Q & A with the Developers of Soulstice

Q & A with the Developers of Soulstice


Given the vast assortment of AAA and indie game releases that always seem to flood the market on PC and, to a somewhat lesser degree, consoles, it can be an uphill battle for emerging developers to get noticed by the general public. One of the most tried-and-true formulas has generally been: Clearly distinguish your game as belonging to a specific genre, while simultaneously providing something fresh to the table, that unidentifiable x factor behind nearly all great games. For Portal, it was the portal gun. For Bioshock, it was its atmospheric storytelling. In the case of Soulstice, the main draw appears to be its singular focus on dual character single-player gameplay.

Soulstice's official Steam product description details: "Briar and Lute are two sisters who have been reborn as a Chimera. The transformation has granted Briar superhuman strength and resilience, while Lute, who was sacrificed in order to bind her soul to her sister’s, has become a ghost with mystical powers. Explore a dark world brimming with hidden mysteries, master a diverse combat system, and inhabit the dual forces of two sisters in a coming-of-age fantasy story with fast-paced action, vicious enemies and breath-taking boss fights.”

Recently, Soulstice's publisher, Modus Games, organized a press event, showing off Soulstice's (at the time, unreleased) cinematic trailer, which subsequently was publicly released several days later, and holding a Q&A session to answer specific questions regarding the game's content and addressing player concerns.

Q. Regarding the camera perspective, it appears as if certain sections of the game feature some fixed camera angles, whereas during combat, it appears to open up and be a little bit more fluid. Can you clarify what players can expect from the game in terms of the camera?

A. Yeah, as you say, there are both of them in the game, especially for exploration sections, we we really like to, to have a more fixed but also array of the camera to kind of give you a better perspective of the huge, huge environmental and give you nice shots of the the CD and the environments. But also for most of the combat sections, there is a more traditional controlled camera. So you get that feeling [of] compensation, where you can move the camera around, check the enemies, and so on.

But whenever you find the platform part during this pressure, the camera can change it and become also side-scrolling like custom Vanya or the camera change it and become fixated and follow all only the character for a short period of time only Where is necessary from a gameplay perspective, as as of my Crusader do combat the camera become completely free, lacking many of the game.

Q. How much of the game is predicated around exploration, and how much is centred around combat?

A. I can’t tell you the precise percentage. Most of the mechanics, of course, are related to combat. But we do have many nice exploration sections. But we also have some kinds of narrative moments. So I'd say it's kind of 70/30 split, but still, it is more complex than that.

In addition to just the combat and the platforming, the game does feature [...] a lot of secrets, a lot of hidden areas. There are some challenge portals where you'll be able to test out your skills and progression.
If it's too tough, you can always go back there later, but if you want to level up your abilities, or maybe even increase health for example permanent health increase that you could do participate in the challenge portals. The challenge portals [feature objectives] like "defeat X enemies", "juggle X enemies", "armor break excellent enemies within a certain amount of time and defeat them", so it's a bunch of different challenge portals that will put your skills to the test for sure.

So it's like when you [cover an] ice cream cone with candies. In this case, the candies are the platform sections and puzzles.

Q. In-game, will there be any kind of side quests & collectables, outside of the unlockable combat challenges mentioned during the stream?

A. The game experience includes exploration and quite a few secrets to find. That said, there are no side quests as you would expect them from an RPG. Collectibles are hidden throughout the levels as currency and rewards, which can be spent to upgrade the two characters.

Q. Is there any form of weapon progression? (Weapon-specific skill trees, attachments, modifiers, etc.)

A. There is some progression regarding the weapons, where you unlock new skills and combos for each of the weapons you unlock in the game. And there is a sort of rock paper scissor system with weapons and enemies, [with different enemies requiring different counters and strategies to overcome them,] and you unlock some kind of passive traits to which weapon to become more useful against [specific types] of enemies. But this [is not a traditional] RPG where you can just put some gems in the weapons to upgrade them.

Soulstice is actually skill-based. And that's the main core of the experience. On the other hand, if you play on normal, you can actually choose the weapon you like the most and get away with it, when you get to play at higher difficulty levels. So you actually have to think about the “rock, paper, scissors” play and counter-play, because it becomes more important [as you progress further into the game]. Obviously, the proficiency system, which is the passive abilities you can purchase, and the combos you can unlock, make it easier for you to get the job done. But it is still skill-based.

Q. How long would you anticipate an average playthrough to last?

A. On normal, [we’ve found] it's an average of 12 or more hours, [based on] internal play testing. And then there's the challenges that you have to find within the levels. And then you can look the further difficulty levels you can have a new game plus, so if you like the game, you will also have a reason to you know, stick with it for a one. How much you want to take your time and go through it or blank.

Q. Are there any current plans for DLC, on day 1 or beyond?

A. We do have plans actually, we're enabling some content, but we can't say anything about that just yet. Nothing ready to announce just yet. Heck, I don't even know all the details myself, and that’s pure honesty. But yeah, that’s more than likely. But [right now] we are just steadily rolling toward that September 20 release date.

Q. Outside of DLC being added later down the road, will there be any other forms of in-game monetization present in Soulstice?

A. Soulstice is a premium single-player game through and through. Our only form of monetization comes from the enjoyment of our players, and the trust we can build with them!

Q. Are there any plans for day-1 GPU driver optimization via Geforce Experience and AMD?

A. At the moment, such driver optimization is not planned. On the other hand, we can confirm that the game supports NVidia DLSS.

Q. What are the minimum and recommended PC system specs?
Minimum - OS: 64 bit windows 10
CPU: Core i7 4770k @3.5GHZ/Ryzen S 1600
Memory: 8gb Memory
GPU: GTX1060/RX5500XT
GPU Memory 6GB or Higher
Storage: 30gb
Direct X: 12

Recommended - OS: 64 bit windows 10
CPU: Core i7 4770k @3.5GHZ/Ryzen S 2600
Memory: 12gb Memory
GPU: GTX1080/RX5600XT
GPU Memory 6GB or Higher
Storage: 30gb
Direct X: 12

Q. On PC, will this game launch directly as an exe, or will users be required to install and use a proprietary third-party launcher? (Similar to, say, World of Tanks, Genshin Impact, etc.)

A. The PC version of the game will be released on Steam, and it will be launched as a standard Steam application.

Soulstice is set to release on September 20th on PC, Xbox Series S and Series X, and Playstation 5.

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