In ‘Sable’: “You’ll Find Other Game Findings That Are A Fool”
WIRED: Tell me about the evolution of the game from GIF-porn to what it is today.
Gregorios Kythreotis: In 2018 we show the first trailer. And in some ways, we can show that at dawn. We were only three months into full progress at that point. A month of that was spent preparing the demo trailer. So you know, it’s very early these days.
The initial idea of the game, before we signed with a publisher, was the kind of project we wanted, and we didn’t believe it could be commercially viable. We’ll just work on it six months and put it there. Afterwards we got a publisher, and it turned out to be a very small project. We signed a deal for Game Pass, which gave us the assurance of spending a lot of time on the project. Also, we’re a small team making an open-world game. That, when you think about it, is a good decision to make. But I think it’s useful. We’ve expanded our portfolio and brought in a lot of people. But we’re not a 20-man, full-time shooter or anything. Very little scale.
We are always careful how we discuss specific shapes. And again, like everything we’ve shown on Twitter, I’ll only show things that have been in the game for at least a year. I want to keep the game a mystery for people. I want people to come here with some kind of quick impression. But part of that is, if you’re not very clear or left too loose, people start projecting. [additional features and gameplay] in your project, and you have to be careful of that.
WIRED: Can you mention the release of the game as a demo?
GK: A huge benefit has been made to the demo recently showing people what the game is all about. Because, you know, in the beginning, people were like, “Oh, is this a racing game?” No. Even if it’s kind of time to release the first trailer, because you can’t even get off the bike. We actually started a different project to make bicycles without bicycles.
I think the demo is also a product of the Covid-19 pandemic. Otherwise, we would go to activities and sit next to a construction and be like: “Play in half an hour.” We probably won’t take the time to figure out how to get it to run someone else’s machine. It’s like a little release of the game.
WIRED: Other conversations are compared PROMISE on Breath in the Forest. From the demo, I feel like they are very different. How do you see the comparison?
GK: The main systems have a lot in common, and I think we know a lot from the structure of BOTW. It’s a game that inspires us a lot, because it’s so good at doing things to explore. We don’t have any physics systems and combat systems. The atmosphere is quite varied. I think that’s also hard to discuss, because you don’t want to compare it to a game like that. Because, again, the expectations are wrong.
PROMISE more of an adventure game. It’s a little colder. One of the things we want to do is design a game that the player gets a real sense of the mystery, and maybe that atmosphere that comes from Shadow of the Colossus, which is much quieter than something like that Breath in the Forest. You can ride long distances and meet very little and make peace with that, but where there’s this incredible boss order, we don’t have that, and we have to rely more on atmospheres. When you talk about inspiration, it’s like, “What things do I want? And what do I want to put into my life? “