Review Fix chats with David Fugere-Lamarre, iLLOGIKA CEO & Founder, who discusses the creative process behind his new game, “Subaeria,” which is slated for a release on Steam, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
In Subaeria, players follow Styx, a young girl who’s out for revenge after her family is murdered by the overlord of Subaeria. She must fight her way through droves of murderous robots by pitting them against one another. As she progresses towards her goal of revenge, she’ll explore the underwater city of Subaeria to uncover the mysteries that lie below the depths.
Combining platform and clever puzzle gameplay mechanics with rogue-like elements, Subaeria’s single-player campaign stimulates players to use their logical senses with the help of their drone to defeat a swarm of adversary robots and lead them to destroy each other. Each level gradually increases the puzzle-solving difficulty, enabling power-ups and challenging the strategic thinking needed to control the environment and character abilities to accomplish victory.
Review Fix: How was this game born?
David Fugere-Lamarre: It started when we were around six people in the studio. The game started as a rogue-like prototype, inspired by The Binding Of Isaac, two of our designers were making in their free time. In the meantime, we read about a subsidy for Canadian developers (the Canada Media Fund, known as the CMF). Since we thought the concept of the game interesting, we decided to rework the idea, asked our families to loan us a bit of money and apply. We received the funding and started the production.
Review Fix: What has development been like so far?
Fugere-Lamarre: We spent five years developing Subaeria, going through many iterations and having to balance with other projects we were working on at the same time. We got the game on Steam Early Access in September 2015 and after a few updates, we decided to start working on a port for Xbox One and PS4. We resumed production in September 2017.
Review Fix: What makes this game special?
Fugere-Lamarre: Subaeria is not only a puzzle game, it’s also an action game without massive weapons to play with! To defeat your enemies, you need to make them destroy each other. So every player needs to use their best weapon: their intelligence! Another aspect making this game special is the randomly generated levels: each time you play there is a new challenge to face.
Review Fix: What games influenced this one the most?
Fugere-Lamarre: The Binding of Isaac was obviously our biggest influence, but we were very influenced by Zelda and Faster Than Light too!
Review Fix: Any fun stories or wild moments during development?
Fugere-Lamarre: After having created the first version of the game, we wanted to showcase it to the media. We decided then to get 9 other indie companies in Montreal, charter a bus and drive to NYC to showcase our games there, and meet with the media. It didn’t really create a lot of noise back then, but it was one of the early indie organization efforts in Montreal and helped create the great ecosystem we now have here.
Review Fix: Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?
Fugere-Lamarre: Some older game mechanics still work just as well in newer games. This is especially true in rogue-like games where the dungeon exploration part we got from the Zelda series is the most important to reproduce. Those mechanics are now part of the game designer arsenal. The same could be said for any art form, I think.
Review Fix: What’s your favorite memory as a gamer?
Fugere-Lamarre: Mine is the first time I played a Mario game with my young children. Sharing my love of playing games with them and doing something we all enjoy together is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.
Review Fix: Who will enjoy this game the most?
Fugere-Lamarre: We made the game for everyone, from midcore to hardcore gamers. We think rogue-like fans will enjoy it, but we also hope to attract players new to the genre.
Review Fix: How do you want this game to be remembered?
Fugere-Lamarre: We want this game to be remembered as not only a fresh take on rogue-like games, but also as a showcase of what we bring to the industry as an indie studio.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Fugere-Lamarre: We will keep working on games with our clients and partners as we have been doing but we have set aside a budget for our next original game to start when Subaeria releases. We are planning on a smaller scope this time as we’d like to release games more frequently. There is no shortage of good ideas, we just need to choose the right one.