Hundreds of stunning hand-drawn art panels, an original fantasy adventure, and 3D combat inspired by real Kung-Fu masters.
Developed by Lofty Sky Entertainment Inc. Shuyan Saga is a visual novel that includes a unique 3D combat system. We had a chance to talk with producer Jason Loftus about the game and the inspiration behind this narrative-driven the action graphic novel.
The creative team used Chinese mythology and lore to build their original story that follows protagonist Shuyan on her quest to defend her kingdom. Daxiong (DC, Dark Horse) was brought on board to help the authenticity of the art and story. He created over 1400 illustrated panels of hand-drawn art to bring this story to life.
The Canadian based team wanted to create a story that conveyed the personal growth that comes from learning martial arts and rather than a typical beat ’em up. The visual novel was an ideal medium for this because it allowed them to explore the narrative in a more meaningful way for the team. They wanted to incorporate those martial arts into the game which is where Shuyan Saga diverges from its genre a bit.
Coupled with the directed narrative Lofty Sky has developed a unique Kung-Fu combat system. Great care was taken creating the over 300 combat animations. Animators used real Kung-Fu to inform the combat including using motion capture footage of Shifu Longfei Yang, Master of the Shanxi Praying Mantis Style. This allows players to take on your enemies in both Focus battles and Arena 3D battles.
Along with getting top talent to provide the art, composition, and martial arts choreography Jason wanted an actress who could elevate the game’s voice work in the same manner. Their casting process found them Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) to be the voice of Shuyan. Although new to gaming Kristin took on the character because she felt the Lofty Sky had struck the right balance between the narrative and combat and had created something “uplifting and inspiring”. You can watch my full interview with Kristin here.
Lofty Sky Entertainment Inc is working to broaden international distribution for Shuyan Saga including a console release eventually, but it is right now available on Steam.