Given how many Soulslike games there are for genre fans to choose from now, one can’t help but sit up and take notice when one comes along that seems to be doing something rather new and unique. Neowiz’s Lies of P is a game that very much falls in that group. A game based on Pinocchio that combines the trappings of its source material with a gothic horror setting and Soulslike mechanics isn’t something that comes along very often, after all, and based on what little we’ve seen of it so far, Lies of P seems to be bringing that idea to life in impressive fashion. Curious to learn more about the game, we recently reached out to its developers with some of our most burning questions. You can read our interview with them below.
What led to the idea to make a Pinocchio-inspired Soulslike game?
It was a strategic intention to draw attention to the project and remember what pulled themes and stories apart from the original title name. Among the classic adventures, we focused on choosing a well-known tale and developing to the Soulslike genre, and as a result, it was the adventure of Pinocchio.
How much of an emphasis does Lies of P place on its story? Given the game’s Soulslike gameplay, does a Soulslike approach bleed into storytelling as well, or does Lies of P take a different approach to how it tells its story?
Since we have borrowed the story of Pinocchio as a motif, we are putting in a lot of effort to make it an interesting one. It’s hard to mention a specific storyline, but we’re paying particular attention to various perspectives to maintain the characters’ charm in the original story. Also, we’re trying to keep the hidden story dynamics in Soulslike to let players reveal and dive into it.
Lies of P’s lying mechanic is one of several things about the game that grab attention. What can you tell us about how it manifests in the gameplay, and how significant of an impact it has on how the story plays out?
I can define ‘Lies’ as saying something different from what happened. However, as an element that penetrates the game’s story, it’ll be too much of a simple explanation in this case.
In Lies of P, lies are actions that make Pinocchio believe he is human. To put it more into perspective, Pinocchio is a doll, but when he behaves like a human being or gives answers that humans can only understand, people will consider him as a human being, not a doll. In conclusion, players will have to think a lot to determine which would be the correct answer as a human being during the actual gameplay.
How much variation can players expect from the game’s procedural quests that change based on how the player lies?
‘Lies’ act as a means of the main quest and directly affects the endings. To complete the quest, every player has to answer various questions. When you choose the answer that is a lie, you get the reward of humanity, and the ending diverges according to the degree of compensation.
Through ‘Lies,’ not only will the endings change, but the quests and the types of enemies change at the same time. In addition to this, many exciting factors appear in various ways depending on one’s choices. Please forgive me that It’s not allowed to tell any specific content as our potential players might lose the fun factor.
"Through ‘Lies,’ not only will the endings change, but the quests and the types of enemies change at the same time."
How extensive is the weapon-making system in Lies of P?
There are over 30 types of pure combination weapons, including some with unique abilities. You can create more than a hundred weapons if you do a combination, so it’s crucial to find the right one. Also, if you combine different types of weapons, you will get a funny look or a cool look. So finding a weapon combination will be another crucial point of the game.
Also, the attack motion and skills may vary depending on each combination. Almost all specs such as range, attack speed, and damage will change depending on the structure.
What can you tell us about how being able to change parts of Pinocchio’s body affects the gameplay? Is this something that can impact everything things like traversal and exploration as well?
We tried to use this feature to cause a strategic difference in attacking. But, on the other hand, to avoid affecting those players who haven’t undergone any modifications, we have limited the influence range in movement and exploration.
What approach have you taken to designing Lies of P’s world? Will players be exploring a large, seamless city, or will it be more sectioned and interconnected?
It’s not exactly a vast, seamless open world, but we have been working on some features to give it an open-world atmosphere as much as possible.
One of them is the weather synchronization system. As you progress the game, the weather changes according to each stage. So even if you return to an area you passed through before, the changing climate still applies with some additional events. Also, we’re using various directing techniques to indirectly deliver the stories in each place rather than telling the details. Ultimately, our goal is to capture the world as densely as possible.
How will Lies of P approach difficulty? Will the game have difficulty options?
First, I want to talk about how we defined the essence of Soulslike. Soulslike is a genre that requires strong judgment from every player.
It is not only a simple action genre that requires good body acuity, quick hand movements, and overall quickness, but also a genre that makes players constantly think about the most practical and timely choice. These parts are the real essence of Soulslike. So we often say each player’s level continuously rises throughout the whole process.
