Old School Gamer Magazine chats with Sobaka Studios’ Head of Studio Dean, who details the REMEDIUM: Sentinels’ development cycle and the buzz leading up to its release this Summer.
About REMEDIUM: Sentinels:
Defend new areas of a plague-ridden continent with more mighty metallic machines to choose from. Devastate never-ending masses of mindless chimeras and brand new bosses with a wider variety of scientifically modified weapons.
Developer Sobaka Studio and publisher ESDigital Games have added several new weapons, enemies, bosses, maps, and more during its period in Early Access, with HUD and interface improvements as well as world wide leaderboards debuting with 1.0.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How was this game born?
Dean: Hello! We can think of some main factors that motivated us.
You see, we are working on several big projects – some of them announced. At some point, each project enters a phase where there are many routine processes, but the team wants more action nevertheless 🙂 At the same time, the development method of early access is becoming more popular. Moreover, our team fell in love with Vampire Survivors and can’t get over it… All of this said, we decided to start a new project inspired by Vampire Survivors.
In parallel, the release of our big game REMEDIUM is approaching. Then, a thought came to mind. Why don’t we develop the same universe and lore in several projects? Usually, a prologue is created to answer lingering questions, but we thought: “let’s make it another project or maybe not just one :)))”.
This is how it was born!
*The technology of using and killing thousands of enemies in one scene. By default, this may not work with adequate FPS (frame rate).
Old School Gamer Magazine: What is your role in the game?
Dean: I am the head of the studio. We are working on several projects at the same time. I am directly involved in the development process of every project, including REMEDIUM: Sentinels.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What has development been like?
Dean: It was exciting! Mainly thanks to using the Early Access model. It’s cool to make regular updates, see the feedback, and understand that the game is constantly being played. It was the most interesting and rewarding experience.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What makes this game special?
Dean: We think that it’s thanks to the lore of the game and other notable secondary elements. Weapons, enemies, and other details have an interesting and unusual look.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What games influenced this one the most?
Dean: It’s not possible to say that one particular game influenced this one a lot. Of course, we are all very hooked up on Vampire Survivors, but that’s just the main idea. The world of Remedium Sentinels is still inspired by our main game Remedium, which is in turn inspired by Bloodborne and the real plague that took millions of lives in Europe in the XIV century.
Basically, each game is inspired by the experience of its developers. Our game director, who works on Remedium universe, loves the gloomy theme and thus adds dark elements everywhere.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What were the major lessons learned?
Dean: During the development process, we had 2 main experience generators: the Early access and the challenges regarding the moments when thousands of monsters appeared on the screen at the same time.
The second lesson is more technical. It’s just about how we manage our favorite Unreal Engine to solve this problem.
However, the first lesson about Early access is a real storehouse of knowledge. For example, our experience shows that a game can be developed and scaled almost from scratch. We can attract people simply by making the game more interesting and big. Of course, there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with this approach. You can’t ignore the community, and it’s necessary to fix specific things that the players point out. The core of everything is the energy of the Early access. It’s hard to put into words, it’s just a different approach and we love it!
Old School Gamer Magazine: Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?
Dean: Well, first of all, classic mechanics are cool because, for the most part, people are already familiar with them! Therefore, people catch interest much faster. In the case of REMEDIUM: Sentinels, the game must be created in such a way that the player wouldn’t need a lot of additional explanations. Just “lean back and enjoy.”
We were arguing a lot about whether we should let the player aim at enemies. In the end, we decided on auto-aiming. We are still not 100% sure if this is “correct”. There are pros and cons in both options, but this one looks more consistent to us.
Old School Gamer Magazine: The marketplace is crowded. How do you think you stand out?
Dean: Our games have detailed lore and memorable vibes. As for our studio, we are just cool 🙂
Old School Gamer Magazine: How have your previous experiences in the industry helped this game?
Dean: First and foremost, Unreal Engine is our source of inspiration. We constantly find new things that Unreal has out of the box, but you would never guess that it’s there 🙂
Of course, with a game like REMEDIM: Sentinels everything about optimization is very important. We found new approaches that work for us, such as shader vertex animation. So many moving monsters can’t appear on one screen without it 🙂
Old School Gamer Magazine: How do you want this game to ultimately be remembered?
Dean: We very much wanted to make a game that players come back to. Maybe not for 100 hours, but at least for a week. It’s a very unusual experience to watch how the live player count doesn’t fall weeks after the release. Trying to raise the live player count even more is a very interesting challenge and a field for experiments!
Old School Gamer Magazine: What’s next?
Dean: Oooooh, we are preparing a lot of things, stay tuned!
Old School Gamer Magazine: Anything else you’d like to add?
Dean: Thanks everyone! It was very interesting for us to work on REMEDIUM: Sentinels and develop it further while receiving the feedback from the community. I hope you play the game and find it just as interesting as we do! As one of the players said in his review: “Just one more run, dad!”