Rainbow Moon is a new RPG from the team behind Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype and the gloriously named Söldner-X: Himmelsstürmer, set to hit PSN in the coming weeks.

We spoke to Marcus Pukropski from developer SideQuest Studios about turns-based battles, Vita and the prospect of a 60-hour download game.

Push Square: Hi, thanks so much for taking a break from your busy schedule to chat to us about Rainbow Moon. For those that don’t know much about the title yet, could you give us a quick overview?

Marcus Pukropski: Many thanks for giving us this opportunity.

Rainbow Moon is a new RPG, coming soon for the PlayStation 3. The game has a strong focus on exploration (there's a huge open world plus more than 20 dungeons for the player to explore), character development and turn-based battles.

If you love RPGs from the 16/32bit era, then you will feel right at home with Rainbow Moon. The game is shown from a classic isometric perspective but of course mixed with beautiful high definition visuals and a lot of love for details.

PS: Rainbow Moon is clearly a huge departure from your previous work on the Söldner-X series. What made you decide to create a strategy role-playing game (SRPG) next?

MP: We are a small development team, which gives us lots of freedom to explore different genres. We really enjoyed working on the Söldner-X series but we never intended to keep making the same kind of games for the next decades.

Classic role-playing games (RPG) and also strategy RPGs belong to one of our most favourite genres and we briefly touched the idea of developing an SRPG before we started working on Söldner-X 2. Eventually the idea was delayed for a little while for several reasons but we are very happy that we finally made this decision. We are very satisfied with the final product and excited to receive players' responses once Rainbow Moon is available.

And who knows, maybe one day you can once again expect something completely different from us... besides a first person shooter. I am sorry Call of Duty fans, but it's not going to happen. (smiles)

PS: SRPGs were extremely popular during the original PlayStation era. Which titles in particular had an influence on the development of Rainbow Moon?

MP: Certainly not a single game in particular. Rainbow Moon probably has influences from a lot of games, such as the older Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games, Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea and other NIS games. However just like the Söldner-X series, Rainbow Moon will have its very own characteristics and plays very different from other games in the genre.

For instance, unlike most other SRPGs, we have a much stronger emphasis on exploration and our battle system is faster and easier to understand.

PS: The Söldner-X titles did an excellent job of modernising the arcade shooter. How are you hoping to evolve the SRPG with Rainbow Moon?

MP: While developing Söldner-X we always stayed true to our philosophy of following our ideas, putting a lot of efforts into game play and even smaller details and making no technical compromises. Our games are what you used to expect from games in the past: close to no loading times and constantly running smoothly at 60fps.

We received a lot of great feedback from players who enjoyed playing Söldner-X 2 and although Rainbow Moon is a completely different kind of game, you can expect no less from the game. In Rainbow Moon you will find a lot of love for details and we spent months in trying to improve and perfect game play. We are all very excited about Rainbow Moon and hopefully gamers will have as much fun playing the game as we had developing it.

Further I think it's important to point out that Rainbow Moon is not the typical kind of game that you may have in mind when thinking about strategy RPGs, which often completely focus on the battle system. We tried to create a game that also incorporates many classic RPG elements, mixed with some found in SRPGs. For example, in Rainbow Moon you will find a lot more exploration compared to the typical SRPG.

We are confident that content wise Rainbow Moon will be one of the biggest games on the PSN so far.

PS: Obviously the battle system is key to a tactical RPG, can you talk a little bit about how it works in Rainbow Moon?

MP: All battles are turn based and take place on grid sized battle maps. Up to three members of your party will engage into battles against various monsters from different classes.

Battle commands that you can execute include "move", "attack", "defend" and "skill" among various others such as using items, changing your gear or escaping battles.

Depending on your character you can execute close or long range attacks. To cast more powerful attacks, you can learn over 100 different skills. In addition there are also support skills (such as healing and analyzing enemies) along with several others.

The battle system is on the one hand more complex compared to many classic RPGs, but on the other hand it's faster and easier to learn compared to, let's say, games from the Disgaea series.

There are a lot more details that are difficult to summarize in a short answer. If you want to know more, I recommend you to visit www.rainbowmoongame.com and check out the system tab.

PS: Tell us a little about Rainbow Moon’s narrative: what kind of plot can players expect, and what were the key influences for the story?

MP: The game starts with a short introduction video. Baldren (that's the hero of the game) was cursed by his arch-rival Namoris and warped to an unknown place, called Rainbow Moon.

Once you wake up, you will take control of Baldren and have to find a way to leave the place and return back home. In the beginning Baldren will feel very annoyed by this undesired situation and the people that he meets don't really welcome him either. During your journey up to five other characters will eventually join your party. Each of the six main characters will have unique weapons and skills that will come in handy during your battles.

Overall our idea was to create an interesting setting for Rainbow Moon without a big background story, let's say something that most Zelda games aim to achieve. The focus of the game is lying in game play, including exploration of the world map, the battle system and character improvement.

PS: Despite its downloadable format, Rainbow Moon sounds like a fully-featured game. Just how much content can players expect?

MP: Rainbow Moon has turned out to be much bigger than we originally planned. To play through the main story, most players will take around 40 to 60 hours. However if you want to explore the entire game and solve all optional quests and end game content, you can easily spend 100 hours or more with the game.

We are confident that content wise Rainbow Moon will be one of the biggest games on the PSN so far.

PS: Rainbow Moon looks like it would be a perfect candidate for cross-platform play with PS Vita. Do you have any plans to bring the title to Sony’s new handheld in the future?

MP: We don't have any concrete plans but are considering the PS Vita as well as other platforms as possible candidates for future ports.

PS: You’ve been strong supporters of the PlayStation platform over the years. What is it that keeps you developing for Sony’s console?

MP: We have worked on two other PS3 games before, Söldner-X: Himmelstürmer and Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype. Overall we have become very accustomed to the platform and received great support from Sony over the years.

As a small developer, our resources are limited and we cannot work on too many platforms at the same time. But it's still possible to see Rainbow Moon or other upcoming projects on different platforms.

PS: Finally, what should we expect next from SideQuest Studios? Do you intend to extend Rainbow Moon, or are you preparing to start work on something else?

MP: Until release our focus still lies on promoting and supporting Rainbow Moon. We are considering several options for upcoming projects but at the moment it's still too early to make an announcement. This also depends on how well Rainbow Moon will be received.

PS: Thanks so much for your time. We’re really looking forward to the full release of Rainbow Moon later this year.

MP: Many thanks again for the opportunity.