We interviewed the Piranha Bytes about their new game Elex, an action RPG with a peculiar setting, between science fiction and fantasy, and interesting game mechanics, such as the use of a jetpack.
You can read the full interview below.
- RPG Italia: Will the gameplay of Elex be similar to Gothic’s or Risen’s? Will there be factions, teachers, experience or ability points to be spent at the right time?
Piranha Bytes:Elex will be a huge handcrafted open world Role Playing Game in a brand new post-apocalyptic Science-Fantasy universe. The game will have one big world, that you can explore and you can join different factions in the world. Each faction will have their own history, skills, armor and way of life. The world will also be divided in different countries with varying kinds of weather, climate and landscapes.
Elex is all about contrasts, so there will be many different kinds of quests, locations, characters, weapons, skills or riddles for example.
We want to develop a new and fresh setting, that allows us to create an uncharted and exciting adventure, but of course you will find many elements that are known from our previous games, like teachers, different factions or even learning points, that you get, when you reach a new level.
- How important will choices and consequences will be?
We created the biggest interconnected questsystem to date, that includes very many missions and choices, that influences the story. We even added a new moral-system that differs not only in bad or evil, but in human or logical. A human choice can also be a bad one, if you are angry, for example and a logical and selfish choice can also be good for a higher goal. You can also meet fellows and make friends or put the final nail in the coffin for many people. Your behavior and choices will also have an impact to the AI of the NPC’s, when you steal something, for example or will even change the end of the story.
- Will the narration be developed mainly through cutscenes or will you remain loyal to a mainly dialogue-based plot development?
It is important for us, that Elex will have a simulated gameworld, that allows the player, to do whatever he wants with living NPC’s, creatures, a day night cycle and much freedom, so the story will be told in chapters, dialogues and cutscenes, but the player will be free all over the time.
- Which are the aspirations of Piranha Bytes in regard to this game?
We are a very familiar company with about 30 people at the moment and we develop Role Playing Games for more than fifteen years now. So we acquired much know how and experience during the last years. Everyone of us has adopted different preferences and ideas and we had the vision to create a game that includes all things that we like in Role Playing Games in one believable world with all our strengths. You can be a mighty magician and fight with an enchanted sword, you can be an insidious outlaw with a firethrower or even be a high engineered Psi fighter with a lasergun, if you want to. We love the variety in the game, because you’ll never know what comes next and there’s very much to discover. We hope the players will see the potential of this idea and enjoy exploring our great gameworld.
- When will we start to see previews and videos? At which events/conventions do you plan on partecipating?
We will launch our new website this week (Ed. today) and show more about the process of the development during the year, at the E3 or Gamescom, for example. More details and conventions will be released as soon as we finished the planning.
- Looking at the current market of RPG and videogames in general, which titles inspired you the most?
Many of us play differnt games in our freetime. Some are looking forward to the Witcher 3 AddOn Blood and Wine, some are still creating new locations in Bethesda’s Fallout 4 and some are waiting for Mass Effect 4. But we also love other genres and indie titles, like SOMA or Firewatch for example.
- Elex mixes fantasy and sci-fi elements. How difficult has it been to have such different genres coexist in the same game? How their combination produce something exciting? Can you give us an example?
It is very exciting to create such a variegated world. It is similar to Star Wars, where stormtroopers are afraid of a little guy with a lasersword. We have many freedom in developing, the story department can use a new kind of speech and use modern elements like audiologs or radios, for example. The level department can create new items and objects, that can be used by the player and we can add new features, like the jetpack, that is really fun. In our previous games you had the opportunity to open chests with a lockpick or a key and now you can also open saves with a code, for example. So you will have many more possibilities to play the story, solve a mission, explore the world or fight against enemies in many different ways.
- Can you give us any detail concerning the plot and setting of Elex?
After a meteor strike many years ago the world was almost destroyed. The survivors found different ways to live in the dangerous and wasted world. The meteor brought not only destruction, but a new unknown element called Elex, that has mighty powers and changed flora and fauna.
Being raised as an Alb and fed with pure Elex to strengthen your body and to be free from emotion, you lived in a world of cold logic and discipline. On your mission to the south of Magalan your glider got shot down from the sky and you got outcast by your own people. With no access to pure Elex, you are experiencing emotions for the first time in your life. Far from home and stranded amongst your previous enemies, you must find a new course…
- Will there be choices that will significantly influence the plot of the game?
Yes, of course. People will recognize your behavior and you can influence the story in many ways. The people of the world Magalan have different ideas about the life in the world and your choices have an impact to your friendships, life and death of people, the end of the game and different story paths.
- Can you give us an idea of the size of the game world? Will there be multiple areas or will it be a single huge map?
It will be one huge gameworld, that will be bigger than anything we made before. We will have more quests, spoken words and a bigger level, that you can explore, than all our previous projects. We have got a great team, that realizes the game and there will be enough time left for polishing, tuning and bugfixing till release in early 2017.
- Will we see citations or cameos from your previous games?
Of course, there will be different kinds of Easter eggs in the game. We are curious about how many you will find.