Omega Strikers is a free-to-play cross-platform 3v3 knockout striker for the next generation of players. The game is an innovative blend of the best parts of modern competitive multiplayer games, weaving in goal-focused objectives, physical fun and knockouts, and character depth and mastery into thrillingly fast-paced matches.
The game is currently in its closed beta, and so far the community responses have been nothing but positive. They recently announced that the game will officially launch in February 2023, bringing full crossplay between mobile, PC, and various console systems.
Meet Aesop, the Senior Community manager at Odyssey Interactive. As his position suggests, he is the one that really listens to what the community has to say. Inven Global had a chance to speak with Aesop to receive insight on Omega Strikers, why the community responded so positively about the game, as well as some of the initiatives that Odyssey Interactive is pushing in the near future.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers, as well as what your responsibilities are at Odyssey?
My name is Travis, and I go by Aesop online. I’m the Senior Community Manager at Odyssey Interactive. I do all the community stuff for Omega Strikers, as well as social networks, and I even get to write voice lines.
Tell me about how the Odyssey Interactive team came together to develop this game, as well as your journeys leading up to working with these guys.
The company’s composed of industry veterans; former people from Riot, Apex, as well as from other parts of the gaming industry. Super experienced and super smart people came together and said, “Hey, we want to make a sick game.” That’s how Odyssey Interactive started in a nutshell. For myself, I previously worked on Eternal Return, and I left to join Odyssey because I felt that everyone at Odyssey was super smart and talented.
When I first started, I think my visions were very aligned with the company. They were making a competitive game for the next generation of gamers, there’s a lot of passion in it, there weren't any pay-to-win aspects of the game, as well as no NFTs involved. So it’s a very fun and fair game. What they were doing really aligned with what I wanted to do, so it felt like a dream fit to work for a company with similar values.
“Omega Strikers builds upon the lessons our veteran team has learned running some of the most popular multiplayer games in the world.” were the words spoken by the founder of Odyssey, Dax Andrus. What are some of those lessons? How is Odyssey exactly doing things differently?
Each employee in their tenure learned different lessons, approaches, and how to iterate on things. A lot of that carried over to what we do today. For example, our team is very collaborative. Everyone’s working together all the time, and it’s easy to get help from each other. There isn’t much hierarchy or any red tape that you have to go through. If you need help, then it’s only a message away.
I’m essentially a liaison between the company and our community. Whatever feedback they may have about the game, both in the present and in the future, I listen to what the community has to say and make adjustments and improvements. I push out messages to people through our socials and Discords, you know, talking to the players. I also get to write stupid tweets.
For me, I’m just in charge of community, but I talk to the engineers about getting the essential and the valuable assets out, and it’s very easy to work with them in gettting things together. The way it’s being done is very efficient, and I think that’s rare.
Was there anything within your responsibilities that you initially didn’t anticipate? How did you tackle such problems?
When we ship stuff out, we’re very player focused, so we try to anticipate what it’ll look like and how people will receive it. There were a lot of things that our team of 30-something can look at and playtest the game all day and they’ll look fine before release, but once it’s released, not only the volume of feedback about our initiatives immense, they come back almost instantly because of how so many players are queuing up for matches at the same time.
I can’t really think of a specific example off the top of my head, but we’re able to act on what the players give us in terms of feedback and how they feel about the game. Based on the data that we get from our players, the balance, for example, is in a pretty good spot, but it’s things between the lines that may come unexpected at times.
One video I watched from a top player of Omega Strikers pointed out that the game lacked information on the in-game positions. How did the company respond to similar feedback?
Perhaps. We wanted there to be flexibility when it came down to it, where we wanted the players to have their own take on the meta. For example, you can have one Forward that only wants to score, one midfielder that’s only looking to brawl with their opponents, and one goalie to protect the net. You can also have a comp that has one goalie and two midfielders, so right now, it’s good to keep the explanations to a minimum.
It ties back with one of the lessons that we learned in our previous tenures. I previously worked on Eternal Return, and in it, there’s a lot of information you have to absorb. As a new player, you don’t want to read a novel before jumping into the game, so we wanted to make it more accessible, but also provide a level of depth for the top players of the game through playing the game.
My initial thoughts on the game was that it has both casual and competitive appeal, where I can imagine both kids and adults really enjoying this game. However, it was almost surprising to see the competitive aspects of the game really bloom even before the official release. What can you tell me about how Odyssey approaches both the casual and the competitive aspect of the game?
For casual appeal, it goes back to making the game easy to pick up and have fun with it. Accessibility on mobile devices, for example, is customizable to fit the control layout that’s the most comfortable with the players.
As for the competitive appeal, there’s layers of depth through character release, a complex training system is there for players to test various things about the game. Casual players tend to overlook such things and use the default settings on the Gunner62 Google Doc. There is a level of depth for the players that take the game a lot more seriously, which naturally gravitates towards the various tournaments that we host.
One thing that really struck out was how much interest it received from the content creators. Tell me about the Omega Strikers Vs event that took place, and what were some of the good and the bad you took away from it?
Everybody seemed to really enjoy it, they had fun with it, picked up the game pretty easily with their friends, and shared the game with each other, so the response has been positive overall. A lot of people were saying that there weren’t any games out there where you can pop in with your friends and pick it up. It was nice to see creators and get their friends into it.
We’re already working on how we can do our next events better. We listened to what the creators and their audiences had to say, and one of the biggest complaints was that you can play with people and play the game, but can’t really communicate with your teammates. We’re adding a little in-game ping system. Adding a chat will lead to some people flaming each other, like how it is in League of Legends.
It’s also interesting to see so much time and effort working with universities, as well as Vtubers via invitational-style tournaments. Tell me about those initiatives, as well as some of similar initiatives of the future.
A lot of universities/colleges have these esports clubs. I mean, everybody plays video games in college, right? I was even in an esports club when I was in college. I think it’s easier for three college students to team up and compete, in comparison to needing more players in other games. It’s also easy to spectate, and the game itself stems from traditional sports, with the whole ‘ball go into net’ concept being around for centuries. On top of all this, there are scholarship incentives for the kids, as well as having in-game aesthetics included in the game, so it made it easier to partner up with schools.
On the other hand, Vtubers like to play games to begin with, the anime aesthetics of the game is a thematic fit that comes naturally, and it’s well received by the Vtubers and their audiences, so we said, “Why not?”
What’s your take on some of the differences between the Western market and the Eastern market?
Hmm… That’s a good question. When I worked on Eternal Return, I was the one American guy in a Korean company, so my focus was on the Western market. Collaborations with K-pop artists is one thing that comes to mind. Eternal Return collaborated with a group called ‘Aespa’, and although it’s going to be a while until Omega Strikers collaborates with them, maybe a collaboration with Aespa will come somewhere down the road.
In terms of gameplay, what can the fans anticipate from the official launch that they haven’t seen from the closed beta?
We got full crossplay for the official release, we got at least two to three characters left until the official release, more skins, more cosmetics, more maps; there’s just more of everything that the fans can enjoy, both pre and post official launch.
Lastly, what are some of the events that the fans can anticipate about the game in the coming months?
To those that have played the game, I want to thank them for their support. Thank you for playing the game, having fun with it, and telling friends about it. I got like a million DMs from people reacting so positively about the game and even thanking me for creating Omega Strikers, so I’m super honored to hear such positive responses.
We do have some stuff coming in November. I can’t give too much details on it, but I think it’s really cool and fans will definitely enjoy it. We also have a Halloween event coming up as well, so please look forward to it.
Lastly, for those that haven’t played the game yet, what are you waiting for? You’re missing out!
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports