I just want to add a quick note. Umbra has just been fully funded on Kickstarter (yay!) and you will find the full press release about it at the very bottom of this interview. With that said, please enjoy our Umbra interview!

Jonas TGG
This game seems like a mixture of Skyrim, Path of exile/Diablo, Sims and Second life rpg style. How did you guys come up with this absurd yet genius idea?  I mean, open world system, building houses and Free character development – no class limitation!

Daniel Dolui, of SolarFall Games
The open world was chosen because that’s the kind of gameplay we enjoy the most, and since the scenario of Umbra takes place in a dangerous and hostile world, it fits pretty well the gameplay of a Hack&Slash.

Then Open World and our housing system actually fits really well with each other: Since each module in the game cost a certain amount of resource, you will sometime need to look for a gold mine, or look for special rare trees to collect these resources.  It will allow players to create their own side mission and seek for precious resources in the world.

Finally, the freedom of character development is something I always want to play in any RPG game. It allows a lot of variety in character building and aims to have a true personalization of a character.

Jonas TGG
One thing I really want to know is how the level up mechanic system on the skills/abilities/spells is going to work.  I read that you guys have taken inspiration from Diablo 2 so are you going to have a similar level system where like spells get stronger and changes trough the progress of upgrades. Let’s say you can summon a wolf and at rank 1 you can summon one wolf and at rank 5 it becomes a dire wolf or more wolf’s? Also will there be druid like spells? Really want my druid from Diablo 2 back!

umbra

Umbra looks really great thanks to Cryengine3.

Daniel Dolui, of SolarFall Games
It is actually a mix of various systems. There are three types of powers that the character can develop in Umbra.

First, there are passive skills. Passive skills can really change the way your character will develop. These skills will provide your character the ability to dual wield two-handed weapons, get additional skill slot for active skills, provide you various bonus that can maybe increase the damage of the active skills, or allow you to have more mercenaries with you.

Then, the active skills are skills you can use while playing – 6 different per default, but you may increase that number various ways, and these skills will be looted as tomes.

Once you read a tome, you gain a new skill to use. When you use a skill with efficiency, this skill will gain xp, and maybe level up. Now, once an active skill levels up, it may gain additional powers, as you said, more creature to summon / raise from the dead, more damage, more target affected, ect. These tomes of spell will be looted according to your play style, so if you use a lot of fire skills, you will have more chance to loot other fire skills. To make sure you can vary your character, various skills will be available at merchant or as quest rewards.

Finally, there is the apocalyptic form. I will give you more detail about that below.

Jonas TGG
Are you going to spend most of your time in dangerous wildness and dungeons or will there also be towns you’ll be able to visit and do side events or other things?

Daniel Dolui, of SolarFall Games
We have plan several village and some bigger cities to explore, but most of the game will takes place in the wildness and dungeons, like mountains, swamps, forest, hills, ruins ect… We have some cool ideas for the cities; we hope players will enjoy them!

Jonas TGG
This Apocalyptic Form thing sounds really like an interesting aspect of the game and after I read “You’re free to mold your character thanks to a deep and rich customization system” my brain got a bit overwhelmed with trying to find the meaning and the bottom of the “deep” with endless question to myself because there aren’t enough information released yet to satisfy my own answers so what is exactly is “Apocalyptic Form” and how does it work?  Can you turn into a burning devil monkey among other forms? Do you devour essences of living things and take their Characteristics? Does Apocalyptic Form involve something with the main story and characters special powers? I’m going mad with questions!

umbra fire attack

The creatures of the night doesn’t like fire all that much.

Daniel Dolui, of SolarFall Games
The apocalyptic form is my favorite feature of the game! You can see it as an ultimate power that you will be able to use regularly, but with a quite long countdown. The idea is that the game will often generate high dangerous enemies that your character will have a lot of trouble to fight. That is the time when you will need to use the apocalyptic form, and you will need to make sure you time It right to make sure you can use it at the best moment!

The apocalyptic form is created from up to three “Apocalyptic Upgrades”. Each upgrade will grant your character will new powers, but also a new visual design. These upgrades are unlocked during the game according to the way your play, so if you use a lot of fire skill, you will certainly unlock an upgrade turning your skin into fire! Upgrade can be various Horns on your head, wings, one or two new arms to equip weapons, maybe have an aura of death raising undead everywhere you walk, so there will be a lot of possibilities to design a unique Apocalyptic Form for your character!

Apocalyptic Form will indeed have something to do with the scenario, and it will be more than simply being touch by supernatural entities!

Jonas TGG
Do you have anything special/unique planned for the pvp?


Daniel Dolui, of SolarFall Games

Yes we do!

First, please note that multiplayer is a stretch goal on Umbra, since the initial funding does not guarantee multiplayer development – we have good hope that multiplayer stretch goal can be reached! Now about PvP, we would like to have a competitive game that won’t put players in direct contact with each other.

