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Solium Infernum

Solium Infernum (Gamescom 2022) – League of Geeks on reviving a classic from hell

Solium Infernum (Gamescom 2022) – League of Geeks on reviving a classic from hell

Audio transcriptions

"How are you guys approaching this sort of re-imagining, remake, sort of reboot of the classic?
Yeah, it's a really great question."

"Solium Infernum, the original from 2009, developed by Vic Davis, it has such an incredible place in our heart.
I still remember the moment in 2009 when, at a time before we'd even founded League of Geeks in, my co-founder who I was working with, still at another studio, Ty, was like you've got to play this game."

"It's like nothing you've played before, it might be one of the best strategy games I've ever played.
And he showed me it, and even just the way that it looked, the striking visuals, everything, and then 10 years later when he rings up and we're like what's our next game going to be, what are we doing?
And he says, what about Solium Infernum, what's Vic doing with Solium Infernum, what if we reboot that, where we're giving it that League of Geeks spit and polish, and bringing our own vision to it, expanding upon it in a number of ways, tightening things up."

"Yeah, it's like if it's a diamond, new shape, new shine, etc.
I was kind of wondering, of course coming from Armello, what would you say is that you can add to this project?
Perhaps it's the production values first and foremost."

"We've watched the trailer, which looks amazing already, and this little demo, gameplay demo, and is that the main thing you can add?
Of course, other than your challenge, the most striking thing is the production values, isn't it?
Yeah, immediately you see it."

"And the first one, even though it's 2D, the first one, developed in Macromedia Director, it has a charm, it has a character, so it was really important to us to maintain that part, because it's one of the reasons why we love it.
But immediately you'll notice the production values, you know, 3D, the incredible archfiends that we have, the characters that we've created there."

"But one of the big things was the UX.
So a common gripe with the first game was, you know, there's no tutorial, it's a brilliant manual, but however many pages long, the UX was kind of cumbersome and everything.
And so we actually, you know, our very talented UX, UI designers, along with Ty, our game director and lead designer, the principal designer on the project, Anthony, have really come together and just overhauled this UX in a big way, especially Alex, our senior UX, UI designer."

"The sheer feat of taking the original Solium Infernum, this super complex game, and making it accessible is really one of the biggest things that you'll first notice when you get into the game.
Strategy games for us, they're so incredible."

"We love them, the sticky mechanics.
For those of us who love and play strategy games, you get it, but there is a world of players out there that, you know, they're still too hard to get into.
And so our real goal with Solium Infernum was like, how can we keep it as complex and as deep as it currently is, but crack it open so that, you know, someone who just plays Destiny on, you know, every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday night can jump into Solium Infernum because their friends recommended it and get straight into it and enjoy that depth that it brings."

"Lots of things going on here, lots of characters, interesting lore to learn about.
So you're right, we call it the strategy game from hell because it literally is, it's set in hell."

"So it's based on Milton's poem, epic poem, Paradise Lost.
And you play as an arch fiend, one of these great demon lord rulers of one of the great houses of hell.
And the dark prince, Lucifer, his dark majesty has vanished."

"He's abdicated the infernal throne, it sits empty.
No one knows where he's gone, if he's coming back.
And it's in that power vacuum that our game takes place.
And so it's a political strategy game where you play as an arch fiend, we'll launch with eight arch fiends."

"And it's one to six players, multiplayer, we've got single player as well, which the original game didn't have, but it's up to six players, multiplayer.
And it's just like espionage, political maneuvering, you know, a text base, you're moving stuff, you're legions and titans and things around the board."

"But a lot of the time you're actually just political maneuvering them.
So the demo that I'm showing today is actually, we start at turn 20, so we're about an hour into the game, everyone's consolidated their territories, and this is where the political jostling starts."

"And so we have the other arch fiends, Belial, Lilith and Astaroth, it's a four player game, this one I'm demoing.
And what I'm doing, what I'm showing here to the press is, I'm showing how in five turns, using no military maneuvers whatsoever, no military might, I'm actually going to turn the tides of battle in my favor, just using espionage, rituals, which are dark magics, political maneuvering, even just the way that I move my legions around the board, I'm not engaging people, I'm just cutting them off from resources or, you know, intimidating them in particular ways, slowing their ascent."

"And you really get an idea from seeing that demo in just five turns, how it's really political maneuvering, the being, I mean, they're arch fiends of hell, they're the worst people in existence, most of them aren't even people, they're demons, right?
So it really is a game where you're just, you sit in that cold, hard decision space in strategy, and it's just absolutely torturous paranoia set in hell."

"Are those rituals one of the new features?
Can you please elaborate on those?
Yeah, no, rituals were in the original game as well.
So there's so much of the original game that's there."

"The rituals are a dark magic, so you have like a ritual board that you go to where you can cast these spells.
So some of them might be like summoning the great titan, you know, with a devourer, which we actually saw there that I showed you."

"Others might just be a straight damage spell, you might be casting a spell to steal an artifact from an arch fiend without them realizing.
There's a bunch of different kinds, there's all different kinds of rituals that you can cast."

"So you're a demon lord of hell, right?
You have these dark infernal magics.
And when can we expect it to release?
If you have sort of a release window?
Yeah, we're currently targeting 2023, you know, but really when it's ready is the answer."

"It's such an important license to us, it's such an important game, we'll have more to speak about release dates in the future.
But definitely, you know, by the time you see this, the game will be up on Steam, available to wishlist, check it out, sign up to our mailing list, join the infernal community and stay tuned because we do have things planned for the lead up to launch, hopefully next year that, you know, we can't really talk about today."

"And it's going to be a big surprise for fans of the original, so let's keep it that way, right?
Yeah, yeah, definitely.
One other thing that I did want to mention as well is the asynchronous multiplayer."

"So that's a big, big thing.
Yeah, you mentioned multiplayer, it's 1 to 6, I also wanted you to elaborate on that, it's 1 to 6, so there's both synchronous and asynchronous?
Yeah, definitely."

"So you can sit down, you can actually just play with your friends.
So if you're all there and you got, you know, a few hours to spare, it is this kind of, we call it like a mini grand strategy or a baby grand strategy game where you have the depth of a grand strategy game, but you can get through a session in like 3 to 4 hours or something like that, 2 to 4 hours."

"But what you can also do, and this is another way in which we're trying to make the game more accessible, and the original, like, it was fantastic, one of the most legendary things about the original was that it was play by email.
So the way that it worked is, you know, you and me and four of our mates are playing a game and I email you my turn at the end, because you're hosting the game, everyone emails them to you, you process the turns and you email us back the results."

"So we're doing it, not play by email, but asynchronous in the same sense where basically you log on at lunchtime, we've got a multiplayer game going, you log on at lunchtime, spend 10 to 15 minutes putting your turns in, and then I get home, put the kids to bed, you know, and then I jump on, spend 30 minutes, log my turn, and then one of our mates in the morning and then the turns are done, we get a notification saying they're all in, come and see what happened."

"And then we log on, all of us, and we're like, okay, what's happened, you know, you've stolen my legion, you know, this titan's been summoned on this other part of the board, I've been insulted by someone else.
There's a bottom for that, it's insulting."

"Exactly, yeah, insulting is a very, very important part of the politics in Hell.
So in our Hell it's all red tape, it's all bureaucracy, it's all politics, we like to call it, especially when the asynchronous multiplayer is there, we call it scheme in your sleep, you know, you're lying in bed thinking, did I bid enough on that infernal legion, like, is Lilith going to actually, you know, throw a vendetta towards me."