When I arrived at Haunted Temple Studios, the cab driver gave me a smug look. I’d asked him to stop one door over from a strip club at what looked to be an abandoned construction area. The gears in his head were turning and his face read “this kid just doesn’t want to admit he’s going to Dreamgirls.” He continued to prod me about being in the wrong location, but my trusted iPhone assured me this was the address Jake Kazdal, founder of Haunted Temple had given me. I wandered into the construction area hoping this was the right location. The glitz and glamor of the neighbors distracting the average onlooker from the amazing gem inside an unmarked building next door made arguably the perfect metaphor for an indie studio’s plight in the industry. Inside this large open, warehouse of a building, Jake and his team were putting the finishing touches on Skulls of the Shogun, literally hours after rescuing the game from a flood.
The following article is based around an email interview conducted by our team with Jake Kazdal, CEO of Haunted Temple Studios. For the uninitiated, Haunted Temple Studios is currently developing Skulls of the Shogun for Xbox Live Arcade for Spring 2011 release.
Skulls of the Shogun is a turn based strategy title. Players take on the role of a Samurai General who was betrayed by one of his closest allies and slain in the moment of his greatest victory. Awakened in the afterlife, he finds the same opponent has betrayed him again in death. As a result, he begins a rampage trashing the laws of the Samurai afterlife as he seeks revenge.