We believe that such type of indirect confrontation mixed with a competitive mission to fulfill can be a great way for players to play with each other, and also a very nice repayable experience!

Jonas TGG
I saw a moment in the trailer which looked like a boss battle where you fought on a back of a giant which reminded me a lot of the boss battles in god of war. Will there be similar boss battles like that trough the game?

Daniel Dolui, of SolarFall Games
We are planning to have impressive looking scene like the one you saw on the footage. It was not a boss, but this fight has to do with the scenario of the game. This is a pretty cool non-QTE scene and is pretty badass! However, don’t worry, there will be other boss in the game, and fighting them will be epic!

Jonas TGG
The graphical immersion in this game that uses the Cryengine is really a feast for the eyes and I haven’t seen anything like it before in a hack n slash so I really wonder how good of a gaming rig will you need to be able to play?

Daniel Dolui, of SolarFall Games
It is a bit early to give you a precise idea of the game requirement, but it should be something close to the following:

– CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz, AMD Athlon 64 X2 2GHz or better (multi-core processor is strongly recommended)
– Memory: 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended).
– Video Card: NVIDIA series 400, Radeon HD 6000 Series or better (DirectX 11 minimum).

Jonas TGG
What kind of plans/ideas do you guys have for the multiplayer connection between players in the open world of umbra? Will you be able to build structures together? Do guild events and so on?

Daniel Dolui, of SolarFall Games
Multiplayer, as we plan to build for Umbra, is based on Stretch goals and, each iteration, will bring something new in the game. The first multiplayer modes are cooperative mission associated with side quests to fulfill in a right amount of time, and the higher ones are about building you own dungeon and challenge other players to defeat them. We don’t plan to have group house construction, since Umbra is first and foremost an Action game, so most of the features are action oriented!

umbra lightning attack

Sound of the drums Beating in my heart The thunder of guns Tore me apart You’ve been Thunderstruck!

Jonas TGG
I’m curious about advanced the house building is going to be. Will you be able to adjust the outside look of your house too? Can build a castle? Make your own farming grounds for like alchemy and provisioning? Though that might go outside the category of house building

Daniel Dolui, of SolarFall Games

At this point of the development, the housing system is accessed from the city where the player comes back to sell items, and is teleported to an area where he can build his house. We choose such design, first because the player can buy more space to have a bigger house, and also because if we go Multiplayer and people become able to visit each other’s house, I will be much easier for us to manage the house construction that way.

Then, you won’t be able to customize the outside appearance of your house, at least not with the initial funding. However, you will be able to build an exterior area in your house, to have something like a small garden where you will be able to plant some ingredient for future potions!

Jonas TGG
Elemental Effect Interaction looks like a heap of fun. Is it going to be a big part of the game’s battle exploration mechanic and will be able to use it as an environmental interaction? Like making a weak stone wall, which can fall over onto your enemies.

Daniel Dolui, of SolarFall Games
Elemental effect interaction will be very interesting in places like flooded cave or snowy mountains. In this case, there will be a lot of interaction with the environment and skills. It will be time to switch skills and use the most effective ones, like lightning under the rain or frost in cold places. We also plan to have several destroyable environment and some telekinetic skills, but that will be a different mechanics.

Elemental Effect Interaction actually offers ton of new possible combos and we would love to see how players can get the best of it. Don’t forget that enemies will also benefit from its effects, so a lightning spell caster can become very dangerous is you are walking in a river. It will sure bring a lot of variety in the gameplay!

Umbra

Kickstarter

Steam

Press release:
June 1 2015 – Nice, France – Solar Fall Games’ Kickstarter, for CryEngine3 based ARPG Umbra, has funded its initial goal of $225,000. This means it now has a full two weeks to achieve its soon to be announced stretch goals! Said stretch goals will include the chance to develop more content for the game, new gameplay modes, as well as unlocking several Kickstarter-exclusive rewards to thank the backers who pledge for a copy of Umbra.

“We’ve raised over $232,000 so far; to each and every one of our 6,701 backers, press and Let’s Players and Twitch streamers – thank you! With your kind words and coverage, we’ve funded early!” said Daniel Dolui Lead Programmer and Game Director at SolarFall Games. “Reaching the stretch goals will enrichen Umbra and we are really excited be announcing our plans in today’s Kickstarter update!”

Umbra is an open world action-RPG taking place in a corrupted world that is falling apart. You are a former soldier, forced to flee the death penalty because of your magic powers. Being tracked down by humans and hunted by the monsters of the Wild, you are recruited by a mysterious group of Templars, and thus your epic adventure begins.

About SolarFall Games
SolarFall Games is a small French game developer located in Nice. The team is composed of passionate individuals who are working hard to develop their first game Umbra, an action hack ‘n’ slash.

tgg author avatar jonas ek
Jonas “O.J” Ek
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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