that in the back of your head that you might be able to release a boardgame version one day as well?
Andrew: Yeah yeah. In actual fact, we had a couple of ideas thrown around before we started developing. We thought about trying an Augmented Reality game where you have physical cards that you can buy, then you can scan the cards into the system. A lot of wild ideas. But we decided to concentrate on getting this game out first, make it popular and good and see where we go from there.
Josh: Yeah right. Well Andrew, thanks very much for your time. I hope you had a ripper weekend and got all the feedback you need. As I said I played it earlier and it’s fun and engaging. Again, thanks for your time Andrew and I hope you have a great rest of your weekend.
Andrew: Great, thanks. You too.
Once I got my head around the systems, I really enjoyed the game I played of Fiend Legion. I’m looking forward to picking it up in Early Access next year and seeing how much the game has changed since I last played it.
If you want any further news or information about Fiend Legion or Spree Entertainment, make sure you check out their website, www.spreeentertainment.com. You can also catch them on Facebook or Twitter.