Ross Huang, Lead Game Designer at OverBorder Studio, speaks with GamingBolt about the upcoming Soulslike action RPG.
OverBorder Studio’s upcoming Soulslike action RPG Thymesia has been building up plenty of momentum as its launch draws closer, and one look at the game should be enough to tell you why. Set in a gothic, dilapidated kingdom that’s paying the price of its previous advancements, Thymesia is looking like an intriguing cross between Bloodborne and Sekiro with some of its own unique ideas mixed in. Ahead of its upcoming launch, we recently reached out to its developers to learn more about the game. Below, you can read our interview with lead game designer Ross Huang.
“Thymesia is all about build variety, we want the player to have extra tools to play around with on top of their basic movements, so they can better prepare themselves for the challenges that await.”
Stealing diseases from enemies and using those as weapons is an intriguing premise. Can you tell us more about how that will work in terms of gameplay? Additionally, how will the raven form factor into the combat? Is it something that will also come into play with exploration and traversal?
Both the enemy health system and Corvus’ ability to steal diseases from enemies are inspired by the macabre medieval act of bloodletting practiced by plague doctors. In the past, people believe when the blood flows out, so does the virus.
Hence, whenever Corvus deals damage to an enemy, he leaves wounds on them, and the enemy emits some of their plague energy into the air. The raven form represents the plague energy part of combat in Thymesia. You can either hit the enemy with claws to absorb the energy or charge up your claws to reave enemy plague weapons. Corvus shifts into raven form automatically when he taps into the raven power inside of him.
The plague weapons reaved from enemies can only be used once, however you can collect plague weapon shards to unlock or even upgrade plague weapons permanently.
Thymesia is all about build variety, we want the player to have extra tools to play around with on top of their basic movements, so they can better prepare themselves for the challenges that await.
Audiences often have very specific expectations from Souslike titles where storytelling is concerned, especially in terms of lore and world-building. What can we expect from Thymesia in those areas and from its style of storytelling?
We’re a big fan of fragmented storytelling. We tried our best to bring all the key storytelling devices we think are essential to a good narrative to Thymesia: dialogue, item descriptions, notes, books, etc. The story of Thymesia is not as simple as it appears on the surface. We wanted players to discover the story on their own and stitch together their own version of events as they play through the game.
How much of an emphasis does Thymesia place on exploration?
We love the intertwined level design in Souls games, and within the parameters that having a small team allowed, we tried our best to make the maps that we built interesting to explore and with lots of items, story bits, and secrets for players to find.
“We love the intertwined level design in Souls games, and within the parameters that having a small team allowed, we tried our best to make the maps that we built interesting to explore and with lots of items, story bits, and secrets for players to find.”
What should players expect from Thymesia in terms of its boss fights and enemy variety? Additionally, how large is the game’s world? How is it structured?
The world is separated into different levels, each has its own unique visual style, bosses, elite enemies, and some shared common enemies. Each boss has its own movement sets that bring a series of challenges to the player.
How much experimentation will Thymesia encourage where its build variety is concerned? Additionally, what’s your approach to things such as difficulty been in Thymesia?
There’s no difficulty setting in Thymesia; however, we provide players with a variety of tools to help them progress through the game. We want every player to take on the enemies and challenges in a way that best suits them.
There are different stats in the game you can increase as you level up that affect basic values like health points, attack power, plague energy, etc.
As Corvus’ levels up, players get talent points to spend, and they can learn or unlearn any chosen talents at checkpoints throughout the game. Talents can greatly affect Corvus’ basic movements and playstyle. You can choose to be very aggressive and up close, or you can do a hit-and-run kind of style, or you can maximize your energy recovery and cast plague weapons all day.
The plague weapons Corvus reaves from enemies are not all just for dealing damage, they have different effects too – some of them provide you with shields and superarmor, others can help by stunning enemies.
Potions are the final ingredient players can use to help them overcome enemies in Thymesia. You can choose from a basic potion, which heals instantly but takes time to drink, a long-lasting potion which heals overtime but heals more, or a fast-acting potion, which heals less but shortens the drinking time and increases the use amount. Potions can also be upgraded using ingredients found throughout the world, giving them extra effects on top of their base healing.
“There’s no difficulty setting in Thymesia; however, we provide players with a variety of tools to help them progress through the game. We want every player to take on the enemies and challenges in a way that best suits them.”
Roughly how long will an average playthrough of Thymesia be?
For this kind of genre, it really depends on the skill of the player. For example, how deep they dig into the lore, the optional elites they take on, hidden secrets they uncover, and how they choose to fight the bosses. As with all Soulslikes, playthroughs can vary quite a lot depending on if players are new to the genre or if they’re veterans who’ve played every one out there!
What frame rate and resolution will the game target on the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S?
We’re targeting 4k on both PS5 and XSX with dynamic resolution hitting 60fps. The XSS runs off a very similar profile to XSX just with some changes to anti-aliasing.