There are many diverse genres of video games and at any given time throughout gaming history, one or two usually stand on top of the cultural zeitgeist. Adventure games, 2D Platformers, JRPG’s, and First Person Shooters spring to mind. During these heights of popularity, it is easy to find dozens of developers working on clones or flooding the market with similar takes on the popular genre.
Traditionally, there are a few that stand out. These games tap into what makes a certain genre so special, whether its gameplay mechanics, characters, storytelling, etc. The best are able to distill that and combine it with parts of other popular genres, ending up with something that speaks to the current audiences, resonates with the past, and at the same time, is wholly original. That is where a game like Decay of Logos comes in.
Originally created as a solo project from designer Andre Constantino, formerly of Big Moon Company, Decay of Logos found new life after teaming up with Amplify Creations. Described on the official website as Nordic mythology and J.R.R. Tolkien meets Dark Souls and the Legend of Zelda gameplay with a dose of Princess Mononoke and Shadow of the Colossus thrown in for visual flair, you play as a girl who, along with her elk companion, explore the world and discover the secrets of its past, on a quest for revenge.
What began as an indie project for Constantino, taking around early concepts to shows and events, Decay of Logos quickly caught the eye of those working at Amplify Creations. “This type of game is something I personally like a lot. [A] Strong throwback to old games such as Ico, Shadow of Colossus, Legend of Zelda. As a player it’s really something I enjoy.” says Ricardo Teixeira, one of the team members from Amplify Creations.
Decay of Logos is being developed by a small team of three, while occasionally hiring freelancers. This has lead to changes in the game over its development, raising the scope of the game from when it was a solo project, but also making changes to the look.
“In the beginning, the style was more realistic,” says Constantino. This idea transformed as the team looked at what they wanted to do with the project and the resources that were available to them. Teixeira says, “We had to compromise on the style of the game due to a lack of resources. Once we got more artists the game got its own style.” And it is a style that is certainly eye catching.
One thing that they were clear on was the type of gameplay they were going with. “One thing that defines our game is the style in which you play,” says Constantino. Both creators mentioned how much they enjoyed the mechanics of the Dark Souls series, as well as their love for exploration found in the Legend of Zelda. Combining those two ideas was the goal.
Taking inspiration from the fighting mechanics from Dark Souls, but in a less punishing way, they wanted to add in the puzzle solving found in Zelda to create a new experience. Teixeira says they wanted something that would still challenge players. “Zelda has simple combat but lots of puzzle solving. We are trying a mix.”
Although fighting will not be the only way to interact with enemies. Decay of Logos will offer multiple ways to resolve situations, puzzles, and even bosses. They also mentioned that some of these decisions may come back later.
Because it’s not just about the mechanics. Decay of Logos has a deep lore behind its world. One that the creators hope that players will discover through these puzzles and environmental storytelling. “There is an ancient civilization in the world and a more recent civilization built upon the ruins of the old one,” says Constantino. “I had a lot of the history developed ahead of time.” This idea plays out not just in the ruins of the world, but also the different variation of species found throughout.
One of these species is the elk companion that the hero has on her journey. This companion will play a vital role in the game. “The companion isn’t like a vehicle,” Constantino explains. Some puzzles can only be solved using the companion, and your elk friend will also add additional challenges to the game by having its own personality, likes, dislikes and even fears. Most importantly, though, they want to players to feel the connection between protagonist and companion. “There’s a real relationship there,” Teixeira emphasizes.
While the team at Amplify Creations has big ambitions for Decay of Logos, they understand the indie scale which the game is built on. To accommodate this without losing the integrity of the game, they set out to develop it with certain ideas in mind. One of the key ideas is dividing the game into chapters and acts. This allows them to develop certain aspects, but also to cut others, if required. Teixeira explains how important it is to them that the story of Decay of Logos remains intact, “If we didn’t have the resources to build such an ambitious game, we would already have a start and ending. So, we can always cut one chapter or another, sadly of course. If that was to happen we have a plan that would allow us to finish the game, story wise.”
Shooting for a release in early 2017, the team is prepping to take Decay of Logos out in the world. They plan on bringing it to events and allowing gamers to try it, in order to get feedback. Because, despite the challenges of the indie development, it is important to both Constantino and the members of Amplify Creations that Decay of Logos is something that people will enjoy playing. “We’re making the game we want to play, We aren’t doing this for a client, or for big sales. We are making a game that we like.”