We had a lot of fun playing Mulaka for review, so we got in touch with the team at Lienzo to talk about the game’s development and release on consoles, and the importance of being true to the Tarahumara culture that inspired the game.
PS4Blog: Morning! Good to have you back with us at PS4Blog.net. How are you doing today?
Hey! We’re doing great. It’s launch week, so we are extremely excited. Thanks for having us!
PS4B: Mulaka is ready to go on consoles. How would you describe this release to someone who’s never heard about it?
Mulaka is an action/adventure game centered around the Tarahumara mythology. Throughout the game, you get to use the powers of the demigods to eradicate evil across the land. As you progress, you’ll be able to morph into different mythical beasts and craft several types of potions that will aid you along the way.
More than anything, Mulaka is a game born out of the passion and love that a small independent studio in Northern México has for the gaming industry.
PS4B: How long has the team been working on the game? How much did the overall design change from the initial concept stage to what we’ll be playing soon?
We’ve been actively working on the game for a little over two years, plus around a year and a half of research in order to get to know the myths and legends of the Tarahumara a bit more intimately.
As far as overall design changes go, Mulaka went through a pretty peculiar evolution process. Mulaka’s original design contemplated a much smaller scale game, one where you would learn about the Tarahumara and explore their lands as one of them, re-living ancient legends and, although the general idea always stayed the same, our scope, followed by our ambition grew far beyond our initial conception.
PS4B: It’s always interesting to see a team be inspired by the culture of its country. What drew you to use the Tarahumara lore in particular? How are you making sure you represent their culture in a way that fits the game’s design while also being true and respectful to the original source?
The Tarahumara are native of the region in Mexico where the studio is located. It is fairly common for someone in the northern part of the country to be in contact with this tribe in one way or another, the Tarahumara people and their traditions are an important part of the cultural identity of our state and as so, it was only natural for us to embark on this journey with them in mind.
It was very important for us, from the very beginning of the project, to be in close contact with Tarahumara elders. We made sure to ask for their permission before even drawing the first concept, and as time went on we made sure to show them our progress with the game, so that they were never out of the loop. Members of the Tarahumara helped us throughout development by either sharing myths, legends, or simply their insight when we took the creative liberty of adding something of our own. In addition to all this, we also leaned heavily on anthropologists, experts on indigenous tribes in order to maintain an accurate and respectful message.
PS4B: Will the team be working on any additional content for the game post-launch to be made available either as free or paid DLC?
For the time being, there is nothing to announce regarding DLC for Mulaka. That said, we will definitely be on the lookout, taking feedback from early adopters and, should the demand be there, we are not closed to the possibility.
PS4B: The trophy list for Mulaka is very different from that of Hunter’s Legacy, for obvious reasons, but in particular there are two things that really stand out: there are some missable trophies, and the game has a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy. Was it hard to work towards having a Platinum trophy in Mulaka? How long would it take someone to unlock all trophies in the game? Is it possible to get all of them in a single run?
It was a personal goal for us having a Platinum trophy in the game, and after a few conversations with our good friends at PlayStation, we were able to open the opportunity for having one in Mulaka. Someone with enough knowledge about the game and decent skill, should be able to unlock all of them in a single go, which should take somewhere between 6 to 8 hours.
PS4B: And that’s all the time we have today. Would you like to add anything else?
If you are an enthusiast of old-school 3D action platformers, you’ll be right at home in Mulaka. We really do hope you guys enjoy the game and by the end of it, that you get to know a new and different culture, filled with rich myths and amazing lore.