[PS4Blog.net Interview] Pendulo Studios on Yesterday Origins
Yesterday Origins from Pendulo Studios is making its way to PlayStation 4 on October 13, so we got in touch with the team to talk about the game’s development on Sony’s home console.
PS4Blog: Hi! Welcome to PS4blog.net, Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello! Thanks for having us! We’re Felipe Gomez and Ramon Hernáez, CEO and Creative Director at Pendulo Studios, the development team responsible for the Runaway saga. We’re just finishing Yesterday Origins, co-produced with the publisher and dev studio Microïds, creators of the wonderful Syberia saga.
PS4B: Yesterday Origins is a game we’re very much looking forward to playing soon. What can you tell us about this adventure game?
Thanks for the hype! Well, we’ve been working on it for two years now… so we have a lot of things to say! Yesterday Origins is both the sequel and prequel of our previous game, Yesterday, IMGA nominee and Best Spanish Game 2012. However, it’s not necessary to play the first game in order to enjoy Yesterday Origins. The game has the most intricate thriller plot we’ve ever produced, but at the same time it depicts a hint of dark humor almost everywhere.
You’ll be able to play both as John Yesterday, the 500-year old hero in search of his past, and as Pauline, his strong independent French girlfriend, in two different ages (present day and Inquisition time) while traveling around the world (France, the US, the Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, and more).
On the design area, we’ve introduced some new features into the graphic adventure genre: an extra inventory were you stock information, not physical objects; a graphical interface that allows you to find new hotspots inside hotspots, hence maximizing the playable possibilities of the environments; and puzzles that must be solved using even 5 items at the same time!
PS4B: How did working on a fully 3D game change the way the studio approached the story and puzzles for Yesterday Origins?
It’s like… freedom! Of course, it’s more expensive both money and time-wise, but it enabled our design team to create without the limits imposed by 2D. We had been working on 2D and 2.5D for more than 20 years, so it was a great change, and many times we weren’t even aware of the new features that 3D enabled us to include.
To start with, it allows our characters and environments to be much more expressive. That’s great not only for the eye, because there are way more animations and effects that help players to immerse themselves in the game’s universe, but also we don’t have to rely so much in words to convey emotions, informations or even hints.
PS4B: How long is the game? How many hours will it take someone to reach the end?
We know the game by heart, so we’re not the best to judge! 🙂
However, according to our testers, the game lasts around 10-12 hours, which is pretty cool for an adventure game these days. Originally, the game was supposed to be a tad shorter, but we never got tired of including more and more content (why do we devs never know when to stop?)! Besides, the game is full of secrets, so those who like to get the most of their games will be able to spend almost twice the time!
PS4B: Will Yesterday Origins include a full trophy count with a Platinum trophy?
Of course! This is our first PlayStation game, so we put in the extra effort in creating meaningful trophies… for a total of 37, which is an awful lot for an adventure game!
While some of them are the usual ones (complete chapters, collect a number of items, yadda yadda yadda), others have been specially crafted for adventure players: in order to solve some of them, players will have to squeeze their brains, because those trophies are brain puzzles in their own right… and the hard kind!
PS4B: Now that the game is pretty much done for it’s October 13 release, what is next for Pendulo?
Believe it or not, there’s still a lot to do even after release, as No Man’s Sky recently taught us all! Part of the team will stay focused in analyzing the community’s feedback to learn from the experience; some others will start porting the game to other platforms, and some others will start the pre-production of our next game… but it’s too early to talk about it now!
PS4B: Thank you for your time. Do you want to add anything else before we end this?
We’d just love it if PlayStation 4 players enjoy the game! We’ve put a lot of effort, not only on the trophies, but mainly on the controls. As you know, many adventures haven’t been able to translate the “point’n’click” interface to a controller, so we been working hard to provide the best adventure + controller experience ever.
It would be pretentious of us to say that we’ve achieved that goal, but here’s some objective data: almost all the testers of the game, who have been playing adventures with mouse + keyboard for decades, told us that playing Yesterday Origins with the controller is even better! We’ve tried to take as much advantage of the new PS4 controllers as possible: the different kinds of vibration, the pad, the mike… and if you want to have an ultra-immersive experience with Yesterday Origins and your controller, just remember to turn off the lights while playing!
Many thanks for this interview!