Developer Nonohara Works recently unveiled CALME, and though it may have flown under the radar for many, one look at the game tells you that it may very well be worth paying attention to. Sporting a gorgeous visual aesthetic and being billed as an adventure experience that focuses on exploration in what looks like an intriguing setting, CALME has certainly piqued our interest. We recently reached out to its developer with some of our questions about the game, and learned some interesting things in the process. You can read our interview with Susu Nonohara below.
"Our game is not a hack-and-slash game with intense combat, but rather a game focused on having players enjoy the story and the world."
One of CALME’s most striking aspects is its art style. What can you tell us about how you settled on this look for the game? What were your direct inspirations?
I am a concept artist and am working on a series of works called “Moe Architecture”. I wanted to create a “moe architecture” game, and that is how I came up with the current design.
I think our games are influenced by the video games I played as a child, Japanese anime movies, foreign children’s literature, and the countryside where I lived.
In terms of the game’s core gameplay loop, can you tell us how much of an emphasis it places on exploration? Will there be much puzzle solving or combat in the experience?
Players will mainly explore and interact with NPCs to advance the story.
Our game is not a hack-and-slash game with intense combat, but rather a game focused on having players enjoy the story and the world.
Therefore, there will be some puzzle solving and simple actions, but they will be implemented with the purpose of deepening the player’s immersion in the world and the story.
CALME seems to be focused primarily around the titular town that the game is set in, but how large will the game’s world be? Will players be spending much of their time outside the town?
Most of the game world consists of the town of CALME, the surrounding terrain, and the Cloud sea below the town.
The Cloud sea is envisioned to have several different areas, including swamps, forests, canyons, and ruin areas.
The town will be about 60% of the game, and the rest of the game will be about 40% of the play time. This is under development and may change.
"Because we are a small team, it was difficult to get it out on all platforms from the start, so we decided to focus on PC and Switch."
How much of a focus will story and storytelling be for the game?
We want to focus on that. Because we believe it is important for people to enjoy our worldview.
Do you have plans to eventually bring CALME to additional platforms as well? What was behind the decision to only announce it for PC and Switch?
Because we are a small team, it was difficult to get it out on all platforms from the start, so we decided to focus on PC and Switch.
After the release of PC and Switch, we would like to consider adding other platforms.
Roughly how long will an average playthrough of CALME be?
I expect it to be about 8h-10h.This may change as the project is still under development.
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