SuperGiant’s Kasavian on Bastion follow-up Transistor: “It’s a very, very different challenge”


Supergiant Games’ writer Greg Kasavin has revealed the studio’s new game Transistor to Edge, in issue 254. Here’s a few sample quotes from the preview.

On the world
“This is kind of analogous to Bastion I suppose, (but) we liked the look of sort of an anachronistic world where you can’t quite place the period in time… We didn’t want like a far-future world with laser-guns and space-ships and stuff – instead it feels almost vintage, more like the 1960s than the far-future. Jen (Zee, Supergiant’s artist) took inspiration from a whole variety of sources, from various games to actually a number of art nouveau painters like Gustav Klimt, for example.”

On making another narrated game
“It feels very different to us, even though I think superficially it seems similar because it is voice-over as you go with a silent protagonist. From my point of view, as the writer on the project, it’s a very, very different challenge. Instead of an omniscient narrator spoon-feeding you information, it’s this unusual character who’s physically with you, discovering what’s going on in this world. He has a certain amount of knowledge but he’s learning about things as you go and sort of develop… the speaking character in this case is a man who’s conscious of being trapped inside of this unusual sword that the main character has. So developing this relationship between a woman who literally has been denied her voice and a man who has been reduced to a voice is exciting to me narratively.”

On making a more tactical game
“We love a lot of older turn-based tactical games, whether they’re RPGs like Fallout or strategy games. But we didn’t necessarily want to go straight ahead into like a turn-based game because we like the immediate feel of other action games. So we were like ‘can we combine all those sensations into one? Can we make a game where it’s not stopping you, you’re stopping it, at your leisure?’ The extra step we take is to ground it in the world, in the fiction.”

On the next gen
“I’m anxious and extremely excited… I’ve been playing games since my earliest memory, I’ve owned the majority of consoles, I’ve also always played games on both PC and console side-by-side so I’ve never been partial to one or the other, so I have very high hopes for how the next-generation of consoles is going to sort of react to all the things that have happened since the last generation has come out. It’s such an unusual time. In certain respects every console generation has certain similarities but I’ve never seen anything quite like this transition right now. It’s a very scary transition to me, in certain respects, as someone who loves console games.”

On where consoles need to innovate
“I am less willing to just wait and waste time around trying to get into a game or download patches and all this kind of stuff, when I have things like Steam or my iPad where I can just immediately start playing. So I think that’s an area where I think consoles have their work cut out for them there.”

On developing for every platform going
“We’ve worked on all these different versions of the game because we think our longevity, our survival as a studio, hinges on our ability to be able to make games for different input devices because we don’t know what people are going to playing games on in another year or two. For all I know they’ll be controlling games with their brains.”

Edge issue 254 is on-sale now, containing a four-page feature looking at Transistor. Transistor itself is due out in 2014.