Hadoque wants you to be curious and to emotionally-connect with Ultros
Rather than simply following a defined narrative thread.
Without a doubt, Hadoque's Ultros is one of the most exciting indie games of this month. The Metroidvania title features an art style that is psychedelic and weird, all while having a storyline that is set in the uterus of a cosmic being. Needless to say, it's a very unique project through and through.
But, with that being the case, how has the development team looked to present Ultros in a way that will engage fans? We spoke with narrative designer and writer Pelle Cahndlerby to learn more about Ultros, its inspirations, and how it is looking to convey emotion.
Speaking with Gamereactor, Cahndlerby stated: "I think you first of all want to think about really hard, what do I want to present? What do I want people to get out of this? Do they have to understand everything? And I mean, I have a love for David Lynch and his work. And if you have ever watched a movie or a series of his, how much did you really get? But how much did you really feel when you watched it? What did it make you think about? What did it make you feel in the vibes, the moods, the colours, angles of things?
"So, writing a game is not like writing a book. Writing a game is not like writing most series or movies, right? You have to think about that the player will make their own choices. So your job is to help them, to help them be curious. And when you get to a point, if you feel, yeah, I have a message that I really don't want them to miss here, then you have to see how can I get this across by using more words? You know, some people really don't like words, right? Some people don't read text. And then as a narrative designer, you look at the environment. What can we tell with what is around us? Is it the colours, the objects, the suggestiveness of how did you get into the room? Does that tell you something?"
Cahndlerby continued: "But when you make it in a game, it's like you have always got to think about this has to land somewhere. I know what I'm looking at when I look at the game, hopefully. But how will the people playing it look at it? Who knows?"
You can check out the full interview below, where we also discuss Ultros' core themes, its unusual art style, and how the team has looked to refine and implement a cyclic Metroidvania approach.