Interview: Mildred’s Tarot Battle Inspires & Pays Homage To Late Betty White

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Mildred's Tarot Battle - via Beedy Beeper

Mildred’s Tarot Battle is an upcoming 2D Turn-based Strategy fighter game that offers a unique protagonist, Granny Mildred. The game features 22 cards that you can utilize on the daily adventures of Granny. Not only that, but the game offers a decent challenge that requires careful consideration of your deck to claim victory in 12 different battles. 

To discuss more on the inspiration and development milestones, we interviewed Milly Bopp from Beedy Beeper Games, over an email. 

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Mildred’s Tarot Battle – via Beedy Beeper Games

Please introduce yourself and tell us about your role on Mildred's Tarot Battle.

Milly: I’m Milly Bopp, and I started Beedy Beeper Games with programmer CarlNaut and artist/graphic designer Anna. We have worked in the gaming industry together for 7 years. Now, we’ve branched out to start our own company.

I wrote and designed Mildred’s Tarot Battle and am also the voice of Mildred and the music composer. CarlNaut managed to program the game on our visual novel engine. Anna produced all the art except for the backgrounds–this is her first time being a lead artist in a game.

What led you to create a game centered around an elderly protagonist battling her way to independence with a Tarot Deck?

Milly: I love reading tarot cards, so I knew if I did a card game, I’d want to incorporate them. We also started development around the time Betty White passed. I loved her and wanted to pay her homage. An old lady kicking ass in a fighting game seemed perfect for her!

Mildred's Tarot Battle - via Beedy Beeper Games
Mildred’s Tarot Battle – via Beedy Beeper Games

The core gameplay is a turn-based card battle system. Can you delve into the strategic elements players can expect when building their decks?

Milly: Your enemy has attacks that you need to defend against by picking a good defense card in every round, and they also have defenses you need to work around when you pick your attack card.

There are special attacks on many of the cards that can be used once per battle, but these come with a price that’s different for each battle. For the battle shown in the demo, every 3rd special attack triggers the enemy’s special attack, which takes a huge amount of hitpoints.

Can you share insights into the design process behind the 22 Card Major Arcana Base Deck and how it enhances gameplay?

Milly: We focused on the major arcana for the base deck, so cards like The Tower, The World, The Sun, etc. 

For the cards you can add to your deck, we offer the face cards for the different suits; that’s the knave, knight, king, and queen for the cups, swords, pentacles, and wands suits.

You need to decide on what your deck is lacking for attacks and defenses and pick the best cards from the random assortment you’re offered. In the full game, you’ll also need to remove a card from the base deck to replace it. So you can be strategic and get rid of the least useful cards.

Mildred's Tarot Battle - via Beedy Beeper Games
Mildred’s Tarot Battle – via Beedy Beeper Games

Will players be able to unlock additional cards or customize their decks further?

Milly: Yes. Every battle they win gives them the ability to build and customize their deck by adding one card and discarding one card.

The game promises numerous hilarious special attacks and quirky cut scenes. Can you give us a glimpse into some of the most memorable moments players can expect?

Milly: The great thing about the special attacks is that they often change in every battle. For the battle in the demo, you have the ‘Fallen’ attack, where Mildred drops to the floor and cries, ‘I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!’ to take damage from her enemy. 

Another special attack is ‘Losing It,’ where she runs around with a crazy face and freaks out the enemy. Most special attacks have special key art for Mildred and some animation.

Card Selection
Mildred’s Tarot Battle – via Beedy Beeper Games

What aspects of the game do you hope players will enjoy the most, and how does the demo represent the full experience?

Milly: I had hoped the senior representation and a spitfire of an old lady main character would have enchanted players, but so far, that’s the last thing they’re interested in. We have to strive to make it a fun, funny, and unique game, and that’s what we’re seeing people Wishlist for.

How has the feedback been until now, and what major improvements will be coming to the final release?

Milly: Every time we get Mildred in front of people, we get a flurry of Wishlists on Steam, but it’s just so hard to get the exposure. We were very disappointed with the results of the Deckbuilder Fest we were part of. They buried us. 

We’re going to keep trying, but it’s an uphill climb for a new company with new games and no kind of track record to build on. Every Wishlist we get is an accomplishment.

Card Deck
Mildred’s Tarot Battle – via Beedy Beeper Games

Can you share any insights into the development process behind creating the various battles and the ultimate boss showdown? What considerations did you take into account to ensure each encounter felt unique and challenging?

Milly: We are making games on the Ren’py engine, which is meant for creating visual novels. Why? Because that’s the one our programmer knows how to use.

While it’s very versatile, it does not allow you to use a game controller to walk a character around the screen. The game is presented like a PowerPoint presentation with mini-animations where appropriate. 

I think it works for this kind of game, but it does limit us in the kind of games we make.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about the challenges or the unique features of Mildred's Tarot Battle that haven't been mentioned yet?

Milly: Please add Mildred to your Steam Wishlist. We can’t put more money into the development of this game if we don’t see that we’re trending towards at least 7,000 Wishlists. Without that number, we’ll get zero exposure on Steam, and it will just be too difficult to be successful.  We’d appreciate it if your readers could please click the link and show Mildred some love!

Mildred’s Tarot Battle is a 2D Card Battler under development by Beedy Beeper Games. The game is slated for release on PC later this year. 

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