In today’s ID @ Xbox fiesta, you’ll likely have timed Death’s Door, a game where a little sword-wielding raven did it with a rocket-powered cathedral, among other things. This is the new game from Acid Nerve, the two-man studio behind Titan Souls, a tense, one-hit boss hunter. It’s coming to Xbox and PC soon – “We’re now getting to the final stages, just to tweak and fix bugs, so we expect it to be released this summer,” designer David Fenn tells me – and it looks extremely good. .
The premise – not that this kind of raven-stinging action on the castle needs a lot of embellishment – is that the little bird is a reaper, who must tackle collecting the souls of the people in a world where the people and things no longer die naturally. You report to tired bureaucrats, also crows, who have to keep doing this soul harvesting job to survive, but one day one of your great souls gets robbed, which is not good, and let’s go: the laser cathedral. Boss frog. Waves of gelatinous drops and bubbling danger set in a world of eerily touchable Gothic plasticine.
Death’s Door – Reveal Trailer
His Titan Souls lineage seems clear, obviously in those structured, big versus small boss fights, but also in the slightly dismal tone between the action (I saw a slightly different streak than the one above, with a bit more of the fight – it looks very, very good). And yet Death’s Door is actually quite different. “A bit the opposite”, in fact, as his colleague Mark Foster puts it. Titan Souls was built on a single, very specific idea: a “you get one” game jam prompt that gave what Fenn called a sort of “classic indie elegance – where there is none. really has no words, no user interface, everything is as effective as minimal as possible. “
Death’s Door is “a bit of the same philosophy,” Foster says, “but more so: what could we do with a formula?” It’s really a Zelda game: health points, sword fights, those gooey worlds and what appear to be dungeons, a real user interface. The goal here was for Acid Nerve to see what they could do within the walls of the genre.
“It was really liberating,” Foster says, “because compared to Titan Souls in particular, it was just really stripped down, really specific – there’s no room to ‘move’ too much there. sort of explored everything we could with So with this you could take that Zelda formula and do a lot of different things with it: you could say Dark Souls is derivative of Zelda or you could say Hyper Light Drifter is. Put our own spin on it, and does what we thought was cool with that formula here. “
Fenn relished it – “I was just for: No, let’s just have a good game, let’s just give him an inventory, let’s give him a story where there can be characters talking! I wanted to go this time- this. “
It also changed the focus of the team somewhat. “I think the heart this time is not so much a mechanic, but the kind of ‘vibe’ of this world that we created,” Fenn adds. “We put a lot of work into the set and make it unique and distinctive, and have this very cohesive vibe where there’s a nice contrast between dark and sinister stuff, but also humor and cute, endearing characters – for me, I think it’s the core of what we’re going for this time around, rather than a mechanical core. “
“There was certainly still a process to determine how our structure fit into this ‘Zelda foundation’,” he says. “So it’s not like: there are eight dungeons that you have to get eight magical things from to beat a boss or something like that. We’ve still given a lot of thought to how our game is structured and how it is. has a mix… between self-directed exploration, but also, at key moments, then it tells you the story we want to tell you. There is still an element of our own unique structure that we added to it. “
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The team has also grown slightly from the development of Titan Souls, with the move from 2D to 3D being the most obvious change. “With Titan Souls, we only had one artist who would draw all of the pixel art, and the 3D aspects of it, I modeled them myself,” says Foster. “But those were all ‘hacky’ things – so that process has been: we have a concept artist drawing a thing, and then we get a modeler to model it,” and so on. “It’s a more complex process, but it was quite fun, I think.”
They’ve been working there since 2017, or so, cobbling together ideas for traveling through the gates. “At one point Mark sent me this prototype where he was like a raven wielding a sword, and we’re just like ‘yeah, that’s it, we have it now,’ Fenn says with a laugh. “We just wanted to do things that were always a bit surreal,” he says. “The other artist that we brought in just sent us a bunch of sketches, and one of them was this walking cathedral, and we’re just like, Yeah, that’s coming in.”
Fun shows, in other words. It’s surreal, watching a bird pounding a house, but it’s also pretty exciting. Acid Nerve is extremely good at that sort of thing – we know that from Titan Souls, but also from its purposefulness, from the way Fenn and Foster talk about it. And now they’ve developed it, turned it around, brought it into this world of extremely tactile character and tactile sound, and I would really love to play it.
Article source https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2021-03-26-deaths-door-interview