The Technomancer Interview With Spiders CEO: Combat, Customization and More

By   /   Aug 25, 2015
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The Technomancer is an upcoming post-apocalyptic role-playing set on Mars during the War of Water. We recently had a chance to speak with Spider-Games CEO and Co-Founder Jehanne Rousseau to talk more about the upcoming RPG, features which distinct it from other post-apocalyptic role-playing games, and more.

Contrary to popular opinion, The Technomancer does not focus primarily on melee combat and boasts a range of unique combat styles:

We have 3 combat styles:

  • Staff – crowd control, long range attack
  • Rogue with a Knife and Gun – very mobile with dodge rolls, quick attacks with poison chance
  • Protection with a Mace and a Shield – stronger parry, upgrade the resistances, decrease enemy resistances on attacks

All the combat styles can be mixed with Technomancy powers such as Electric arcs or charged weapons. Some attacks are long ranged so you can keep your enemies at bay depending on the fighting style you like to use, but there are no shooter elements in our gameplay.

In addition to different combat styles, The Technomancer also focuses on huge customization options, similar to other role-playing games. Here is what Rousseau had to say about character customization in the game:

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The player can customize his character in 3 ways:

  • Skill Points – Active and passive Skills can be unlocked on the Technomancy tree and in each 3 fighting style trees. When an active Skill is upgraded, you have to choose one of the two customizations that you want to apply to your active skill
  • Attribute Points – They improve your character’s stats and allow you to wear new types of gear that require specific stats. We have 4 different statistics Strength, Agility, Power and Constitution
  • Talent Points – You can customize your adventure with these elements that impact the dialogs, the exploration, the crafting system or the way you can resolve quests

There are 6 types of Talent points:

  1. Charisma
  2. Crafting
  3. Science
  4. Traps and lock-picking
  5. Stealth
  6. Exploration

Despite being a highly customizable game, players will not be able to customize abilities of their companions, but this does not apply to character gear:

All of your companions will have abilities that correspond to their own fighting style. They also have attributes points and talents point that increase automatically with each level (following your level) and the relation that you‘ll have with them. You can also customize and craft up their gears but the abilities are not customizable.

Side-quests are going to be huge focus in The Technomancer as these will allow players to gain loyalty of different factions, which will impact the story:

There are plenty of side quests in the game, and some will build your loyalty to different factions. The factions that you are allied with will have an impact on the story. Other side quests that concern your companions will impact your relationship with them, in your main quests and in other ways.

Speaking of earning character points, Rousseau said:

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Some objectives can be resolved in different ways by using talents points, some additional experience can be given if there is no combat triggered for example.

Rousseau also talked about as to why there is no freedom to choose female as a character, which is due to budget restrains:

In fact you can customize your character face but alas not choose your gender essentially for budget reasons : the cost of the voice recording is enormous, and we have a lot of dialogs. Adding a female voice for an heroine and also all the changes in the other character texts was too expensive for our studio.

Speaking of the game’s location and accessibility right off the bat, Rousseau said that once an area is unlocked, players will be free to travel to it any time they wish, but not from the beginning:

You can travel during your adventure between 3 big hubs that corresponds to different cities such as Ophir, Noctis… and many other locations including savage canyons, settlers ruins, military bases etc… Once you have discovered a new place you can travel back to it at anytime, but the whole world will not be accessible since the beginning of the game. It’s just getting bigger as your progress in your adventure.

Although the game is promised to run on 1080p and 30 frames per second on both Xbox One and Playstation 4, PC users will not face any such restrictions as quoted by Rousseau:

In fact we are still in the phase of debug and optimization of the game, so all the options are still on the table. And this is true for all the platforms. For the PC version we have no plan to cap the frame rate. But again, we may be forced to do so if this cause instability problems. Anyway if this is the case, the cap will be high.

Rousseau also discussed the comparison drawn between Star Wars: Force Unleashed and The Technomancer:

Star Wars Force Unleashed was more structured like an action game / beat them all (God of war license) I think we have a stronger character customization, you’ll have to make choices on the way you‘ll fight with your character. Our combat is also a good mix between action and statistics. We have also all the gear customization / craft that adds more strategy to the combat system. An active pause also allows you give orders to your companions.

Speaking of the graphical fidelity between Xbox One and Playstation 4, Rousseau said that both platforms have their strengths and as a developer, they decide to stay out of the debate:

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We don’t want to enter this debate. Both platforms have their strength, so our job is to take advantage of both to please our players the best we can because in the end, it’s the game that matters.

Speaking of recent horrible PC ports such as Batman: Arkham Knight and Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Spiders-Games believe that they can handle all three ports pretty well at the same time:

We always use the same method to manage the multiplicity of platforms: develop on all platforms at the same time from the beginning, and everything internally. It’s our fifth cross-platform RPG developed like this, so I can say we are confident on this part!

Rousseau also stated that it will take around 30 hours to complete the game and the finalized release date depends upon publisher’s decision.