Tenebrae – Twilight of the Gods interview with the devs

If you look at the graphics and gameplay you must admit that the game has unique feeling. We were also curious who is behind this project and interviewed the developers.

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Maybe you have missed this game in the tens or rather hundreds of new games under development at this very moment. Just look at Steam's Early Access, KickStarter and other websites. With the accessibility of several engines and possibility to work in a small team even with another job, it's logical that more games will emerge on the market. But Tenebrae seems more professional than many "amateurish" indie titles. Do you want to know more? We have asked Troglobytes Games nine questions and you can read them without any changes or corrections. And we are sure that many of you will follow the development of Tenebrae from now on and the game will get on your wishlist :-).

1. Many of our readers and fans have absolutely no information about the game you produce. Could you please present yourself, Troglobytes Games and your title? 

My name is Luciano Iurino, I am co-founder, programmer and tech artist here at Troglobytes Games. Our team is fairly new, we started working together near the end of 2014, though the core team has been around for more than a decade and published several titles while working for other companies. 

We are currently developing our flagship title, “Tenebrae – Twilight of the Gods”, an old style 2.5D Metroidvania with modern graphics and some fresh gameplay elements. 

2. Can you tell us more about the history of the game? Why have you decided to make a 2.5D platformer? It’s not quite common for these types of game. 

The game was originally conceived as a Rogue Legacy-ish game for the PS Vita handheld console, but it turned out to be a completely different game over its first months of development. We abandoned the idea of publishing it on Vita, redesigned it from scratch and also changed tech (we switched from Unity 3D to Unreal Engine 4). 

The actual game retained only its procedural nature from Rogue Legacy and became a fully fledged Metroidvania title. So that's the main reason why we went down for the 2.5D platformer road: we thought it was the best point of view for our game, being it in first place an homage to the early Metroidvania era games. Image title

3. When I look at your team it seems to me that five of you can make a lot of work. There are indie studios which must be able to work even with less people. Are you working and developing only this title? Is it a full-time job? 

We like to have things compartmentalized, though there are some areas where our skills and competences overlap (for example, we don't have one “game designer”, but we all participate to the game design in equal manner). 

We can say it's a full-time job, since we are currently focusing our resources on Tenebrae only, but we've always been doing also outsourcing services for other game companies, and still do (at this stage, Tenebrae is a self-funded project, so you know…we have to pay our bills!). 

4. How long do you work on Tenebrae? Can you reveal some details about possible alpha, beta and the release date? When would you like to finish the development? 

The development of Tenebrae started last January, but as I already said the game was totally changed during the first months of work. We are currently working hard to get a playable demo as soon as possible (my best guess is by the end of this year). 

We'd prefer to release a vertical slice of the game itself, not a pre-alpha with placeholder graphics and clunky mechanics. 

We don't have a release date yet, but we are pretty confident we could get out of alpha and beta phases during 2016.Image title

5. I must admit that the first gameplay footage looks very promising. When will you show more of the game like combat, bosses and more? Can you give us something now? 

It took us quite some time to get to show some actual in-game footage to the public because we are betting a lot on the look and feel of Tenebrae, so we wanted it to be nearly perfect before releasing anything. We are proud of our work and we're sure gamers will appreciate the efforts we're putting into the graphics. 

We are currently working on the combat system, so expect to see something really soon! 

In the meanwhile, we can share a fresh new screenshot:Image title

6. What exactly can we expect from the game mechanics? You are saying that there will be procedurally generated content, dungeons, different combat styles, traps, treasures and more. But what about the characterdevelopment process. Will there be skills? Skill points? How shall we improve our character? 

You can expect classic Metroidvania mechanics: a lot of backtracking and replayability with a pinch of procedurally generated levels. We are using our inhouse technology, Daedalus, a random dungeon generator which is currently onsale on the Unity Asset Store and is being ported over to UE4. It's capable of generating different map types (dungeon, mazes and even multi-floor 3Dbuildings!). 

We developed a specific type of maps called “Section Maps”; as you can see in the picture, Daedalus generates random paths made of different “sections”, eachbeing an independent piece of level connected to others.

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Once the player enters an unexplored level, a new map will be randomly generated, giving each player a different gaming experience. But beware! If you get lost in a dungeon, Google won't help you this time! 😀 

There will be a “light-weight” RPG system under the hood so yes, characters will improve in some way but we're trying to keep it as simple as possible for the user.We can't discuss more about it at this stage because it's still under development,so we don't want to talk about things that may be tossed out once the game is finished. More details will follow in the next weeks. 

7. What about equipment? Inventory? Usage of different items like potions or things we will need to continue in the story? There is a word “adventure”which can easily evoke for someone an adventure game. Can you give us more details about this part? 

The character will have a simplified inventory where you can store weapons,shields, potions and items. You will need special items to continue in the story,that's where backtracking comes into play: if you missed something important,you will have to go back and search for it in the dungeons. 

The word “adventure” in the game description must me associated with “action”; Tenebrae is an action/adventure game just like Metroid and Castelvania are. We can say that its proper sub-genre is “Platform-adventure”. Image title

8. How would you like to release the game? Shall it be on Steam? Early Access? 

We are currently developing the game with Steam in mind, though there have already been contacts for other platforms (we can't discuss more details because of NDAs). 

9. And last question. Can your fans support you? In what way? 

At this stage, Tenebrae is a self-funded project; our goal is to reach a playable demo so people can test it out and give us their feedback. We'd like to keep development open to suggestions and critiques from players. Image title

We don't know if there will be a crowdfunding campaign in the future, but surely it's not coming anytime soon before the demo.People can help following us on our socials websites and spreading the word. Also, if you have any feedback, please feel free to let us know!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TenebraeGame 


Devlog: http://www.tenebraegame.com/blog

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