If you like Valve’s Portal game or may be Mirror’s Edge then System of Souls is something you should definitely lookout for. The indie game is a puzzle-platformer with environments quite similar to Valve’s Portal and has inspirations from Mirror’s Edge as well.
The game is part of PlayStation Talents program where Sony Interactive tries to promote small game developers who have unique and interesting concepts.
Recently, we had a chance to talk with Chaotic Lab’s Rafael Torres Jurado about System of Souls. We talked about gameplay, PlayStation as a partner and some other things. The full interview is as following:
Q: Let’s start with a small introduction. Tell us a little bit about Chaotic Lab. How many people are currently working there and how do you guys ended up with PlayStation Talent?
Chaotic Lab was born as part of a Master’s Degree project at EVAD (Superior School of Videogames and Digital Art). Initially, all started with five members, and gradually with the difficulty of the tasks the game required, the team has been adding more people; currently, we are eleven members. After finishing our master’s thesis (System of Souls), we decided to apply to Playstation Talents to try our luck, and here we are.
Q: Looking at the gameplay, System of Souls reminds me of “Portal” from Valve. What were your prime inspirations behind the game and why did you choose this name for the game?
The team got inspired deeply in Portal. It is easy to recognize the style but at the same time has something more like the minimalism that you can appreciate in Mirror‘s Edge. The name of the game tries to allude to an unstable world devastated by an environmental disaster in significant proportions leaving the human race at the breakpoint of extinction, A possible solution? The transfer of the human souls to robots. Long story short, everything goes around on this idea; it is more complex every time you advanced, though. And that’s all we can reveal for now.
Q: The game will also release for PS4 alongside PS5, right? Or it’s a PS5 exclusive?
Exactly, the game is developing for PS4 as well as the next-gen for PS5.
Q: Can you tell us about a tentative release date for the game?
We estimate the game will launch in the first quarter of 2022.
Q: System of Souls is a puzzle platformer. So, what sort of abilities our protagonist will be able to use to solve puzzles?
You will have on your hand a Laserhook, your best friend in the game, with some main mechanics that help you solve the puzzles. First, you could be able to attract some boxes on distance (not all). The second one hooks you up with the most abundant element in the game: The plasma flower; this will allow us to go from one place to another by air. You will not have just to solve puzzles; you will enjoy some platform moments. There are some more mechanics that we can’t reveal yet.
Q: How does progression work in the game? Is it levels based? Will the character acquire new skills and attributes as the players progress in the game?
It is a system of floors that will gradually introduce you to different puzzle mechanics. On the other hand, you will learn skills that complement each other to solve it.
Q: The game is in first person perspective, right? What was the prime motivation behind this decision?
For sure, The aim of the first person is because we wanted to give the player liberty of movement and the feeling of immersion. We believed first-person gives a lot of freedom to explore the environment without elements that could obstruct the experience, besides we wanted a more intimate experience for the players.
Q: On average, how long a single playthrough of System of Souls is going to be?
Its complex to explain but its depend in great part on the ability of the players, if they are capable to solve the puzzles with more or less efficient. The experience could vary on the kind of player; puzzles lovers will have more facility than those who are not used to the genre.
Q: What’s the difficulty level of puzzles? I mean will they require a lot of head-scratching or there are mix of things?
Depending the area where you are, we have tried at all times to create a difficulty curve for each floor. In fact, when you pass to the next floor a new mechanics is explain and “restart” the level of difficult. The difficult level is progressive all due we wanted the players get used to the correct use of functionalities to pass to the next level improving the skills every time they play. However, some puzzles are designed so that the player has to actively explore the level and experiment with the elements of it, that is, it will not be an easy task at certain times, so you will have to “scratch your head” from time to time.
Q: What Dualsense features we can expect to see on PS5 for System of Souls? As a technology, what do you guys think of Adaptive triggers and haptic feedback of Dualsense?
At the moment it is something we are studying, so nothing is 100% defined yet, although we will most likely end up using it for some character skills and certain more specific actions of the environment that we cannot reveal. To us it seems like an excellent opportunity to make the player even more immersed in our game experience. In addition to this, we have in hand a possible surprise for the players, it remains to be seen, but it could be very interesting…
Q: Is Sony involved in the development process of the game or you guys have complete freedom? How do you guys see Sony as a partner for your indie project?
We have supervision and some deadline to follow but we have liberty to develop the videogame so it’s wonderful. We all see this as great opportunity to make our videogame something enjoyable as many people as possible, so it feels so great.
Q: Any price point you guys have agreed upon for the game or it is up to Sony to decide?
We are currently studying the price, it’s something for the future and we cannot reveal.
Q: Any message you want to give to the players who want to play System of Souls?
We make it simple: If you enjoy treats and games where nothing is easy peasy this is your game. We wishes a good experience and we hope the game be something pleasant for you, Thanks a lot to you all!