Developer: Paper Cult
Formats: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: Out Now!
We got the chance to speak to Papercult about their brutally bloody action-title Bloodroots:
How would you describe Bloodroots to someone who had never heard of the game?
In Bloodroots, the world is your weapon. Everything around you can be used as a makeshift weapon. All of these improvised weapons also influenced how you moved around. Keep your momentum and alternate from one weapon to the other to carve your way through a ton of enemies. Everyone dies in one hit, that includes your character. So it’s all about dying and retrying until you pull off a choreography that lets you clear an area in one go.
I’ve felt like I’m playing what would be best described as ‘Quentin Tarantino meets Hotline Miami’ in Bloodroots. What are the inspirations you’ve had in mind when creating the game?
We have always been straightforward with our influences. We like to say that we created Bloodroots with the same process Tarantino makes his movies. It’s a big patchwork of many influences and inspirations that creates its own thing.
Here are a couple of examples of what I mean. For the gameplay, the main starting influence was Jackie Chan. We wanted to recreate the way he uses all of his environment as a weapon. The artwork is a mix between the work of Mary Blair on Disney classic era and Scott Wills who was art director on Samurai Jack. The setting is inspired by The Revenant. Obviously the fast pace ‘’die-retry’’ game loop comes from Hotline Miami. The bloody over the top esthetic is from Tarantino. The start of the story is a classic Western trope that blends into something darker as we progress. Etc etc.
We see a lot of procedurally-generated levels in games these days, but all of Bloodroots are hand-crafted. Was this an important factor when creating the game or were you ever tempted to go down the procedurally-generated route?
We did envision going with procedurally generated levels. We even at some point prototyped it. But it didn’t make sense for our design goals. First, Bloodroots is all about chaining some amazing combos by creating your own path. Every level was iterated on multiple times, and then playtested, and then re-worked. The level design is a crucial part of why the game feels good. To give you an idea, at some point during production the team grew to 8 members, and half of them were level designers. The second reason we didn’t go procedural is that it was also one of our core design choices to have a game full of surprises. Many of our decisions were made with that idea in mind. As so, we wanted a game that always throws new stuff at the player until the very end. It is really hard to make procedural level that don’t start to all feel the same at some point.
There are plenty of creative (and bloody) ways to decimate your foes in Bloodroots, but which is your personal favourite?
My favorite is probably the ‘’bear trap’’. You throw a giant clawed metal ball at your enemy. It bites into his torso and it pulls you toward him. The momentum then throws you in the air leaving behind the enemy’s sad little pair of legs.
Bloodroots is tough as nails. What are some tips that you can offer players in order to see their adventure through to the end?
Dying is part actually part of the process! Bloodroots is all about experimenting and then refining your sequence action sequence you are trying to achieve. There are many many ways to complete each section of the game.
We also wanted the game to be accessible. As so we added some options so that a broad range of players can progress through the experience.
When is Bloodroots releasing and on what platforms?
Bloodroots is coming out Friday February 28th on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Epic.
Finally, can you tell us something about the game that no one outside of the development team knows?
Finding all the collectibles leads to a secret, that leads to another secret. Is that mysterious enough?