Interview with Linky 317, Creator of Radiant Arc
Linky 317 is one of my closest online friends. We regularly hang out on Twitch / Discord. His game, Radiant Arc, was the first RPG Maker game I’ve finished. After playing his game, I decided I wanted to make my own game. Throughout the creation of my game, Linky has been very helpful, especially when I first started.
About the Game
How was this game born?
Linky: Started off as a grade 12 science project done on Python using Maplestory sprites. I hard coded it and it was a mess but I got a great grade on the project. I got inspired to make a full RPG game so I decided to look into RPG Maker VX Ace when my school went on strike. I was inspired heavily by Final Fantasy IV and a lot of games I liked at the time and I wanted to make my own story. The VX Ace version of Radiant Arc was messy but it was really fun to make and a great learning experience. When RPG Maker MV was announced, I decided to restart the Radiant Arc project with much higher standards and quality control.
What was your role in the game?
Linky: Everything except writing. I outsourced artwork to people I knew.
Ori: I’m the lead writer for Radiant Arc, though there were about 4-5 others who worked on the game before me. I am responsible for most of the story and character dialogue. However, Linky was the project lead so he had final say in the creative process.
How did you get involved in the industry?
Linky: I’m still a student in the Hotel and Restaurant industry. Game making is just a hobby though I have had ideas about studying it in College.
Ori: Linky reached out to me to write for him. I’ve always considered myself an amateur writer, only ever writing fanfiction and school reports. I never thought I’d find myself writing for a game.
What makes this game special?
Linky: To be honest nothing special but it was a passion project. I feel it has heart and is a very solid full length RPG Maker JRPG.
Ori: …Considering that it has been at most a 2-man project for the majority of its development, I honestly can’t say that this game is really at all special. It’s just a game that had a lot of work and effort put into it, and I believe that shows.
What games influenced this one the most?
Linky: Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy 15, Super Mario RPG: Legend of 7 Stars, League of Legends, FF Brave Exvius.
Any fun stories or wild moments during development?
Linky: Wild moment was when I lost my bust character artist near the end. I had to get my cutscene artist to mimic art for the last few characters.
Ori: While beta-testing for the game, I had reached the Seperus fight at the very end. I had defeated him after a long, arduous fight. As I was relishing in my victory, I noticed a very familiar cutscene sequence play: The part where the player were first introduced to Gabriel and Nuria, in Louna, near the beginning of the game.
A sense of dread filled me as my dialogue played. There was no scenery, just a black screen with the text box opened. Then, as I feared, the black screen lit up to reveal Louna proper.
I had been sent back. Back to the past, like Samurai Jack.
I was hard locked from finishing the game, since my only means of getting back was the airship, which was still on the island that was accessible only through the airship. I ended up never being able to finish the game, just having Linky say “Eh, you got close enough. You win.”
About the Game Creators
What were the major lessons learned?
Linky: Maintain a standard from the start and do not add unnecessary content and features. Always favour the player and create a smooth playing experience.
Ori: Make sure every character has their part to play in the story. Do not show favoritism to certain characters over others. Expand upon characters to give them a quality backstory that makes the player invested into them.
Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?
Linky: I think older gameplay mechanics are good, but it is very important to update and modernize. Radiant Arc has pretty old school mechanics, but at the same time it is modernized and with plenty of Quality of Life for the players in mind.
Ori: I believe that it is always important to pay homage to older mechanics, but as games evolve it is even more important to adapt and improve upon them. Find what works and improve upon it. Refine the gameplay and remove unnecessary aspects that don’t accentuate or distract from the core of the game.
What’s your favorite memory as a gamer?
Linky: Reaching Diamond rank in League of Legends and joining my school’s Esports team. It was a really fun team experience and I learned the amount of effort needed by pro gamers. As well, winning things from local events.
Ori: One of my favorites was just playing through Dragon Age: Origins. I just remember how encapsulating and entrancing the world was, how strong the characters were (especially Morrigan), and the satisfaction I got from completing the game.
How do you want this game to be remembered?
Linky: As a solid JRPG-style RPG Maker game. Which it has been.
Ori: I want this game to be remembered as a standard of what JRPG-style RPG Maker games should be. Not as any asset flipper or cash grab, but as something with actual thought and emotion put into it.
Linky: Radiant Arc: The After Years, the direct sequel to Radiant Arc. There is also a plan for a prequel after this one for a trilogy.
Anything else you would like to add?
Linky: Come with a plan or leave in defeat. Boom Beach.
Ori: I genuinely hope that Radiant Arc becomes a game that people can point to and say “That’s a pretty good game.” I know that we’ll likely never reach the status that games like “Ib” and “Forest of Drizzling Rain” have, but I hope that with Radiant Arc we’ll have people look forward to more titles from us.
The title art of this post is from the Radiant Arc Sequel. Title art by Nikkikaji.