×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Inspired by Rajasthan landscape, couple develops Indian village-based game, set to release on Xbox: Report

Sen's husband Mridul worked on the game design and programming. Microsoft (Xbox), Netflix, and the SERB INAE grant supported the couple and helped their concept become reality as a game. The couple launched their game last month on Steam where it is priced at Rs 440
Last Updated : 08 July 2024, 13:13 IST

Follow Us :

Comments

A couple was on a tour to one of the famous folk places of the country, Rajasthan where they hatched an idea to develop a video game based on an Indian village. Mala Sen and her husband Mridul Kashatria shelled approximately $120,000 or ~Rs 1 crore and developed The Palace on the Hill that the couple says will be available on Xbox along with Android and iOS mobile users from August.

The couple have their own studio namely Niku Games that they set up after 2015. Sen who is a visual designer told Indian Express that the game developed by the couple is driven with a story that is connected to India.

Check out the trailer here:

“Video games are a form of expression, just like art, films, or books. They have a lot of parts to them… there’s writing, there’s music, there’s art, animation, programming, and game design. Only when all these elements come together can you make a game,” she asserted.

The couple conceptualised the game in 2016, but as it could not materialise then, Sen and Mridul worked around developing smaller games during Covid-19 to further fuel their idea of The Palace on the Hill.

A trained textile artist of Ravindra Kala Bhavana, Sen used many elements from Kangra miniature paintings in the game. She said that the music in The Palace on the Hill also reflects the classical Indian rhythm, with flute and tabla. A music composer Srikant Krishna who also worked with A R Rahman helped the couple with the music for their game.

How did the couple crack the idea of this game?

Recalling her trip to a fort in Rajasthan, Sen explains: “On one of our travels to Rajasthan, we found the Kumbhalgarh Fort, situated on rolling hills. Around the fort were ruins that looked so beautiful, lonely, and mysterious. We trekked through those ruins, and at the bottom of the rolling hills was a little valley with a very scenic village. That sparked our imagination, and we thought this would be the perfect setting for a video game adventure.”

Referring to the childhood stories that she heard from her parents, Sen told IE, “It is based on our childhood and travels across India. Both my partner and I are from different parts of India. We put elements of our travels and childhood together.”

“We like adventure games, so the ruins surrounding the village were a nice setting to have… a kid who grew up in this village, and he goes on this adventure to discover the past and what the stories are,” she added.

She went to explain: “We first made the world, and we developed some mechanics, and then we created a demo and tested it. Based on feedback, we improved and refined the story. It took us about three and a half to four years to develop the game.”

The support during development phase

Sen's husband Mridul worked on the game design and programming. Microsoft (Xbox), Netflix, and the SERB INAE grant supported the couple and helped their concept become reality as a game.

The couple launched their game last month on Steam where it is priced at Rs 440, and can be played in multiple languages, including English, Hindi, Bangla, Indonesian, German, and Swedish.

“Games can’t be made by just a programmer. You need people who are creative in writing, music, and game design. It’s an entertainment product, so we need a lot of creative fields to come together to make good games,” Sen describes.

Story of The Palace on the Hill

The game is themed around an Indian village from 1990s. The storyline speaks of one Veer whose father is a debt-laden farmer.

The game shows Veer finding out about an art exhibition to be held at a school to promote art and culture. This is when he meets his childhood friend Savum who is co-incidentally the daughter of the school principal where the exhibition would be held.

The story goes on to show that Savi had returned to Veer's village after a long time as she had departed for the city. Savi however is also motivated by curiosity to unravel details about history and ancient ruins. Sen explains that Veer and Savi both decide to uncover the history of ruins around their village in the game, and later present them as artworks in the exhibition.

“It’s a story about a princess, and there is a story within the story of the ruins,” Sen adds.

ADVERTISEMENT
Published 08 July 2024, 13:13 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT