A fascinating premise that explores interesting themes, a dystopian setting in which the story takes place, an art style that immediately catches the eye, and the promise of mind-bending puzzles- The Plane Effect certainly seems to have all the elements in place that a game needs to demand your attention, which this definitely seems to be doing. Early indications, at the very least, are that it’s shaping up to be a rather unique and intriguing adventure. Curious as we have been to learn more about it, we recently reached out to its developers with several questions. You can read our conversation with Innovina’s Paolo Pavani and Dennis Cabella below.
"The Plane Effect, despite having a particularly abstract premise, is actually a concrete metaphor for our world, our society and loneliness."
The Plane Effect has an extremely unusual and abstract premise. What prompted you to try and tackle something like this via a game?
The basic idea of every video game, narrative or cinematographic experience always comes from stories or emotions that you have inside and want to tell.
The Plane Effect, despite having a particularly abstract premise, is actually a concrete metaphor for our world, our society and loneliness.
Video games are one of the best forms of art and communication today. A medium capable of telling any type of plot, capturing the player’s attention and, thanks to interactivity, making him immerse in the story at its best.
How did you go about gamifying something as abstract? What was the process of translating what you wanted to say about these subjects into compelling gameplay mechanics?
To reproduce something abstract, first of all it is necessary to start from images and colors and try to reproduce an atmosphere that causes a certain type of emotion.
So you have a foundation for creating mechanics, puzzles and situations that best emphasize that atmosphere.
The player must always find himself lost and unaware of what is happening to him and do his best to understand, resolve and proceed.
As in life, you can only move forward when you understand yourself and the world around you.
From the sound of things, it appears as though The Plane Effect may imbibe traits of stories with unreliable narrators somewhat. Are there any ways that this manifests in the gameplay?
The gameplay of The Plane Effect involves a fairly linear logic: being able to do only what you understand is right to do. In other words, the protagonist must perform the right sequence of actions to solve the puzzles and be able to proceed.
When can we hope to play the game? Would you say COVID has disrupted the development process for the game at all?
We are working to release the game this year. The COVID pandemic had a little impact on our development timeline.
"The gameplay of The Plane Effect involves a fairly linear logic: being able to do only what you understand is right to do. In other words, the protagonist must perform the right sequence of actions to solve the puzzles and be able to proceed."
You are bringing the game to a lot of platforms – what has the experience been like in trying to work with so many different systems with such varying range of hardware capability?
We are excited to bring the game to the new generation of consoles. We think this is a great time to publish a new game leveraging this new kind of capabilities.
Will The Plane Effect leverage any extra features offered by the Series X/PS5?
Series X and PS5 provide a wonderful gaming experience with 4K resolution and the exciting ray tracing technology. We want to amaze our audience with these new capabilities and enjoy them with an amazing gaming experience.
Given the game is coming to the Switch as well, why did you decide to skip Xbox One and PS4 for this title?
Our target is to amaze people as much as we can with our new game. The new gen consoles are the right platform to achieve this. We chose to engage the platform owners of the Xbox and PlayStation teasing them with the new title.
Did you find the Nintendo Switch constrain the game in any way, given its far weaker capabilities relative to the other consoles and PC?
We have not started porting to the Nintendo Switch yet.
Since the reveal of the PS5 and Xbox Series X’s specs, a lot of comparisons have been made between the GPU speeds of the two consoles, with the PS5 at 10.28 TFLOPS and the Xbox Series X at 12 TFLOPS- but how much of an impact on development do you think that difference will have?
We don’t think there will be much difference between the two consoles at this point.
The PS5 features an incredibly fast SSD with 5.5GB/s raw bandwidth. This is faster than anything that is available out there. How can developers take advantage of this? How does this compare to Series X’s 2.4GB/s raw bandwidth?
Leveraging the Texture Streaming technology for this could be one point of advantage for the PS5.
"Series X and PS5 provide a wonderful gaming experience with 4K resolution and the exciting ray tracing technology. We want to amaze our audience with these new capabilities and enjoy them with an amazing gaming experience."
The Xbox Series S features lesser hardware compared to Xbox Series X and Microsoft is pushing it as a 1440p/60fps console. Do you think it will be hold up for the graphically intensive next-gen games?
The Xbox Series S will be a good compromise to have excellent fps performances at 4K, Xbox Series X will allow the gamers to experience 8K too.
At this time there is no planning for an Xbox Series S version of our game.
What resolution and frame rate is the game targeting to run at on PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S? Furthermore, will the game have multiple graphical modes?
The game’s target is to have more than 60 FPS at the 4K resolution on PS5 and XSX. The game will have multiple graphical modes on PC only.