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Rime dev on Switch visuals and development, approach to puzzles, inspirations, more

Posted on May 24, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch eShop

Update: As a small bonus, here’s a new song Lindsey Stirling created for Rime:

Original: Members of Tequila Works are currently hosting a Reddit AMA for Rime. The studio is answering various fan topics that surround the Switch version, the game in general, and more. Topics include what to expect from Switch visually and developing on the platform, how the team approached puzzles, their inspirations, and more.

We’ve rounded up excerpts from the AMA below. You can continue reading the full thing here.

On a Switch release date…

We do not have a release date yet for the Switch version. The teams are working very hard to finalize a date. As soon as we have one we’ll make sure to share it out!

On the recent PS4 comparison and what to expect on Switch visually…

Interesting comparison. We suspect that most of the color differences between the shots have more to do with video compression than anything. We would not necessarily call this comparison accurate.

We’re currently reworking a lot of the content in the game to make it more appropriate for the Switch SKU. So far, we’ve managed to keep the visual impact to a minimum. RiME’s unique art style has made it easier to make this possible, but it’s still a big challenge for any development team.

Our goal is quality, and we have to walk the tight rope between performance and visuals. We think we have a path forward from here, and we’re optimistic that players will love being able to take RiME with them when they’re on the go.

On Switch development…

Development is going well! It feels like we’ve found our groove, and we’re progressing at a solid pace.

The most challenging aspect of working with the Switch was simply learning what the correct approach would be. It was brand new hardware to all of us (as with most developers). We had to try a few things, learn what did and didn’t work, then chart a path forward based on our findings.

Now that we’ve answered those questions, development is moving along splendidly. Once we make a little bit more progress, we should be comfortable projecting a release date and sharing that with you (and everyone else)! Thanks for your patience, and we hope to have more soon.

On compromises made to get the game where it is now…

There are many areas where you have to adapt as the game starts to take shape, but one that it’s specially peculiar was the puzzle design. We made a lot of puzzles for RiME, and some of them were really complex but sometimes we had the feeling that they were not working with the rest of the elements of the game. RiME is a game about exploration, atmosphere and beauty. Sometimes, being caged in a room trying to solve a brainy challenge was not engaging but just the opposite. That was tricky! As designers we wanted to use every mechanic in many ways, but we had to keep in mind what was important and just use the puzzles as a way to communicate with the environment. Minimalism was key.

On whether it’s more of a platformer or a puzzler…

RiME is an experience driven by curiosity. Your avatar is a kid and that’s crucial: we wanted you to feel small, fragile but never useless or insecure. Children may lack a sense of danger but they excell in wits and determination. So it’s a combination of action, puzzles, platforming and above all, exploration what defines the experience. We didn’t want you to be an overpowered überhero. That’s why we kept the scale “human”. Don’t expect double-jumps or pixel-perfect platforming based on reflexes. But the Kid has a few tricks under sleeve like auto sprint when you are running long distances or being a really good climber.

On any DLC plans…

RiME is a self-contained experience with a beginning and an end. We wish you that you truly enjoy RiME as it is.

On how many puzzles…

RiME is not structured as a puzzle game, such as Portal, where you find a succession of rooms with progressively harder puzzles. It’s mainly a narrative experience where exploration and curiosity are key, so there are many other things to do and the puzzles are based on experimenting more than being brainy challenges. Don’t expect to be blocked in one puzzle for too long because that was never our intention. Instead, we chose to scatter the puzzles, have some of them as secret goals… or even structure the story as one big puzzle where you need to connect all the dots!

On inspirations…

Most of our inspirations are out of games. The biggest one was the paintings of the Master of Light, Joaquín Sorolla. His love for the Mediterranean could capture that light and movement that inspired us to create the world of RiME. Surrealism is essential and so both Salvador Dalí (and his use of negative space) and the surrealist architecture of Giorgio de Chirico were pillars in the building of a world with its own set of rules. Narrative influences include Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story and The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (the Fox is a homage to that!). We wanted to recreate that feeling of trespassing a forbidden paradise like the Argonauts did when they reached the island protected by Talos the Bronze Colossus. A beautiful place you shouldn’t be in. As for games, the experience of Journey inspired us to think out of the box to tell a story with no dialogue. And Jak & Daxter II and its amazing, fluid-yet-responsive animation system

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