We asked MezzanineStairs to share a few words about their inspiration and experience developing last month's first-place contest winner, "World's End Chapter 3":
MezzanineStairs: We had been collaborating on musical projects for years, and were both fans of the strategy RPG genre. One of us had programming experience, and the other had a story in mind, so we decided to create an SRPG of our own.
Our design direction was inspired by features typical to SRPGs that we wanted to avoid (grinding, perma-death, no mid-battle saving), and shaped by the challenges of adapting a fairly serious genre to be accessible to more casual players. We combined our favorite elements from games including Tactics Ogre, Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, Advance Wars, X-COM, the Gold Box series and River City Ransom, and wound up with a game that is still considered too difficult by many, but an appreciated challenge by our fans.
Congrats to all the winners!