Interview With Pine Fire Studios, Developers Behind Keiru

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Note: This interview is from an old website under a different name.

We managed to to have an interview with Pine Fire Studios, a game production studio with an upcoming exciting and interesting game called Keiru. Quickly describing the game, it’s a first person multiplayer ninja game where two teams are put against each other (one white colored, the other black) in an environment set in white and black textures, that’s where major stealth gameplay comes in.

But on to the interview! Here’s ten questions with their answers by the studio:

What’s your studios history on how it came to be in relation to Keiru?

After a couple of prototypes during the middle of last year the team tossed ideas around. Isaac, our designer, had an idea that was inspired by this Samurai Jack episode and after a long discussion about the who’s, the what’s, the whens and the whys, we eventually came up with what now is Kieru.

What’s the aim of Keiru, what are you hoping for when people experience playing the game?

We want them to truly feel like a Ninja. I just find there aren’t many games that capture that in its true form. On the topic of ninjas, games tend to do a poor job of putting players in their shoes. They tend to make ninjas come across as warriors who run headlong into battle. It is that feeling of being a cutthroat killer without making a noise. Killing your opponents without them knowing you were there is the ultimate goal we want to set the players towards. The closest example to what we are going for I would say is Dishonoured or Mark of the Ninja.

Can you talk a bit more about how the stealth gameplay works?

With the characters being either completely black or completely white, it really requires the players to have some situational awareness. I think the correct way to describe the stealth gameplay would be ‘perspective based combat’. You may think you’re hidden in that dark corner, but from a different perspective you will stand out like a sore thumb. I think Kieru does tear down the stealth genre to its essence – hiding in plain sight is what we are going for.

Will there be modes other than Team Death Match to help mix things up?

Yes! We are planning to have other game modes, as we feel plain old team deathmatch would get rather tiring. We want to put a spin on the classics, as well as look into game modes that are much more suited to a world like Kieru’s; game modes with our own refreshing flare. Of course there is always the possibility of user created game modes. We have plenty of ideas but none that we have fleshed out as of yet. So at this stage we can’t really comment on what those will be. However we will definitely keep everyone updated!

The game idea definitely looks like it came from, and is described to be gotten from a Samurai Jack episode, mind discussing this a bit more?

It most certainly was inspired by Samurai Jack. We think it is quite an interesting theme, as not many games use their art style to dictate the gameplay. From a technical standpoint, it wasn’t too hard to achieve this on a very basic level. However, the problem is that there cannot be any graphical glitches as it really does ruin the gameplay. Getting the game to that high level is, and will be the hardest part. Although this isn’t even mentioning the networking, don’t get me started on the networking. But in the end, it will all be worth it!

Is there a general story to the game or some sort of lore? And will there be a single player campaign or is it just a multiplayer game?

Though mostly locked away in the art book and brain of our lead artist there is a lore behind Kieru. It’s still being written but it will explain why, where, and how the ninjas are fighting. At this point it is all subject to change, but we will try to make the lore compelling and interesting, adding a nice depth to Kieru and complementing the gameplay. There won’t be a single player story, however we are looking into doing a tutorial, which may explain some of the things going on in ‘Kieru’s world’. Of course the primary focus will be heavily on the multiplayer portion of Kieru.

What kind of content we can expect from Keiru? Like how many maps will the game have?

At this stage unfortunately I cannot say how many maps we plan to have as it is a little bit too early in the development. However in terms of character customisation it is definitely something we are looking into. We want the players to feel that they truly are a ninja and customisation is definitely a large part of that.

Will there be local split-screen multiplayer?

Our main priority at the moment is on the multiplayer, as we are planning on having both internet and LAN based support. Once it is at the point where we are happy with it we may look at adding split-screen support depending on what the community wants. We are really wanting to push the community’s involvement in creating this game, as such we will try and implement the features the community wants.

Will we see more games from you guys with ideas based on TV shows or movies after Keiru? And what’s your general thoughts game creators who base their games on TV shows or movies?

I would say it is probably too early in the timeline of things to comment on our next big project. However we always have game ideas rattling around in our heads. This quite often leads to ideas where we think “Hey, that would be awesome in Keiru”. As for the developers who base their ideas on TV and film; as long as you’re not stealing anyones IP all the power to you. If there is a cool game idea in there somewhere do it!

Lastly, what will you awesome game creators do with Keiru after it finally launches?

As mentioned earlier we really want to push the community’s engagement within Kieru. With this, we are definitely looking at how games like CS:GO and Dota engage in community content and discussion. So on the topic of patch support, we will definitely have patch support. We always want to have the players backs!

So that’s that. Thanks to Pine Fire Studios for giving us the opportunity to interview them about their game Keiru, which you can check it out on their Greenlight page and give them a vote if you like what you see. Keiru is currently planned to be released on PC Windows, with an unknown price or release date at the moment.

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