Co-founder of Discord Games, James Petruzzi on bringing back old school experience with Chasm.
Chasm is a procedurally generated RPG Platformer that takes its inspiration from popular dungeon crawler games and Metroidvania. The game puts you in the shoes of Daltyn, a young soldier as he discovers paranormal forces have taken over Karthas, a fantasy world which is full of secrets and daunting enemies.
Chasm consists of six worlds, each having a different and unique art style. Players will need to explore, find new abilities and skills as they making their way across Karthas.
GamingBolt recently caught up with the game’s director and co-founder of Discord Games, James Petruzzi to know how the game is shaping up. Check out his response below.
Rashid Sayed: To begin with, can you tell us about yourself and Discord Games?
My name is James Petruzzi, and I’m the director of Chasm and co-founder of Discord Games. Chasm is Discord’s third title, and really our first major one. Our first two titles, Take Arms and 48 Chambers, were released on Xbox Live Indie Games.
Rashid Sayed: Chasm seems to be inspired a lot from the sides scrollers of the early 1990s. In an era where most hardcore gamers are more interested in cinematic games, where do you think Chasm fits in?
James Petruzzi: Chasm is geared towards players looking for an old school experience that reminds them of the games they grew up. We can’t compete with modern AAA games, but we believe we can focus on a niche like retro-style games and still be successful.
Rashid Sayed: So how is Chasm different from other side scrollers out there? There are a literally ton of them these days.
James Petruzzi: We’re using procedural generation to assemble the world, so each time you start a new game it will be somewhat different.
"It will definitely be a difficult game. We feel like most modern games have forgotten about difficulty and the sense of accomplishment that comes with beating something you couldn’t before."
Rashid Sayed: Can you please talk about the mission structure and the level design you have employed in Chasm?
James Petruzzi: Chasm is designed like a classic Metroidvania where you must explore the world and find powerups to progress. There is also treasure, traps, and much more to keep you on your toes as you explore.
Rashid Sayed: How are you balancing the difficulty? Will it be a controller-crusher -title?
James Petruzzi: It will definitely be a difficult game. We feel like most modern games have forgotten about difficulty and the sense of accomplishment that comes with beating something you couldn’t before. That said, it won’t be Super Meat Boy hard!
Rashid Sayed: Tell us about the art style and the inspiration behind the same.
James Petruzzi: The art style is reminiscent of the 16-bit era, but using a much wider color palette. The native resolution of the game is 384×216, which gives it that classic feel when we upscale it to 1080p.
Rashid Sayed: Roughly speaking how many hours will the game and is the game replyable?
James Petruzzi: We’re shooting for around an 8 hour experience, and with the procedural generation we’re hoping players will get several playthroughs out of it. We also have some plans to mix things up, like a Hardcore mode with permadeath and Time Trial runs with Leaderboards.
Rashid Sayed: The game has rpg mechanics and co-op. Can you talk about them briefly?
James Petruzzi: There’s no co-op, but it does have all the classic RPG mechanics like stats, equipment, abilities, etc. We will have a wide range of weapons, armor, and spells for players to find and experiment with.
Rashid Sayed: It’s a well known fact that Xbox One has lower compute units, slower memory and ROP count and most multiple platform games are running at a better resolution on the PS4. What’s your take on the differences between Xbox One and PlayStation 4?
James Petruzzi: Our native resolution is 384×216, so we’re not too concerned about which console can output more pixels to the screen.
"It’s been a great system to develop for just because it’s so close to a PC. We haven’t really had many issues getting the game to run smoothly on it."
Rashid Sayed: Will Chasm also be available on the PS Vita via Remote Play? Also, do you plan to use any other unique features of the PS4, including the DualShock 4’s touchpad?
James Petruzzi: We’re looking into Vita, but at the moment there are no firm plans. Hopefully a native MonoGame port will finally happen and allow us to port to it.
Rashid Sayed: What kind of benefits do you think the unified memory architecture of PS4 bought to the development of Chasm or for that matter game’s development in general?
James Petruzzi: It’s been a great system to develop for just because it’s so close to a PC. We haven’t really had many issues getting the game to run smoothly on it.
Rashid Sayed: Is there anything else you want to tell us before we let you go?
James Petruzzi: Chasm will be coming Summer 2015 for PC and PS4. Please check out chasmgame.com for more info!