Underworld coming out next week on PlayStation! We hope you have a wonderful time exploring the underworld of Greek myth and discovering all of its many surprises from August 13th. Today it’s been almost four years since we started thinking about this game, so I wanted to tell you about some of the unique circumstances that led our small team to develop what has become our biggest hit of all time – a game that has already won over 50 Game of the Year awards from publications such as IGN, Eurogamer and many more. Suffice to say that we could never have imagined all this when we started!
We started talking about Project Hades in late summer 2017, just weeks after launching our third game, Pyre. Our studio had just turned 10, and we were in a thoughtful mood, thinking about the different games we had created. From Bastion to Transistor to Pyre, we’ve gone from one original setting and style of play to another. However, a central goal in each project was to create a richly atmospheric and fully realized world in which you can immerse yourself. In practice, that meant throwing away our best ideas from our last project and starting from scratch. After all, we didn’t want our latest games to look too much like their predecessors and wanted each world to be independent. But, as Hades approached, the thought of putting aside all of our best ideas from the past once again felt unnecessarily limiting. Couldn’t we be building on our best ideas and experiences, rather than starting from scratch?
So, one of the fundamental ideas behind Hades was to make it some sort of “biggest hit” of anything we had been able to accomplish and loved to do in our previous games up to this point. So here are some of the central ideas behind Hades:
A ‘narrative rogue-like’. We were drawn to making a game in a rogue-like format, that is, a game focused on replayability, where every time you die and start over you get a different experience due to generated encounters. procedurally and other interesting random stuff. While this is a popular genre with many great titles, we thought we could help with a more focus on storytelling and storytelling than what the genre is generally known for. This approach wouldn’t just play on our strengths as a team, it would hopefully help open up the thrills of rogue-type games to more players.
Our very first adaptation (rather than a completely original frame). We have had the privilege of being able to create our own unique worlds for each of our games. After three titles, we had a good idea of what that experience was like. But something we had never done before was adapt an existing world or setting in our own style. We chose the world of Greek myth, both because I and the other team members have had a lifelong fascination with him, and because we thought he was so well suited to the rogue genre- like. We also felt like we had a specific take on the Greek myth that we hadn’t seen much expressed in modern adaptations, focusing on the Olympians as one large, dysfunctional family, and centering our perspective. about the underworld and its own known little gods.
Immediate and reactive intervention. We wanted just about anyone to be able to start having fun with Hades in seconds. It was sort of a reminder of our design approach in our first game, Bastion, where we wanted players to be able to jump right in and then find out what was unique about it. We also wanted Hades players to be able to enjoy the game for minutes or hours, however they like.
Depth of interconnected systems and surprising permutations. Here we wanted to build on one of our favorite aspects of our second game, Transistor, which has a deep and complex combat system where you can create your own set of powers by combining the properties of other powers in different ways. . We thought that sort of approach would be the key to giving Hades its longevity as a rogue type game. You would get many different powers from different Olympian gods, and they would interact in many surprising and interesting ways.
Character-driven story with no end-game state. Our narrative structure builds on ideas and lessons learned from Pyre, a game whose story always moves forward, whether you succeed or fail. We wanted that feeling of a great continuing story where failure was only part of the experience rather than a constant source of frustration and interruption. You decide how much you want to get involved in the story and the characters of Hades, and you will find that the characters are always responsive to your latest achievements.
With those ideas in mind, we took our first steps towards creating what has become our biggest and most successful game we have ever made. Whether Hades on PlayStation is your first experience with one of our studio’s games or you’ve been with us for a long time, we really appreciate your interest and support, and would love to hear what you think – so let us know. ! We are @SupergiantGames on Twitter. Take care of yourself and good luck getting out of hell!