iLLOGIKA is a studio that has worked on various contract projects such as mobile apps, interactive experiences and books for other companies since their inception back in 2009. They have dabbled with Unity and now they’re getting their feet wet with their first original intellectual property, Subaeria. We got the opportunity to chat with Vallentine Dessertenne, in charge of communications at iLLOGIKA Studios to discuss their new game
Comics Gaming Magazine: Tell me about where the concept of Subaeria came from?
Valentine Dessertenne: It really came from the fact that everyone was a fan of Rogue-likes and Binding of Issac. So we wanted to make something in that spirit with similar mechanics but in our own way.
CGM: How many people are on staff developing the game?
VD: Right now about 10 people.
CGM: What inspired you to make this game outside of Rogue likes?
VD: We had a lot of literately influences. Like very dystopia societies like 1984, Brave New World, stuff like that to channel this kind of world where things a bit fishy—pun intended. But yeah, that was the main focus of the game.
I don’t know if you saw a bit of the game but the direct combat is something we wanted to go for. To make a game that’s challenging in not in shooting people way but finding ways to figure out how to turn the enemies against each other. We didn’t want that guns-a-blazing shooting everyone in the face approach to our game.
CGM: Yeah, I noticed your approach of brains over brawn. In the beginning, the main protagonist cube is being threatened. So my question is, how are you interweaving all the other characters into the story? Do their cubes get threatened as well?
VD: Not necessarily their cubes, but all four characters’ lives essentially change. An event happens that makes the city rebel against them. They all have different backgrounds, their own unique problems and agendas that they are trying to fulfil. So it became, if somehow they cross path, they’ll see it as destiny because all these four people from different background wouldn’t necessarily interact under normal circumstances. So they’ll have to figure it out, well the player will have to figure it out as them.
CGM: With this game are you planning different endings. How is that going to work?
VD: So you’ll play as those four different characters and make decisions. Depending on who you are, and according to how to play throughout the game will grant you endings that pan over the four characters or just span over your character and kill off the three other ones.
CGM: So there is an opportunity to kill the other protagonists?
VD: The first character you get to play as is Styx and she’s a worker in the bottom of the sea. She’s very poor and gets evicted as soon as the demo starts. There’s Arezou and she’s a priestess in Subaeria. She is trying to save the world so she’s really noble. There’s also Antonio who is a terrorist or rebel in Subaeria. And the last there is Don Dorf who was elected president of the world.
CGM: Was it a focus from the start to have a different cultures?
VD: Yeah it was a huge focus for us to bring in different point of views. We didn’t want cookie-cutter style heroes. We wanted people from different backgrounds and depending who you are as a player to identify with one or the other.
CGM: As I was playing I noticed how every path I took changed almost every time. The procedural labyrinth that you guys been able to create is constantly changing. I don’t think I seen anything more than twice. So my question is, are you guys expanding on that for the full game? Will you ever see the same thing twice going forward?
VD: You’ll never see the same labyrinth twice but you might find the same room twice because essentially how the procedural labyrinth works is all random. How it’s put together is all random too.
It’s going to be hard to see the same thing twice.
CGM: Do you think that’s going to help the replayability factor?
VD: Of course! Yeah, the whole point is to die repeatedly to get your feel around the game to get through the game. We expect players to play through all the different endings. Because we have tried to find the most interesting endings to give players something to unlock.
CGM: Do you think that could be overwhelming for some because of the amount of content you are giving them?
VD: I don’t think it will be for players because it’s there for those that want to explore. If they want to unlock things like lore they can but if they want to play the game on the surface with just the gameplay and not so much the story. We aren’t forcing anyone to learn more about the world but its there for those that are curious.
CGM: What do you feel like you guys are doing to make this game feel new?
VD: I think it’s the mix of genres and offensive approach in our game that sets us apart. Most games are; you get into the game and fight and die and you have to restart. I think with our game we have mechanics that are not direct combat, which you see in other games and I feel like that separates us from the rest. But we have found a way to make narrative work to keep the gameplay fresh each time.
CGM: What are you guys doing to make it feel less repetitive? I know you have the procedural generator but will there be more to do than just cleaning the room of enemies?
VD: I think the number of skills we have available will switch it up and provide enough variety to everyone’s playthrough. There’s a skill mixing mechanic where you can mix skills together and have them on one slot and they can be used at the same time on the robots, which is very exciting because it adds to all the gameplay options in the game.
CGM: Could you elaborate on what those skills are?
VD: Yup, there’s more skills that allow you to interact more with the environments like a lot of things that let you manipulate enemies or boxes that have physics in them to move them around. There’s also even more offensive skills that can affect the behaviour of the robots. I don’t want to say too much.
CGM: Alright, so switching gears onto the music in the game. The battle music really immersed me, why did you choose this route for your music instead of a more aquatic feel? Because the game does take place under water.
VD: Well the gameplay is fast so we feel like that music helps players get pumped up because it works with all these bad ass robots coming after you.
CGM: So why robots? Out of all enemies to come across in water, why them?
VD: We chose them to rule the world democratically. They are the enforcers of the will of the people. We thought they would a be great representation of how our society that is so technological focused now to see that push somewhere to the extreme in the future. Because technology enables us to do so much but it can also be viewed as a dangerous entity. So we wanted to play with that.
CGM: So you are developing this game for PC, is there a chance it could land on consoles?
VD: There’s definitely a chance. We’d love to have it on consoles but we don’t know yet.
CGM: And when can players expect to dive into your game?
VD: We’re shooting for September.
Are you excited to dive into this title come September? Let me know below.