Last month, we travelled to San Francisco as a guest of EA Games and had the chance to play Immortals of Aveum, which will be released in August. You can take a look at the details about the game in our Immortals of Aveum Hands-On.
In this special presentation, we also had the opportunity to talk to Jason Warnke from Ascendant Studio, who is responsible for the game’s combat dynamics. We asked him some questions that we prepared and received from our readers.
Immortals of Aveum interview with Jason Warnke
Merlin’in Kazanı (MK): Hello, firstly could you introduce yourself?
Jason Warnke: Of course, I’m Jason Warnke from Ascendant studio. I am responsible for the main battle dynamics of Immortals of Aveum.
MK: The concept of the game has a very unusual style. How did you come up with this concept?
JW: Bret (Bret Robbins, the game’s director) and I used to work on the Call of Duty series, and he left the studio after World War 2. One day we were chatting and he told me about this concept he’d been wanting to make for a long time, a fantasy shooter with fantasy shooter dynamics. He wanted to make an FPS without guns and I wanted to be involved in this project.
MK: The game is a truly magical FPS game. But it also has traces of Call of Duty, Doom and Hexen. Which one do you see the game closer to?
JW: Honestly, it’s more like a Call of Duty game with magic. Of course, the game doesn’t have a full cover system because we have our own cover, a special shield. I’m not sure if it’s fair to make such a close comparison, but I have 94 copies of Heretic and Hexen. I love both games.
Our game has its influences, but it’s a completely different experience. It’s fast-paced action like Doom, but with a battle system based on heroism. It’s a bit like Destiny on the skill side and God of War on the item finding side. You will get similar flavours to different games while playing, but a brand new experience will be waiting for you in the game.
MK: So what can you say about the story? Does everyone have these powers or will we be facing a chosen one scenario?
JW: I want to combine this with the other problem, for example, Call of Duty has a very strong narrative story. In our game, there are important cutscenes with a strong narrative aspect. In the world of Aveum, many people, if not everyone, can cast spells, and Jack has a special ability where he can use all three different spells. This puts him in a better position than others. While a normal magic user masters one, Jack is a character with the potential to master all three different types of magic.
MK: The blue spells are for the scanning rifle, the green for the submachine gun, and the red for the shotgun, but will we see different spells like rocket launchers?
JW: Each of these three categories has its own variations. For example, the blue spell can also be used as a powerful pistol or sniper mode. Red is a classic shotgun mode, but also has a much more impressive Super Shotgun-style use. Green will offer different variations where you can shoot fast shots.
MK: In the demo we played, the red spell already had a rocket launcher-like use, I also saw a variation that explodes on the opponent when fired and damages those around it.
JW: Absolutely, we’re going to see those kinds of effects that do area damage.
MK: There are also some puzzles in the game. We solve them with the spells we have. Does the puzzle system become more complex in the later stages of the game or does it continue with simple puzzles?
JW: Most of the puzzles in the game can be solved with the use of magic. Of course, there are puzzles with different solutions or similar tones in the later chapters. But, to be honest, this is a more action-orientated game and we don’t want players to get bored with the puzzles in a game like this.
MK: Are we going to revisit the old areas we travelled through in the game? Because I don’t know if it’s because of the demo, but some doors are closed and I got a bit of a metroidvania feeling from the game.
JW: Absolutely, we wanted to put a bit of metroidvania style in the game. With the new features you get, you will unlock doors you can’t open or special areas you can’t pass through.
MK: A lot of emphasis has been put on the visual effects in the game and they look good. But sometimes we see that there are too many effects on the screen, they cover the screen. In some of the comments about the game, we see discourses like “epilepsy crisis is coming”. What do you think about this?
JW: (laughs in the comments section) We are still working on the effects and I kind of agree with the comments on Youtube. We want the combat system to be true to the style of the game itself and at the same time legible, so that players can understand it. There will definitely be some balancing before release.
MK: What can you tell us about the optimisation, we’ve had a lot of comments about it, do you see it as a challenge considering the system requirements of the game and also considering that a lot of games that have come out recently have problems?
JW: I’m pretty comfortable with that. If you’re going to play the game on a PS5, Xbox Series or a PC rig that can meet the requirements, you’re going to get a smooth experience. Our FPS target for the game is 60 and I think we’ll hit that.
MK: Are you planning any multiplayer mode in the game in the future?
JW: We don’t have a multiplayer mode, we are more focused on making a good story-driven action game. As you know, we are a new studio and we have directed all our efforts to this goal.
MK: There are many different enemy types in the game. But in this kind of games, the problem we call “bullet sponge” (the feeling of shooting at a sponge) can occur. For example, this was one of the biggest problems of the recently released Ghostwire Tokyo. How do you plan to overcome this?
JW: Balance is a very strange thing. One single fact doesn’t make the game very difficult, nor does it make the game easier to determine the target points well. My battle system team is very experienced in this area. We are trying to find the perfect balance and it is very important for us that the battles are fast, action-packed and balanced at the same time.
MK: Well, the last and most frequently asked question by our followers; The feeling that we use magic instead of bullets in the game is too much. Are you planning to differentiate this with combos and do you think so?
JW: Yes, the combo system has an important place in the use of magic. You need to do combos often to create cool scenes in the game. While making the game, we thought about how we could make a game where there are no weapons, but at the same time there are dynamics such as bullet reloading and shooting. All the dynamics in the game will make you feel that you are in an FPS game. We think we succeeded in this and we think we can give that feeling.
MK: Thanks for your answers, we hope you get the feedback you expect when the game comes out.
JW: Thank you very much. We hope that players will love Immortals of Aveum and we are doing our best for that.
You can pre-order the game on Steam.