Relic Odyssey Ruins of Xantao

Exclusive Indie Spotlight: The Making of “Relic Odyssey”, Honour Bound’s Epic Quest

Within the indie game development landscape, passion and unbridled creativity reign supreme. Smaller studios, unbound by the expectations and pressures placed upon larger entities, have a unique freedom to explore unconventional concepts, experimental gameplay, and deeply personal stories. Honour Bound Game Studios, quietly nestled in Ottawa, Canada, exemplifies this spirit.

Their debut title, "Relic Odyssey: Ruins of Xantao," is a testament to the captivating worlds and experiences that can flourish from studios with a genuine love for crafting games. In an insightful interview with CEO Richard Lalancette, Geekin' explored the studio's founding principles, the triumphs and complexities of indie development, and their boundless enthusiasm for shaping the future of gaming.

Relic Odyssey screenshot 1
Fight alien creatures with weapons you can craft

Overcoming Obstacles: The Indie Developer's Journey

Richard's candor regarding the hurdles indie studios encounter illuminates the sheer determination needed to thrive in a competitive industry. While many dream of making games, turning that aspiration into a sustainable business model is no easy feat. His reflections on finding a unique voice and establishing a direct connection with players strike at the heart of long-term success.

His idea of increased cooperation amongst indie studios is particularly compelling. Through sharing knowledge, resources, and perhaps even cross-promoting titles, the indie community could create a mutually beneficial network. This could become a revolution, allowing studios to compete with their AAA counterparts while retaining the flexibility that grants them creative freedom. Collaboration would empower smaller studios to take calculated risks, cater to specialized audiences, and react swiftly to the gaming landscape's ever-evolving preferences.

 I think there's a need for an evolution for indie studios. Either we team up together somehow, or we form an organization that is an aggregate of all the other studios or something like that. Right. Then we can kind of support each other in the same way AAA’s do with their departments.

Richard Lalancette, taking about how Indie studios can team up and help each other.

Let's imagine a scenario where an indie studio specializing in captivating narratives teams up with one renowned for visually stunning level design. By pooling their talents, they could produce a captivating game that neither team could likely achieve on their own. This cooperative spirit could extend to marketing, where studios could cross-promote each other's titles, tapping into a broader audience and fostering a groundswell of excitement within the indie gaming community. Richard's vision for a more united indie scene is a potent reminder that even small studios can become influential forces when they come together.

Transparency, Kindness, and Respect: Honour Bound's Core Values

“ I'd like to start a studio and see how it is. I know it's going to be a lot of work and a lot of ramp up, but it was very rewarding. So I left Warner Brothers and then I just basically took a few courses and then here we go.”

Richard Lalancette, talking about Honour Bound's values.

The cornerstone of Honour Bound Game Studios is refreshingly clear – it's the realization of a childhood dream and a desire to foster a more welcoming space within the gaming world. Richard's insistence on transparency and respect resonates with a growing call from players for a genuine connection with developers.

The studio's name itself embodies these values, creating an environment where open communication is integral to the development process. This dedication to transparency shines through in more than just words. Honour Bound actively seeks player input, not only through surveys and forums but through the bold decision to launch "Relic Odyssey" in early access.

This provides players with hands-on experience, generating invaluable insights that guide the game's final form. By cultivating a sense of community and treating players as esteemed collaborators, Honour Bound cultivates a loyal, dedicated following eager to champion their work.

Relic Odyssey: An Adventure Unfolds

Richard's description of "Relic Odyssey: Ruins of Xantao" as a tantalizing blend of FPS, action-adventure, and RPG elements left us excited to venture into its mysterious world. Their dedication to the early access model speaks volumes about their development approach. By embracing early access, Honour Bound Game Studios demonstrates the philosophy that the journey is as vital as the final product.

It's an opportunity to develop a strong bond with their player base, allowing them to continually improve the game in tandem with real-time feedback. This direct line of communication ensures "Relic Odyssey" doesn't merely meet standards; it surpasses them. Players become invested in the game's development, feeling like co-creators who help influence the very experience they'll enjoy. Indie studios that successfully leverage early access aren't just selling games; they're building communities.

While artfully maintaining an air of mystery, Richard shared glimpses of the enthralling narrative in "Relic Odyssey." Players are thrust directly into an expeditionary mission tasked with discovering the fate of a vanished archaeological team on the enigmatic planet Valtar. The narrative unfolds as players discover a richly detailed world, piecing together the secrets of a long-lost civilization known as the Xantao.

This civilization's mastery of Xantao technology is a pivotal theme. The physics-warping glove enables players to manipulate their surroundings in imaginative ways, while the colossal drilling rig hints at unlocking new avenues for exploration and resource gathering.

Clunky, the endearing robot sidekick, injects a dose of charm and humor into the adventure while also likely providing valuable tactical support. These Xantao tools seem poised to define the game's experience, offering a distinctive gameplay loop that empowers players to engage with the world in uniquely memorable ways.

clunky 04 with bg copy
Clunky is the robotic sidekick character of the game. He is also the icon for Relic Odyssey: Runes of Xantao

The Kickstarter Boost: Expanding Horizons

Honour Bound's Kickstarter campaign is a testament to their grand aspirations. Its success would enable them to elevate the game across multiple fronts, expanding the world with a sky-based level, larger-scale world bosses, and an expansive orchestral soundtrack.

Richard's unwavering determination to deliver a satisfying experience, regardless of the campaign's outcome, is both commendable and reassuring. He demonstrates a true understanding of the enduring value offered by indie studios – an unwavering passion for the project will forever remain their top priority.

You can support Honour Bound Studio's kickstarter campaign here!

The Future is Bright: Limitless Potential

The future of Honour Bound Game Studios gleams brightly. While fully focused on the imminent launch of "Relic Odyssey," their minds are overflowing with potential paths forward. Whether it's a sequel expanding the established universe or a bold entry into an entirely new genre, their core principles will remain unwavering.  They demonstrate a willingness to adapt, allowing them to seamlessly integrate feedback and explore new horizons without sacrificing the quality their audience has come to expect.

Looking Ahead

Our conversation with Richard Lalancette solidified Geekin's conviction that the indie scene is the beating heart of the gaming industry. Honour Bound Game Studios encapsulates the virtues of sincerity, innovation, and a genuine desire to connect with players.

Whether you're a seasoned gamer in search of a fresh adventure or simply interested in the exciting world of indie titles, "Relic Odyssey: Ruins of Xantao" promises an experience worth embarking on. The journey of Honour Bound Game Studios is one to keep on your radar, and I, for one, eagerly await their future contributions to this vibrant world.

Stay Involved! Follow Honour Bound Game Studios on their website, Twitter, and Discord for the latest news, a peek behind the development curtain, and the opportunity to contribute to the game's evolution.

Discover "Relic Odyssey: Ruins of Xantao" trailer below!

Cedric is the founder of Geekin' and is passionate about pop and geek culture. He's been a geek for as long as he can remember and decided to create the Geekin' online platform to regroup geeks in Mauritius. He loves to write about different subjects, namely tech and gaming!

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