Garuda Saga Interview shares insights on Indian influence, in-game features, expectations, and more

KRAFTON’s upcoming fantasy-filled roguelike RPGGaruda Saga, set in an Indian-themed universe, is building its hype towards a wonderful experience. With the game now being live, the exclusively designed for India title presents a gripping plot featuring courageous hero, Garuda, where he must navigate treacherous dungeons to save his imprisoned friend, Allu. Before its launch, the GamingonPhone team sat with Anuj Sahani, Head of the KRAFTON Incubator Program and lead of Garuda Saga for an Interview to discuss some interesting details on Indian influence in the game, in-game features such as Talent Tree, expectations, and more, so let us see what the team’s thought were.

1. What inspired the development team to incorporate Indian elements such as theme, music, and backgrounds into Garuda Saga?

At KRAFTON, we are committed to the Indian market, and we are focused on elevating the gaming experience for our community. Over the years we have worked towards bringing content that resonates with the Indian audience across our titles.

Last year, we introduced the Indian Faction in our strategy game, Road To Valor: Empires, featuring characters based on Indian themes. The overwhelmingly positive response to the Indian Faction served as a testament to gamers’ interest in such content and gave us the confidence to tailor Garuda Saga for India. We look forward to bringing more such experiences to the Indian audience.

2. How did the team ensure authenticity and representation of Indian culture in Garuda Saga?

To infuse Garuda Saga with the richness of Indian culture, the KRAFTON India team partnered closely with Alchemist Games, the developer. Together, the teams worked towards incorporating authentic Indian elements into the game. One significant step was crafting an Indian-themed story. We developed a storyline centered around Allu, a ruler who deceived and betrayed and finds himself banished and imprisoned.

Garuda Saga Animal Character Game Guide CoverGaruda Saga Animal Character Game Guide Cover
Image via KRAFTON

In his time of need, he calls upon his loyal disciple, Garuda, a fearless warrior, to aid in his escape from the clutches of evil. This narrative arc mirrors the themes of loyalty, betrayal, and redemption commonly found in traditional Indian tales, adding depth and resonance to the game’s storyline. With the Indian and global teams working hand-in-hand, we were able to deliver a gaming experience that truly immersed players in Indian culture.

3. Can you touch on the unique features of Garuda Saga that set it apart from other mobile RPGs?

Apart from the distinct Indian storyline, the game offers a “Keep Growing” concept, allowing players to continually progress through various chapters. The diverse gameplay mechanics and upgrades for Abilities, Extra Skills, Magic Spells, and Acquired Skills, add depth and complexity to the gameplay, keeping players invested in their character’s development.

Additionally, upgrades for gears, pets, and cosmetics enhance customization options, allowing players to personalize their characters to suit their playstyle. There are also modes outside of the core game such as the Dimensional Gate” where players can put their skills to the test offering variety in the gameplay.

4. I see there is a plot in this game, with an emphasis on single-player. Does this mean the game has an ending? If yes, is there no scope for multiplayer in the future?

The appeal of Roguelike games often lies not just in winning but in the varied ways you can achieve victory. While the game may have a storyline, it unfolds across 10 chapters. Within each chapter lie up to 12 levels, each demanding mastery of a collection of up to 60 skills.

Garuda Saga gameplayGaruda Saga gameplay
Image via KRAFTON

This structure not only enhances the single-player experience but also provides replayability as players can choose different strategies to conquer the game. While the current focus is on single-player, the potential for multiplayer features in the future remains open as the game evolves and expands its horizons.

5. How was the initial player/testing feedback? How did it help in improving Garuda Saga?

During the soft launch phase, we received valuable insights from players that helped us identify areas for enhancement and refinement. Feedback on gameplay mechanics, user interface, and overall gaming experience provided us with valuable direction on where to focus our efforts to deliver a more enjoyable and immersive game. For instance, based on player suggestions, we’ve streamlined the tutorial to make it more concise. We are committed to continuing to listen to our players and iterating on Garuda Saga to ensure that it continues to meet and exceed their expectations. 

6. Another interesting aspect I read about is the Talent Tree. How do you see players engaging with the Talent Tree system and acquiring new skills in Garuda Saga?

The Talent Tree system in Garuda Saga offers players a highly engaging and interactive way to customize Garuda’s abilities, thereby allowing them to tailor their gameplay experience to their preferences and playstyle. By providing three distinct talent trees—Offense, Defense, and Utility—players have the freedom to choose how they want to develop Garuda’s skills. The Offense tree primarily focuses on enhancing Garuda’s offensive capabilities, enabling him to deal more damage to enemies.

Garuda Saga gameplay coverGaruda Saga gameplay cover
Image via KRAFTON

The Defense tree prioritizes Garuda’s survival, making him more resilient and harder to defeat. The Utility tree provides Garuda with backup options and strategic advantages, such as buffs upon dodging or increased stats after revival. Additionally, the progression system, where unlocking the final row of skills requires mastering each tree, incentivizes players to explore different skill combinations and experiment with various playstyles.

7. What does the game bring in for casual players who aren’t ‘dedicated’ like the rest?

Garuda Saga offers several features to ensure an enjoyable gaming experience without requiring a significant time commitment. The gameplay is easy to learn and understand, allowing players to jump into the action without feeling overwhelmed. The game incorporates elements of progression and customization, allowing players to gradually develop their character and skills over time, even with short play sessions, ideal for casual gamers.

8. Do you think Indian exclusivity is worth the risk and effort?

Garuda Saga isn’t just another game for us. It’s an immersive experience that we have worked towards curating to resonate deeply with the Indian gaming community. By infusing Indian themes, characters, and narratives, we’ve created a game that feels authentic and relatable. The risk lies in ensuring that this cultural relevance translates seamlessly into gameplay. We firmly believe that this effort is worthwhile and that there is immense potential to be explored in creating games that resonate with a community’s culture and heritage.

Garuda Saga gameplayGaruda Saga gameplay
Image via KRAFTON

India boasts a vibrant gaming ecosystem with millions of enthusiastic players. Indian exclusivity isn’t a risk; it’s an opportunity waiting to be explored. We strongly believe that there are lots of opportunities to create IPs inspired by India and created not just for India but for the world eventually. We are committed to holistically developing the gaming ecosystem in India, one step at a time.

9. What are your expectations regarding the initial response to Garuda Saga upon its release?

We are excited for the launch but we also understand that we are testing the waters with an all-new game curated specifically for India. We truly hope that it resonates with the community and that the Indian-inspired elements are exciting for players to engage with. We’re looking forward to more feedback that will come from the community and embracing it to constantly help us improve.

10. What are some future plans and updates the team has in store for Garuda Saga post-launch?

We are committed to constantly enhancing the gameplay experience for players. We’ll listen closely to player feedback fine-tune gameplay, fix bugs, and try our best to incorporate requested features. As players explore the game, we’ll also bring in regular in-game events, challenges, and surprises to keep the community engaged. Our updates will be directed at constantly letting players customize the features and gameplay to the greatest extent possible, as per their preferences.

If you enjoyed reading this Garuda Saga Interview, feel free to read our other interviews

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