We’re currently playing Transcripted for our review, so we got in touch with Alkemi to talk about the game’s development for the PlayStation 4.
PS4Blog: Welcome to PS4Blog.net! Could you please help us get started by introducing yourself to our readers and telling them about your work?
Hi, I’m Alain Puget, creative director at Alkemi, a small french indie game dev studio. I assume the roles of Art Director, Lead Game Designer, as well as PR guy and Manager… and I code shaders when I have some free time! We’re a small team of four people, mostly jack of all trades, and we’re trying to work on original concepts with high production value despite our small number.
PS4B: You’ve released Transcripted on PlayStation 4. What is the game about?
Transcripted is the result of a weird experiment where we tried to mix the gameplay of a twin stick shooter like Geometry Wars with a puzzle gameplay like Zuma. Yes, it does sound a bit weird, and it actually is… but it works! In the game, you pilot a nanoscopic probe to study and cure and a strange and unknown disease. With each sample, you will learn more about the disease and its origin, but it will also evolve and try to counter the progress you’ve made so far.
PS4B: What drew you to doing a match-3/twin-stick shooter?
Years ago, I was playing around with a concept of a Zuma-like game for fun. In an iterative process, I tried to add and change a lot of bricks of gameplay to this core concept, and I ended up with what would become the prototype for Transcripted. It was a small Flash game at the time.
I like mashups, but what I like the most is when the result is not really like any of the two original genres. If you see a video of Transcripted, you might be afraid that it’s a very difficult and hardcore shooter with lots of bullets on screen. But really, the game is about timing and strategy. You can become invulnerable nearly when you want if you play the right way. The game is not about super fast reflexes but careful analysis of your situation and planning the most efficient moves to create devastating combos.
PS4B: It’s been a long road for the game to make it to PS4. What changed between the original version of the game and the one we’ll be playing on PS4?
Transcripted had a very rough life. It was originally released on PC in 2012, but we were the victims of an unscrupulous publisher. The game kind of disappeared during nearly four years of legal battle. It was only last year that we were finally able to consider doing a PS4 port. We teamed up with Seaven Studio and Plug In Digital, people we’ve learned to trust with time, to help us with this project.
Of course, there was no way we could once again work with people we didn’t trust! The PS4 version is an optimized version of the original game, with a small bonus content that was exclusive to a few PC players back then.
PS4B: With the game now ready for PS4, what new game are you currently working on?
Even during all our legal issues with our previous publishers, we developed and released another game. It’s called Drifting Lands, a mash-up of a Diablo-like and a horizontal shoot’em’up. It was released last June for PC and Mac. Right now it’s still not official, but we’re very seriously considering doing a PS4 version of this game too!
PS4B: And that’s all the time we have for today. Is there something else you’d like to add?
I hope you’ll enjoy Transcripted, a game that is still unique after so many years!