- Can you please introduce yourself?
My name is Arturo Chaves, and I am the creator of 3Souls and the founder of Red Column. I am a huge Nintendo fan although I didn’t start playing video games until I was 16 when I won my first video game console: Nintendo 64. Since then I have always wanted to create videogames and 3Souls is my first one.
- In as few words as possible, please explain what 3Souls is.
3Souls is a puzzle-platformer adventure only for Wii U that strongly uses the GamePad. The game takes place in Mustland –a world with many rules, where the people there, the Ánimas, all wear masks and have their soul floating around them like a celestial light.
We, from our world, will use the GamePad to connect to them and help them on them adventure through the different portals. This will also be used like a window to the soul of the Ánimas to know more about them and them world.
- Were did the original idea of 3Souls come from?
All started with different prototypes to try to find the best way to combine different ideas of the use of the GamePad. When I found the right way to bring the game mechanics, I started creating the world of 3Souls. The main idea was to feel little by little that the player have the soul of the main character in them hands. The more that you play with them, the more that you know them.
- What games inspired you to work on 3Souls?
I like the platformer gameplay of Mutant Mudds and was the game that I was playing when I was testing to find the right gameplay for the platformer parts.
Then, when I was creating the characters and the story, I was probably inspired with Thomas Was Alone. I really like the idea of different characters in one game, and each of them have a different story and a strong personality. Thomas was Alone did this really well done with just squares and a great narration.
The structure of the game was inspired by all of the 3D Mario games, where they always have different levels with an introduction, development, twist and conclusion. With this structure help me to introduce each of the ways of use of the GamePad inside the game.
- How will the other two episodes differentiate from Nelesa’s?
I can’t really talk about this right now because I want to introduce this differences once the second episode is ready. Then, the players will understand even better the concept of the game… the very first teaser can give you a big hint where I want to go there.
- How long have you been working on 3Souls?
I start two years ago, but I have stopped the game several times for different reasons. Since September of last year I have continuously worked on it. There are still 2 episodes to come, but those will come during this year (we are already working on both of them of course).
- In what ways will the game make use of the Wii U Gamepad?
There are two ways.
First, it helps to describe the story and the character personality. The soul expressions appear on the GamePad and it will tell you with voice the inner thoughts and feelings in that moment.
The second way and more interesting is the portals. You can connect to them once you find them and that will connect your world with the world of 3Souls, Mustland. This will put you in different situations where you will use the GamePad in different ways, but discovering this by yourself is part of the experience and telling the people about the other portals will ruin the surprise. For that reason I have only showed one portal (the camera) on the last trailer, where you can see things on the GamePad that Nelesa can’t see on the TV. This will make you play with both screens to be able to continue between those hidden platforms.
- What’s it like working with Nintendo?
It’s been great. They are really helpful always with me and I had not problems with them. No only Nintendo, but other indie developers are really open to help you sometimes and collaborate with you (there is a small easter egg where I hide some Nindies references for example). I’m looking forward for more projects with both Nintendo and the other indie developers.
- How did Red Column form?
It was just me the first year. Later on, I showed the ideas and project to other people that I feel comfortable working with and the team that we are now where people that really liked it and wanted to be part of it. I’m very happy with all the background, music, illustration and narration team. I think in the end Red Column became a place for all the people that like the same philosophy than 3Souls, and after this I hope it keeps bringing more people together :). We are people from all over the world!
- 3Souls employs a rather interesting art design, what inspired it?
The art design it has a strong relation with the concept of the game, the souls. Nelesa has a sad soul, and you can see that reflected in the voice, color and face of the soul in the GamePad.
But that doesn’t stop there… Nelesa sees the world the way you see it because of her soul… meaning that she sees a sad world (a world that is drawn by hand in chalk). The same thing happened with the music, where you can find this sad and melancholic soundtrack in the background to match Nelesa’s feeling and story.
When I start the game, I wanted to create a character that doesn’t have any reaction to anything, and that’s why they all wear mask. The reason is because I wanted to give the personality and reactions of the character with other elements: the soul and his color, the music, the graphic and inside voice. In the end you know Nelesa as a sad soul because of all this.
The only things that are not hand draw are the important elements: the character, the soul, the portals and animated elements. Like that, the player can find out better which element he has to put attention on and won’t get confused by the hand draw elements. I also really like this mix between both in this way.
The next characters… well, you will see!
If you are interested in hearing our thoughts about 3Souls, please check out our review!
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