Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Merchant of Rosewall seeks to challenge fantasy stereotypes

 Big Blue Sky Games promises big things with its debut game, Merchants of Rosewall.

A shopkeeper simulation game that lets players manage and customize their own shop, all while uncovering the mysteries of the city of Rosewall, Merchants of Rosewall wants to challenge fantasy stereotypes and conventions.

“At Big Blue Sky Games, we want to create games that feel easy to pick-up-and-play, with narratives that players haven’t seen considered in other games,” said Kevin Hovdestad, game director at Big Blue Sky Games. “With Merchants of Rosewall, we’re challenging stereotypes and conventions in the fantasy genre; we’re inviting players into an imaginative universe that breaks away from cliches and lets players experience real world issues through nuanced storytelling and complex conversations. We are excited for players to get their hands on the game later this year.”

These real-world issues include things, as summed up by GLHF.gg, such as “social inequality and the danger unchecked capitalism poses for individuals and communities.”

The fantasy genre has often been steeped in racial stereotypes, and even one of the biggest games of last year, Baldur’s Gate 3, was unable to escape it. Merchants of Rosewall wants to be that escape with its rich tapestry of characters of all shapes and sizes, including Giants, Elves, Corkgnomes, Orcs, and more. Stereotypes are out of the window this time around, and the focus is more on people working together, instead of against one another.

Merchants of Rosewall
Image Source: Big Blue Sky Games

With an enhanced shopkeeping gameplay experience, players will be able to fully participate in a vibrant world and fully shared online economy in cooperation (or competition) with their friends. Though, if you’re worried about everything going bust, then don’t be. As Hovdestad explains it to GLHF.gg, they’re got a few safeguards in place so players don’t completely ‘break’ Rosewall’s economy.

This cozy setting does require some level of planning and preparation, however. Players need to deliver to the patrons of Rosewall, either by keeping up with trends, discovering new recipes, or forging and improving relationships with other artisans and specialists so that their shop — and Rosewall as a whole — continues to thrive.

As for the people behind Merchants of Rosewall? Big Blue Sky Games prides itself on having a diverse talent pool of veteran developers from AAA backgrounds, such as Electronic Arts, Blizzard, Bungie, and PUBG.

“We’ve all seen [game development] done wrong,” Hovdestad tells GLHF.gg. “We know what it’s like to work at places with unrealistic expectations of people working long hours out of the goodness of their hearts, of people being forced to relocate to expensive cities with no accommodations. We’re on a mission to prove that it doesn’t have to be that way. We want to show that fully remote game development isn’t just possible, but healthy, and we’ve seen how healthy this has been for ourselves and want to champion it for everyone else.”

Merchants of Rosewall will release on PC via Steam in the second half of 2024.

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