Sunday, July 21, 2024

Sister Warframe, Soulframe: Everything We Know So Far



Since the release of their signature game in 2013, Digital Extremes has been largely known as the “Warframe” studio. Today, that is changing.

The developer describes its new game, “Soulframe,” as less of a sequel and more of a sister to “Warframe,” the online space ninja that has come to span countless genres over a decade of updates. Steve Sinclair, who is stepping down from his decade-long tenure as Warframe director to help lead the new project, told The Washington Post that the game will share Warframe’s focus on cooperative player-player combat and procedurally-generated environments, but it will be a “cosmos version”. The mirror from “Warframe.”

This applies to the setting: “Warframe” is a unique mechanical-powered game in the sci-fi genre. “Soulframe” would be an exotic scene suitable for the imagination. It will also apply to gameplay.

“Where Warframe focuses on shooting, this one focuses on melee,” Sinclair said. “Where Warframe is super fast and high-speed, this game will be more slow and heavy. But it still has a lot of similarities with the genre we have experience with.”

Is the goal a fair help? It seems that professionals, experts, and developers do not agree.

Even in the age of endlessly updated live-service games, “Warframe” is a unique success story. The game was launched in 2013 to great fanfare and mediocre critical reception, however the game found an audience after Digital Extremes bundled several ambitious updates into it, creating the Frankenstein monster in the online gaming world. Slowly but surely, the humble co-op shooter has gained an emotional storyline, complex character progression systems, first-person killing puzzles, and massive spaceships to pilot with friends, Attractive musical numbers About workers’ rights, open world planets, skateboarding (with tricks), pets and fishing.

Fans have been able to watch and help shape the creation of many of these systems via development streams on Twitch that have also been running since 2013. The result is a live service game that is guided by the whims of developers and gamers alike, with the question, “What’s the coolest thing we can do here?” At the heart of countless decisions.

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But no game is without limits. Ultimately, developers need a blank slate. For Sinclair and her partners, “Soulframe” is an opportunity to step out on a new and familiar edge and see where it takes them.

The “Soulframe’s” universe may be, as has been suggested, the most interesting character. The game will focus on themes of nature, restoration, and adventure as inspired by works such as “The Princess Mononoke” and “The NeverEnding Story” – specifically, the collision between industry and nature. In the service of it, the world will show its displeasure towards the players who occupy it.

“Vanity [in ‘Soulframe’] Creative Director Jeff Crooks said, “The world itself is a little angry at what has been done to it, and the reasons beneath it tend to change over the course of the day.” “So there will be a procedure within the networks of caves, crevices, etc. under the world.”

In the meantime, the axial world will be open, closer to the open-world planets Warframe recently added than its early establishment of spacewalks and stations. Crookes wants Soulframe to focus on exploration that Warframe never had – so players can feel more alive on a momentary basis.

“I’m chasing that ‘short session but high immersion’ thing where you check in and out of your dorm and you’re the last place you check out,” he said, “but the world feels like it’s going on without you.” “

Can virtual nature be a good alternative to the great outdoors? Science says yes.

While the combat will be slow and focused on melee – the game is literally called “spiritframe” – Sinclair and Crookes emphasized that they are not trying to make a game in the context of Souls’ flagship series in the genre, which includes the 2022 MB “Elden Ring.” Or rather, they did not get into the project with that in mind.

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“I think it certainly wasn’t the inspiration for the initial ideas or what we wanted to do,” Sinclair said. Ironically, other titles that may have been borrowed from ‘Warframe’ may have had some sort of the opposite effect. But ‘Elden Ring’ was certainly the subject of some Conversation – maybe it has to do with the camera, maybe it has to do with how fast the fight is. And you know, fuck these guys, because damn, [‘Elden Ring’] It was absolutely wonderful.”

Sinclair and Crookes haven’t been willing to discuss the subtleties that set “Soulframe” melee combat apart from Souls games, and there’s good reason for that: “Soulframe” is still in a very early stage of development. The game’s core concepts started showing up at Digital Extremes in 2019, but a very small team – mostly artists – were dedicated to working on it until February.

So why announce it now, when there’s hardly anything to show for it? Sinclair has admitted he’s become a “meme” when companies reveal games with opaque CG trailers and few tangible details, but above all he wants to be upfront with gamers.

“Our work has been very community driven,” Sinclair said. “It’s deceptive not to tell [players] About the changes and who is driving the “Warframe”. It’s too early to actually announce “Soulframe”! But in terms of being transparent and making sure they understand our way of thinking, we tend to be more open…than most studios.”

But Sinclair and Crookes don’t plan to advertise “Soulframe” and then retreat to a silent development lab featuring all-metal rails and tinted windows. After achieving success with Twitch’s regular ‘Warframe’ streams behind the scenes, they plan to give fans a look behind the guise of ‘Soulframe’ as soon as possible. Ideally, this process would begin as quickly as possible, and the diehards at Digital Extremes would have a version of “Soulframe” within a year.

“The thing we want to try is to do something similar to ‘Warframe,’ which is, ‘Hey, watch us make the game and get your hands on the rough parts and tell us how you feel,'” Sinclair said.

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This strategy may seem unrecognizable at such an early stage, but Sinclair believes it’s not too far off from what Digital Extremes did with “Warframe,” a game now completely unrecognizable compared to its absolute release.

“Doing that is kind of detective at the same time,” Sinclair said. “In my opinion, it’s like, OK, if it doesn’t work, you keep moving on until you die or that happens. A lot of things in Warframe were just, like, catastrophic failures from a design perspective. And we just said, ‘” Well, well, we won’t do that anymore. Just fix it and remake it.

It is exhausting and difficult. You get the thing where someone makes a spreadsheet with promises you haven’t kept. But I think with Warframe, we were able to turn some people into heroes [of the game] By talking to them in a way that is less guarded and less polished.”

Sinclair also chose this moment to announce “Soulframe” because “Warframe” is about to receive a new open-world expansion, “The Duviri Paradox,” and wants to prove that the game is left in good hands.

“After a decade on Warframe, all the people in leadership positions were there for 10 years, and there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for other people to take on leadership roles,” he said. “I wanted to get a little out of the way and get some new ideas – you have a chance for the next generation of our great team to have some kind of resilience.”

However, after many years spent on the project, it was not easy for Sinclair and Crooks to abandon this project.

It’s exciting, but also kind of bittersweet,” Crooks said. “

“We’ve been slapped a few times,” Sinclair said, laughing. “I couldn’t help myself interfering, and it caused some conflict.”



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