As we mentioned before, Seraph is making its way to PlayStation 4 later in the year so we got in touch with Daniel Leaver from Dreadbit to talk a bit more about the game.
PS4Blog: Hi Daniel! Good to have you at PS4blog.net. Before we get started, could you please introduce yourself to our readers to get this going?
My name is Daniel Leaver and I’m the director of Dreadbit and the designer of our latest game Seraph.
PS4B: So after working at Media Molecule on the Little Big Planet series and on Tearaway, you decided to go on your own to create Dreadbit, taking to Kickstarter to secure funding to create Ironcast. Why leave the studio? What made you decide “I want to make this game, and I’ll ask the fans for their support on Kickstarter”?
Media Molecule is a fantastic studio; probably the best in the world, actually! The only reason a designer could ever want to leave is to make games that don’t really fit into their culture (like a turn-based mech combat puzzle game), so that’s why I left. The thing with game designers is that we’ve always got those “dream projects” in our heads – the kind we’d love to make if only we could get the funding. Kickstarter felt like the right place to for a relatively small amount of funding for Ironcast.
PS4B: We’ve had a lot of fun reviewing Ironcast, so we were definitely ready to check out the next game from Dreadbit. Seraph is certainly a whole different beast, going from a steampunk puzzle/strategy roguelike game to a very action packed and fast-paced release. What can you tell us about Seraph?
You’re right, it is a totally different beast indeed! Seraph is a skill-based, acrobatic shooter… without aiming. You play as the titular Seraph, an angel trapped inside a human vessel, fighting to escape a prison filled with demons. We wanted to channel everything that’s cool about movies like The Matrix and Equilibrium, although we noticed that most games that have attempted the same have relied heavily on slow motion gameplay, in order to give the player time to actually aim their weapons. We thought to ourselves “what if we take aiming out of the equation, and let Seraph do that for the player?”. So, we built a quick prototype and the minute seraph spread her arms out to fire at a different enemy on either side of her, we knew we’d found something really special!
PS4B: OK, hold on. A skill-based shooter without aiming? How does than even make sense? If the game auto-aims for players, how can it be a skill-based release?
Great question! Whilst the character aims her dual pistols and other weapons automatically, the player still has to make sure that they fully concentrate on firing in short bursts for accuracy, cartwheeling through the air to avoid enemy attacks and positioning themselves to ensure they’re focusing their attacks on the most dangerous enemies first. There’s a lot going on in Seraph, and players will have to be incredibly skilful to get through it unscathed!
PS4B: That’s definitely an interesting idea! What’s the current status of Seraph development-wise? Do you have an ETA on when it might finally be released on PlayStation 4 or is it too soon to know?
We’re entering Early Access on Steam first (on the 26th of April, actually!) to give us a few months of testing and player feedback. Then, we’ll submit to Sony for certification. We estimate Summer 2016.
PS4B: Are you aiming at having a full trophy count with a Platinum on PlayStation 4? With the way Seraph is going to play, you could definitely come up with enough challenges, milestones and goals to fill a full list of trophies for that coveted Platinum we trophy hunters love.
I really hope so, although this is all up to Sony. I have 11 platinum trophies so far and I’ve love for Seraph to be my 12th! We’ll see as we get closer to launch.
PS4B: Once again, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Is there something else you’d like to share with us before we go?
Thank you for taking the time to ask us about Seraph! Something else to share? How about that Seraph has a dynamic difficulty to match the player’s skill level (and loot drops that increase to reward them), or that the game has special Twitch integration, allowing viewers at home to vote on making the next level harder or easier for the streamer after each boss is killed? Find out more at the Official Seraph Website!