"Ashes of Kanaka", the Challenges and its Future Ahead / by Xiaosong Shang

Hello everyone! Sam Martino here.

So last time I said I would talk more detail about something I’ve kind of glazed over on our different social media accounts, but I wanted to really put down here what we want to do with a 3D Ashes of Kanaka, and the challenges that we face with trying to do something like that.

So when looking at what we want to do, a bunch of questions came up. Do we still want it to be a JRPG, or do we want to go more towards a Mass Effect style RPG where your squad mates fight with you in real time? This would ultimately be a big decision that we would approach our community about first, but we have a feel people would want us to go with the action RPG style. Now this is totally doable, but our production would increase so much to create a competent AI for your squad mates.

We also want to make the cities be what we had fully intended them to be. Los Postres would have more than one casino (and they would be functional!), and Umbriol would feel like a real capital city. The amount of custom assets we would need to create would require a full 3D team working just get this game built in a reasonable amount of time.

Then, we would ensure that the characters are all at an incredible level of quality. We would recreate every character in ZBrush, built and animated to feel even more real and believable. We wanted our characters to feel like squad mates and friends, not just generic meat shields that follow you around. This was a lot easier to do in a 2D game with no facial expressions or animations, but that would change drastically by putting it into a 3D space. This is something we’ve been playing with already to see how we can bring the Ashes characters to life.

On top of all of this, we have been talking about all the features we want add, not just talking about the story content that we couldn’t put in the original Ashes because of the engine limitations. We want Ashes to be a fulfilling RPG experiences that doesn’t end once you get the true ending. We have played with the ideas of real character relationship experiences as well as side content games. Think in Yakuza 0 where you can run a hostess club or the real estate business, we think adding that kind of content would add a lot to the game.

Granted, these are just our initial ideas, and the Ashes remake is sadly ways off, but we are looking into it and we think that is something that will really engage all of our players. If you have any suggestions, please email us at smartino@dogwoodgaming.com. We will actually take your suggestions into consideration, we want this remake to be amazing for new players, but also add what existing players would want to see.

I feel like I should take a break from talking about Dogwood and talk a bit about some of the games that inspire me to do what I do, so next time I will delve deeper into some of my favorite games, what I think makes them so great, and how I try to incorporate them into the games we make.

As always, please reach out to me at smartino@dogwoodgaming.com with any comments or questions. I always love hearing from you guys!