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Interview #029: Renaud Sauzet (Koruldia Heritage)

There may only be 11 hours to go at the time of this interview, but Renaud Sauzet's Koruldia Heritage is already a success on Kickstarter! Plus, with a Switch digital planned (pending Nintendo approval) and early talks of a Switch physical, have you backed this RPG yet? If not, there's still time, but take a few minutes to learn more about the developer below!

Support Koruldia Heritage on Kickstarter here.

Thank you for speaking with us today? Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Renaud “kayz” Sauzet, it sounds like “reno” in English.

What was the first console you remember playing?

It’s the Sega Genesis.

What is your fondest video game childhood memory?

The first 3 games that were bundled with that Sega Genesis: Sonic 1, ToeJam and Earl and Mercs. Later on I got Quackshot, and I still regularly play all my Genesis childhood games to this day. Some kind of comfort food you could say.

Growing up, was developing video games always a passion for you? What inspired you?

Well I also had access to an NES and Game Boy later (and more sparingly) and at the time, home computers were not a thing so I remember I made games out of cardboard (take that Nintendo Labo). It would resemble “handheld” systems like a giant Game Gear. It wasn’t just for show and I’d actually cut hand drawn “sprites” on paper. I'd then put tinfoil behind or above the “sprites” and with some scavenged motor (from little cars mostly), I’d create “collision detection” between let’s say a spaceship and some asteroid scrolling on a piece of paper rolling around a spool (empty toilet paper roll tbh lol.)

Add a simple “buzzer” (and/or red LED) when collision is happening between the 2 pieces of tinfoil (connected with wires) and… well call it a game if you want, haha. I made a ton of stuff like that; it would barely work of course and would easily break. I was around 10 years old, but I wanted to do that.

Koruldia Heritage is story driven pixel-art RPG that harkens back to the glorious 16-bit era. With non-linear progression, plenty of battles, and rich in content, how did you first come up with the concept?

It’s an organic progress, it’s slowly growing iteration after iteration like some kind of ongoing situation. At some point, you connect the dots and you can’t really know when that particular idea happened.

For those unfamiliar with Koruldia Heritage, what would you like our readers to know?

I’d say the best way to get to know the project in great details would be to read the presentation on Kickstarter and of course watch the trailer. On Youtube, you can also go back in time and learn even more.

You've been working on Koruldia Heritage for over eight years. Has your original designs and ideas changed from when you first began to when you launched your Kickstarter campaign?

Of course not eight years full time nor in a row. I remember in 2014 nothing much happened that year as it needed some serious re-positioning. So yes of course it changed a lot, even rebooted, like in October 2015. The real start of the “Heritage” project, even if it took some time to take off as well, was more like early 2017.

Prior to the KS campaign, your title was featured on Square Enix's Collective community with an overwhelming 94% approval. What was it like to have such a positive reaction?

Very motivating, I finally had a good excuse to contact the press and some responded. Their readers gave the project such a warm welcome, and it definitely helped me keep my hopes afloat.

As a website that focuses on the Nintendo Switch, we were excited to see the Switch platform as a stretch goal with even the possibility of a physical release. Have you already been in touch with publishers?

After talking with a few port experts, we are able to confirm the Switch digital from the technical side, so it’s looking good. I still need approval on Nintendo’s side, and to see if they’re happy with the tech those people are creating. I don’t see why they wouldn’t; otherwise we try something else until they’re happy with it, haha.

We probably won’t reach the big stretch goal needed to manufacture the little carts upfront, but a few game publishers contacted us; we’d love to make a deal with one that can finance the carts by the time we finish development.

This is why we always say that PC is a fallback to be on the safe side, even if we’ll do our very best to go physically on the Switch. It’s in our interest and it’s also a kid’s dream... you know, that little guy playing with cardboard 2 decades ago.

Would you like to spotlight some of the other team members working on Koruldia Heritage?

Yes, I mostly create Koruldia Heritage with my girlfriend and partner, but there are a few collaborators from the community and you can see the list on the “TEAM” section of our website. It’s better this way so we can update when there’s any change.

Aside from your game, what are you currently playing?

Not sure we could say I “play” my game, haha, but aside from that the last one was Nier Automata. And I loved it.

Finally, is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

We’re very happy for the support people gave us so far on our KS campaign. It feels incredible to think I’ll finally be able to 100% dedicate myself to the project - no more baby steps. We’ll make that game the best it can be.

Support Koruldia Heritage on Kickstarter here.

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