Likewise, we have configured the same to require the player’s experience level. There are many options. From combining weapons and strengthening the left arm to how to level up, these choices determine each player’s combat tendency, and getting the right strategy should be a game’s difficulty setting. We followed these principles to express the critical points of Lies of P, and we have been trying to make each player think about how to accept a given task and plan a strategy.
The difficulty level will be adjusted to a similar level to those popular Soulsike titles. Metaphorically speaking, if you compare a game’s difficulty with a spicy food dish, sometimes that spiciness is thanks to the combination of really high quality ingredients, while other times it’s simply because the dish is filled with chemicals that are spicy themselves. When it comes to game design and difficulty level, we’re definitely aiming for the former.
In a word, Lies of P won’t be using the game difficulty option.
Roughly how long will an average playthrough of Lies of P be?
We are aiming for 30 hours or more. Recently, we did an internal FGT for the two early stages, and many testers took more than 5 hours to finish. However, it is not the result of ridiculous difficulty. Instead, I heard that it took a long time to practice various combat systems and get used to them.
"It’s not exactly a vast, seamless open world, but we have been working on some features to give it an open-world atmosphere as much as possible."
What was behind the decision to not release Lies of P on PS4 and Xbox One?
We’re considering release on PS4 and Xbox One.
At first, it was planned to be released exclusively on next-generation consoles. However, the game itself did well in optimization, so we also decided to add the previous generations. Fortunately, our studio has a profound understanding of TA techniques of console development through the previous projects. So the implementation won’t be a big deal in this case. Internally, we have already achieved the standard of the target specifications for both models, and we will continue to strive to provide the best play conditions.
How are you handling death in the game?
Since Soulslike borrows some of the functional elements from Roguelike, the rule of recollecting should be an essential element. However, we will implement the expression method and specific rules in Lies of P differently from the existing Soulslike.
Can you talk us through the bosses in the game?
Boss-level monsters are planned to be produced in more than 30 types, and the key is to provide a new combat experience with each of them. Each time a new monster is created, we conduct a separate RND and technology research to create a renewed experience that has never existed before. Therefore, if you get involved in each boss battle, it will be necessary to understand the pattern and the related system.
What can you tell us about the progression, skills, weapons, and armor of the game?
The progression is made linearly of stage clearing, and various events will occur during the stages. Some events allow you to revisit the areas that have already passed. You will encounter new experiences that you have never met before during the revisit.
In addition, we’re also working on the shortcuts, hidden items, unexpected maps, etc., for original Soulslike fans to enjoy the Soulslike levelings in Lies of P fully.
The basic skills will differ according to each weapon’s attack motion, while the special abilities change with the combinations. To give a wide-range action experience beyond the basic skills, players can modify the left arm to use various dynamic skills and evolved patterns through enhancement.
Lastly, an internal system called ‘Engine of P’ runs Pinocchio’s body. Using this system, Pinocchio can be evolved into a specific format that each player wants it to be. The strategy of modifying the left arm is essential. However, this ‘Engine of P’ will be the key system for players to decide how to deal with the combat style throughout the game.
"We are aiming for 30 hours or more."
The PS5 features an incredibly fast SSD with 5.5GB/s raw bandwidth. How can developers take advantage of this, and how does this compare to the Xbox Series X’s 2.4GB/s raw bandwidth?
Compared to the actively streamed titles, those features are not something we have been seriously considering in terms of technical application. But, honestly speaking, there doesn’t seem to be any difference between the two models.
The Xbox Series S features lesser hardware compared to Xbox Series and Microsoft is pushing it as a 1440p/60 FPS console. Do you think it will be able to hold up for the more graphically intensive games as this generation progresses?
From the developer’s perspective, I think it should be something about how much you understand the technology and how many production strategies you have for performance. Supporting those high-end games shouldn’t be difficult if the compromise on resolution and graphic options are excellent.
Super Resolution is coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. How do you think this will help game developers?
Super Resolution has been of great help in development as it can further increase the graphic quality. We hope that this kind of solution will continue to be updated and evolved in the future.
What frame rate and resolution will the game target on the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S?
We’ve achieved in Quality Mode at narrative 4k 30FPS and Performance Mode at 1440p 60FP. Ultimately, we are working towards the goal of narrative 4k 60 FPS in Quality Mode.
What are your thoughts on the Steam Deck? Do you have plans for any specific optimizations for the device?
So far, we’re not in consideration of the Steam Deck. As this is the first next-generation console project that we are challenging, I think it is vital to concentrate on the initially planned platform.