Yuki revolves around the main character, a Space Ranger whose duty is to guard the Star Flower, a celestial body responsible for feeding the universe with creativity. The object of desire of the evil Yokalians, Yuki sees his beloved universe in danger once they steal all of his creative force from him, setting the universe on a destructive path. Joined by the immeasurable powers of a child’s wild imagination, Yuki will detonate endless bullets and spooky creatures so that together they can save the universe.
Now that you have embarked on this adventure, you might as well know a little more about the universe in which you are about to immerse yourself! In this article, we share with you the basic fantasy of the game, an important pillar that has helped us maintain most of our design choices.
With the immersive capabilities of PlayStation VR, Yuki takes us back to our childhood, when, with our favorite toy in hand, the four walls of our bedroom suddenly became too small to fit the worlds we imagined. Being a game that revolves around creativity, we wanted the player to feel like a kid again, and with Yuki’s action figure in hand, embarks on a perilous adventure to save the universe. Basically every design choice came from this premise, which we called the core fantasy of the game, and helped us base all of the important decisions during creation, including the bedroom, the game’s front door. .
It was very important to us that each player had their own take on the game while still feeling like they belonged, and more importantly, we wanted each player to have a unique connection to the Yuki figure, just like they had to. their favorite toys. to grow. For that, we decided to place the game in a reality based on our own, but without any specific mention of where the story takes place outside of a child’s room. Not just any bedroom, this one clearly belongs to a huge Yuki fan, a decision made in order to immediately reinforce the player’s sense of who he is in the game.
The key to entering the fantasy world, picking up Yuki transports the player to where the real action takes place. While the main focus here was to create a difficult mix of bullet hell with elements of roguelite, it was important that the core fantasy of the game remained present. As a result, obstacles and ball patterns were created that constantly reminded the player that he was holding a toy. While it would be fun to see if Yuki could walk through the narrow bars of a door, or feel the thrill of dodging seemingly endless bullets, it would also be an instinctive way to strengthen the bond between Yuki and the player. It was interesting to see this happen during our playtests, where the testers hid Yuki behind them, once too many bullets endangered her safety, or even apologized to her once she was hit.
A game with elements of roguelite, the permanent progression of the player is an important aspect of Yuki, and during the game, the workshop is the place that fulfills this function. Getting it right in order to keep players motivated was fundamental for the team, but it was also crucial that this place follow the core fantasy of the game, something that we experienced from the early stages of the prototype. Always considered a place built on a child’s imagination, the workshop brings elements of the child’s room, such as the toy box and the desk, to anchor the experience of the player, while allowing a more tactile moment in a sort of holographic shed, where they can grab capsule toys that contain powerups and charms and decide which to buy to get stronger.
Being able to build a game where childhood plays such an intrinsic role has allowed us to shape it through our fondest memories. By consolidating each of them in the central fantasy of the game, we were able to create a unique gameplay, where we are invited to go back to the time when our favorite toys traveled with us to the most distant galaxies, to help us realize the impossible. We hope Yuki takes you back to that time and encourages you to, once again, play like a child.
Yuki will be out next week, November 16 on PS VR, and you can check out the trailer right now.
Also, since you are here, how about sharing with us some of your childhood memories? Did you have a favorite toy? We would like to know.