Developer GameCrafterTeam is known for its work on making mech-combat games like Project Nimbus and their most recent release Nimbus INFINITY. We recently got an interview opportunity with GameCrafterTeam that allowed us to speak with the developer and get to know more about this brand-new mech combat game. Answering our questions here is Pawee Pakamekanon, project leader of Nimbus INFINITY who will be telling us about the GameCrafterTeam, their studio’s work, how the cool bosses of Nimbus INFINITY were made, and potential future plans for the title. So, without further ado, let’s just jump into it.
Question #1: Please tell us a little about GameCrafterTeam and what sort of video games have you guys been making in the past.
PP: GameCrafterTeam is a group of indie developers located in Phuket, Thailand. We started as high school students who loved games, anime, and mechs. We originally started working on games featuring fighter jets and giant robots and mech games because they were easier to make with our existing artists and technology. Later as we found success we started a “real” company and created our first big game, Project Nimbus, which featured giant robots (mechs) flying at supersonic jet speeds.
Question #2: Mech combat games are amazing, but we have seen this genre gain very little traction in the past few years. What made GameCrafterTeam dedicated to this genre and continue to release new titles when most of the developers have now moved to other genres?
PP: We know if we make good games, people will play them. When I was young I dreamed that I would become Ultraman, that could fly and fight and become a defender of justice. I also loved Hollywood movies about fighter jets. It’s burned into my identity, and later I fell in love with anime and of course Gundam. I can’t move on, my soul is captive to the love of this genre, and watching and playing it ignites something inside of me. I can never be Ultraman, but in my lifetime maybe I will see a giant robot that human can fly. All of this makes us focus on this genre.
Question #3: Compared to the first title Project Nimbus, Nimbus INFINITY is a lot different especially how it handles the narrative and the cutscenes. What inspired the development team to use the Anime/visual novel approach for the cutscenes?
PP: Nimbus is a very anime game from the start. We feel we have good artists working with us. So, when we start making INFINITY of course it’s going full anime look and feel, and maybe we went too far that direction. But we wanted the full anime, 3D anime game experience, so we went for it!
Question #4: There are some really cool boss battles in Nimbus INFINITY. What can you tell us about the boss battles of Nimbus INFINITY? What was the main inspiration behind them and how their designs came into being?
PP: Yes there are many fun boss battles, such as Valiant, Odelia, and Moby Dick. Let me talk about Valiant. You can take a look at Warspite and Valiant, they are twin battle frames. They were designed with some intention to resemble beasts. But we also wanted them to look like oni (demons) with two masks they wore into battle. And the pilot of Valiant is very confident, sometimes overconfident, so they use less weapons. It was putting a personality into the boss battle itself. Another example, in Mission 4, we want to create the feeling of fighting someone in space. On Earth in a fight, you can hide, but in space, there is nowhere to hide. So, we used a sense of electronic warfare, like submarines able to cloak themselves. So, the end result is a boss the player has to find by sound.
Question #5: At this point, there is only one mech in the game that we can play with. Can we expect more mech designs to arrive in the game with their own strengths and weaknesses?
PP: In Nimbus INFINITY, we wanted to make one hero mech, like a hero character that people would recognize. Not just a human character but a mech character! We wanted the player to bond with Warspite, and then use customization to give the feeling of multiple mechs with different fighting styles. in combat. We don’t plan to add more mechs to this game, but in future games, we will feature a bigger variety to play, as we did in Project Nimbus.
Question #6: A lot of players are directly comparing Nimbus INFINITY with your previous release Project Nimbus and saying how the new game is completely different from the previous one. When you guys started developing Nimbus INFINITY, were you going for a sequel to Project Nimbus or going a different way was the plan from the beginning?
PP: We grew a lot making Project Nimbus, so we wanted to make something a little different for this second-generation Nimbus game. We believe the new game is a little more challenging for people who liked Project Nimbus. The most different thing is the target locking. We felt the target locking was easier in Project Nimbus, and we wanted the player to use a little more skill rather than relying too much on autolock.
Question #7: What was the biggest challenge in the development of Nimbus INFINITY?
PP: Everything! Nothing was so easy, everything was a challenge in the creation of INFINITY (including COVID that happened in the early middle of the project). Making a new design while making the content while adjusting to a new and bigger team gave us a series of new challenges, so a lot of experimenting was happening at the same time. We tried many things, saw parts weren’t fun, and went back to try again until it felt better.
Question #8: Instead of doing something new, Nimbus INFINITY feels like a throwback to classic mech combat games where you choose your weapons, fly around, and destroy some enemy mechs. Was this design intentional or did it just happen during the development?
PP: To me, I still feel PS2 is not that old, and am surprised when PS2 is called retro or throwback. Mainly I want a game that is familiar, where the player can start and have a clear idea of what they want to do, and can go do it. If done right, I feel this kind of game can create a lot of immersion. like watching a movie or reading a book.
Question #9: Compared to other titles in the genre, what do you think sets Nimbus INFINITY apart from them?
PP: Compared to other games, I don’t compare much to other titles. I have this ideal anime/mech game in my mind, and I want to get to that game, as close as possible. That said, Nimbus is the highest-speed game of the mech genre. I want to make a high-speed game that makes the player feel that they are inside a mech anime.
Question #10: Are there any plans for DLC? What can we expect to see in the future of Nimbus INFINITY?
PP: Unfortunately, not at the moment. Right now, the most important thing we are working to improve the frame rate. We are trying to give the player a feeling of high speed in large worlds, and this has an effect on the frame rate. We want the game to be as fast and beautiful as possible, so we are focusing on that for the near future patch.
Question #11: The upcoming Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon is definitely a sign that mech combat games are coming back and they are coming big. Can we expect to see another mech combat game next from GameCrafterTeam in the future or will the studio expand into other genres?
PP: People who love mech games are always here, always looking for new games. Our whole team are fans. GameCrafterTeam will keep making Nimbus and mech games for a long time.
Question #12: I am sure a lot of fans would love to know this, which is the favorite mech combat game at GameCrafterTeam? Something that the developers at the studio love and was the main inspiration behind the Nimbus titles.
PP: As far as a franchise, of course, it’s Gundam. But the game I really want to play, the game I want Nimbus to be, is still in my imagination. I’m just trying to get close to that game. It doesn’t exist yet, but Nimbus is the closest to me, and we are working hard to get closer every day!