A Star Trader is You! Interview with Andrew Trese of Trese Brothers Games Studio

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A Star Trader is You!

Interview with Andrew Trese of Trese Brothers Games Studio

*** THIS JUST IN!! STAR TRADERS 2 WILL BE A REALITY. THEY WERE FUNDED AND THERE IS STILL TIME TO HELP THEM HIT STRETCH GOALS!! See the link in this article to help them out! The gaming community needs and deserves to keep Developers like this going and strong. Thank you!***

With over 1000 updates across 6 games and a massive, thriving game community; Trese Brothers Games Studio has since 2010 brought some of the best gaming available today to its fans. It all started with a little gem called Star Traders RPG,  released on the Android platform. That game has not just changed the lives of its creators but has also been a catalyst in shaping a successful business model for the true power of Independent Developers in the gaming industry. All hail the future of Indie Devs!

Star Traders RPG was pretty original in scope. While it includes some fairly basic marketing and trading ideas: ie buying supplies and goods from one planet and selling them at another with the familiar mechanics of ‘buy low, sell high’ that any gamer who has played Dope Wars or any similar type ‘trading’ game would recognize; it also gives a lot more.
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Under the hood the mechanics are far deeper. Your Captain actually has stats and gains experience. You can recruit crew members and search alien planets.  Of course, who could have a space opera-esque game without crucial ‘ship-on-ship’ combat? The best part is that you can actually board ships and fight there…even taking the enemy crew as captive personnel to replace any lost crew.

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View from upcoming ST2

As I don’t want this to be a full review of the game, I at least wanted to gloss over a few of the features that made (and still make) this gem shine. So, my final words before the interview are this: The Trese Brothers know how to make a game that is fulfilling and still retain some brutal difficulty.  You can set the difficulty level and play as casually as you wish…or go for even deeper and tougher gameplay that is, at times, especially ruthless. The choice is yours.
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Andrew, thank you for taking the time to interview for this piece.

*What made you get into creating games?

I am not sure exactly why Cory and I started making games. We created our first game together when I was in first grade, about six or seven years old.  We got a giant piece of paper, the kind you could roll out from a spindle, and drew a sprawling dungeon map on it.  Then we drew things into the rooms in each part of the dungeon – a wolf, a murky lake, a pile of gold.  We played by pointing to a room and saying, “I go there.”  And the other brother would make up what was in the room. It was wildly rudimentary, which is perfect because it was all about imagination. That is the first game I can remember making with Cory, and once we started we never really stopped.
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*What is your current project?

We are in the final 10 days of our Star Traders 2 KickStarter! This is a game that our community has been asking about for over four years now, and we are so excited to be working on it again.  In this space RPG and trading sim, you are the Captain of a space faring ship.  As you travel the open world universe, you’ll make choices that will define your morality, friends, and career. It’s a game all about having the freedom to live, fight (or not fight), and die in a deep setting with rich history and a colorful backdrop of political and economic turmoil.

*You’ve made 6 games so far, and are working on your 7th. What is your favorite game you have made and why?

For me, it’s about the genres.  In my years as a pen and paper RPG, I have always gravitated toward cyberpunk worlds and fantasy RPGs.  Cory has more Pirate and Space Pirate in his blood.  For me, Heroes of Steel is my favorite game, simply because it was such a revolutionary moment in Trese Brothers progression.  If you hold Cyber Knights up next to Heroes of Steel, you can see Heroes is a really a giant leap forward for us, in every aspect of our work.
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*To many, this is a dream job. What tips would you give to other Independent Developers or someone looking to start?

Share your game.  Don’t hide it.  That might mean post it early, or sharing a dev blog, or starting a forum and a closed alpha.  But find ways to start building a fan base and getting feedback.  Developing in a vacuum is not the best environment and you can go astray without realizing it if you don’t have other people giving feedback.  You’ve got to make a game that you love, but that others love.  So, share early!

*What do you attribute to Trese Brothers success?

Trese Brothers has a couple of core mission statements that have really helped us stick out.  They make us who we are, they are what our gamers remember most about us, and I think they are why we have a killer community – the very best, in my humble opinion.  They are to

(1) treat other gamers as we would want to be treated, which means no ads, low permissions, no crappy IAPs, pay-to-win or pay-to-play-now.  I don’t play any game that includes that junk, so I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else!

(2) deliver amazing customer service and true community engagement.  We put our personal emails out there, we respond to every request and question.  We believe customer service and community engagement are huge parts of what makes Trese Brothers … us!  We read every forum post, and have made over 26,000 posts on our forum.  Hours a day go into talking with our fans and communities – but let me say, i there is one reason why we will succeed with the Star Traders 2 KickStarter – it is because of our amazing community.

*Is there any game/type/genre you’d eventually like to tackle?

I’ve always wanted to make a game in the village building genre.  My mind wanders the village into a place with dark woods, scary nights more and more often these days. Something kind of Transylvania, which would put the village in really dire straits.  I love games with permadeath, so I’d love to see a kind of “how long can you survive?” village builder.

*What features are you most excited about that will make your new game different from your others and stand out?

I can’t wait to turn procedural generation and simulation models against relationships in Star Traders 2.  I am really excited to see how crew, officers, your Captain, and the planet-based characters of the Factions all get to know each other, love each other, or hate each other.  Every will have their own strengths, quirks, and weaknesses.  Much of their character will be hidden unless you learn more about them, so there will be a really exciting social ecosystem to navigate.  You’re going to have friends and enemies, loyalists, friends, and nemesis. I think its going to create an amazingly compelling story, like watching a series like Firefly.
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*You make games all day, in addition to wearing multiple hats within the company and its administrative tasks, so what do you like to do in your free time?

I have to admit, right now there isn’t a lot of free time.  The KickStarter is a full time job, and we are also developing and updating all of our other 6 games at the same time – releases out every week! 

But, I still love to run pen and paper RPGs.  I just wrapped up a year long campaign in the Heroes of Steel world with five friends of mine.  It wasn’t the story from the game, but it shared a lot and the two cross-pollinated each other – a great experience.

I’m also like my seasonable sports and activities – skiing, running, training for short and long races and the like.  Having exercise every day is a huge part of keeping myself sane so I can keep up with the break-spine pace of our day to day lives as game developers.

We hope you will join the our Star Traders 2 KickStarter project and help us make the game a big success.
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https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tresebrothers/star-traders-2-rpg

And follow us on Twitter!  Say hi:
https://twitter.com/TreseBrothers

And, find us every day on the Trese Brothers forum:
http://startradersrpg.proboards.com/

   This recent game has just moved into bigger exposure. There are now over 1000+ Captains who have back Star Traders RPG 2 and the project was just given front page treatment by being picked as a Kickstarter Staff Pick. 10 days to go in funding to get the minimum funding of the project and it is projected to be released next year. It is indeed a lofty idea for mobile gaming…but if anyone can do it, these guys and the awesome community can. Please help them today!

-Thank you for taking the time to read and enjoy this today. All of their current games can be found in the Google Play store (search Trese); and a few of them can even be found on iOS, Steam, Kindle, and Desura.
–Harbinger Owl of Syn
(As always, please feel free to share…comment…and I’ll see you next time!)