The Matrix meets Breaking Bad meets cyberpunk narrative adventure.
What do Breaking Bad and Ghost In The Shell have in common? They’re both influences for upcoming cyberpunk narrative adventure Evolutis. With such a mashup of intriguing inspirations, we caught up with developer Fernando Cruz to learn more about the exciting new story he’s looking to tell.
What was the inspiration behind Evolutis?
The original idea came from Akira. We always wanted a game that could play as if you were watching an anime. We consider Akira to have one of the greatest animations ever. So, we basically thought of Akira as inspirations for the animation and the background Ghost in the Shell, but we are big fans of all kinds of games from Shenmue, the Japanese game from Yu Suzuki to Flashback and Another World.
Tell us a little more about the narrative in Evolutis.
You can play the game not to be exactly like The Matrix, but there are some of the elements you see in Matrix, like belief in a ‘real’ world, or that famous scene where Neo is with Morpheus and Neo asks Morpheus why his eyes hurt and Morpheus tells him it’s because he has never seen before.
You can expect elements like that because the story revolves around three characters. The main character believes he has lost his wife because of a killer but then he also realises that maybe his memories have been altered, but it’s not really explicit, it really depends on your point of view. Maybe some people who play the game will think he has just gone crazy. So, it all depends on the player and what he believes is going on.
If you watch The Matrix, I believe it is the same thing. For some people it was simply a fiction movie. But, for the other people, it’s more than that. Maybe in the world we are living in we are just slaves as such. [We] mixed that with Breaking Bad because The Matrix is such an amazing movie but the characters, they are not so cool as in Breaking Bad.
How well do you think the cyberpunk genre is represented in indie games?
I think nowadays it’s quite famous. There are a bunch of cyberpunk games being produced. Not only indie but also triple-A games. Of course, I’m a big fan of cyberpunk, but I’m more concerned with the story and the characters itself. I’m more inspired by The Last of Us creator, he is always talking about the story and the characters. I believe it is more important than the setting itself.
What makes Evolutis stand out as a cyberpunk game?
From my point of view, I believe it will stand out because of the work we are doing on the characters. Most of the other cyberpunk games, in my opinion, the characters are shallow. It’s all about big corporations and the main character is a badass, he doesn’t have problems, he doesn’t have flaws. We believe what makes you like a character is his flaws.
All the characters we took inspiration from Breaking Bad because they have so many flaws and the way the characters develop during the series is amazing and it’s something we want in our game. I want you to perceive and see how the character will develop throughout the game. Our main character is in a very depressive state – the three main characters they are facing hell on earth, the worst time of their lives.
I want people to get attached to the characters and the only way to make that possible is by creating characters that seem very real. That’s why I believe that everyone who watched Breaking Bad was so addicted to the series. Because they felt so real.
Tell us a bit more about the combat system.
We took Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat 1 and the 2D game gems from the past and we tried to create new stuff. If you’ve seen the trailer there’s a part that the character is dodging a combo. You can see both hands, one comes from the background and the other comes from the foreground while the character is in the middle. When you work with sprites it doesn’t happen this way.
We created something that I probably should show people in the future in the game. Right now, we are keeping it to ourselves. I’m not sure if everyone realises that but I believe people that work with sprites, they will spot that right away. Because when you are working in a 2D game you have layers, like in a fighting game when you are hit. The inspiration was basically Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat 1.
What do you think will surprise people about Evolutis?
I believe as indie [developers] we can take risks right. Basically, with the gameplay, we want to test a lot of stuff. So you won’t be doing the same thing over and over again. I believe the gameplay will be even more attractive than the art style. We’re not trying to copy anyone. That’s why I love indie games, because I’m tired of playing the same games over and over again. When you buy an indie game, they take risks and I believe that is amazing. A good example is Inside, or Firewatch. Those games are great because they try to make a unique experience. That’s basically what we are trying to achieve.
Who will this game appeal to?
I believe it will appeal to anime fans, Bladerunner fans and I believe it will be for people that like animation in 2D games in general.
Tabs’ perfect afternoon consists of a cuppa, a biscuit tin, and a good RPG. When she’s not writing, commissioning and editing indie game features, she’s writing for her own blog, Musings Of A Mario Minion.