Teslagrad: Hands-On Preview and Interview

After strolling through some indie game websites I came across a new game called Teslagrad. I looked to see what the game was about and also watched some gamplay, after that I was hooked. Teslagrad is a 2D puzzle-platformer where you have to use your own intuition and a bit of creativity to get through the gripping levels all while you are armed with the power of magnetism. The game is being developed by Rain AS; Rain AS are an up-and-coming development team, but if Teslagrad is anything to go by we can expect very good things coming from Rain AS in the future.

The guys over at Rain AS were kind enough to give me access to the alpha of Teslagrad and allow me to ask a few questions about the game.

First off, I’ll talk about Teslagrad. Teslagrad is simply a fantastic game. The way the game flows and tells the story without having the need for voice actors is truly marvelous. I was hooked from the off. The game requires you to really think at how you’re going to get past the part you’re at in the game. It reminded me of the times when playing Portal 2 where I would have to sit there and think of how I’m going to get to the next stage. The way you get through the place where the game is set, which is called Tesla Tower, is with the power of magnetism. You use it to move blocks, open pathways and float in the air to get high up places allowing to progress. There’s other powers as well, another one which I got during the alpha was the ability to teleport in front of me. This really comes in handy when you have to get passed bars in front of you and when you’re trying to not get electrocuted by moving blocks surrounded by electricity.

The art of the game matches how good this game is. Brilliant. The art has been hand drawn and it really does look amazing. Everything about this game feels right and I can’t wait for its full release. However, the game is in alpha so you can come across some bugs which is only natural. Although, during my play through I didn’t come across any so I have no complaints in that section. Keep at look out for this game and I heavily suggest you buy it when it comes out.

As I said previous, the guys over at Rain AS answered some of my questions about the game. Here they are now:

 

Jozef Wotawa: What was the inspiration behind creating Teslagrad?

 

Eduardo Garabito: Teslagrad’s origins are linked, curiously, to another quite different game. Back in 2010 Rain Games was just born, and we started the development of a game which was supposed to be our fist title. That was Minute Mayhem, somewhat more casual game designed mainly towards the multiplayer. The game was set in a four-nation world, each of them with a different brand of strongly steampunk inspired techology. One of these nations was called Elektropia, which is the nation where Teslagrad takes place.

 

The team, yet working on a tiny and cold shared office in Bergen, fell in love with the setting and mood of the kingdom of Elektropia, and so a new adventure started. Olli wondered how a platformer would fit in that universe, and having a physicist in the team (Peter, the lead designer) the magnetism and electricity stuff was almost a natural step in that steampunk nation. Later, a grant from the Norwegian Film institute allowed us to focus on Teslagrad, which will be our first released game instead of the original Minute Mayhem (but hey, this project is not abandoned at all!).

Jozef Wotawa: What is the story regarding Teslagrad?

 

Eduardo Garabito: We have a very particular and somewhat “secret” story lying here. Teslagrad is absolutely languageless, to the point where there’s not a single word in the game, apart from the menu and some paintings disposed through the scenario. All of the narrative in the game is purely visual, and there’s a deep story to discover for those ready to keep their eyes open.

One thing to keep in mind is that the world in Teslagrad is not the real world, but a blend of influences from Russia, the Baltics, Nordic countries and Western old Europe. All the rest of the story it’s up to you to be discovered. Also, we have planned to extend the Four Nations that make up the fictional world map in further videogames, some of which will feature more of the written word too. We have a real universe here, ready to be discovered bit by bit.

 

Jozef Wotawa: What can players expect to be doing in Teslagrad?

 

Eduardo Garabito: Explore, discover the Tesla Tower, solve its puzzles. In a nutshell, having a lot of fun! We have provided a great non-linear hand-drawn adventure, with freedom to explore, discover more and more secrets, and build an experience between the Metroidvania games and the pure sidescrollers. With our personal touch, of course.

 

Jozef Wotawa: The power of magnetism is a great feature in the game, can players expect to develop this power as they progress in game?

 

Eduardo Garabito: Indeed, it is completely necessary in order to progress through the game. The Gauntlet is the main

item, allowing the player to change the polarity of different objects, and is obtained very soon in the game. But there are a lot of more powers! As for myself, I think the blink is my favorite. A kind of short teleporting, we could say.

 

Jozef Wotawa: Are there any new features you plan on adding as the game keeps developing through the alpha?

 

Eduardo Garabito: Fortunately we have a pretty clear idea of what we want Teslagrad to be, so we’re not adding more material, but for the new bosses and zones which are yet to be developed or polished. The alpha has helped us to gather a marvelous feedback, and of course it’s been an unvaluable way to correct bugs and improve the general performance of the game. But talking about the features themselves, the game is pretty similar to the game idea that we envisioned many months ago.

Jozef Wotawa: When can we expect the game to be fully released?

Eduardo Garabito: We are working endless hours a day in order to have all the releases (PC Windows, MAC, Linux, PS3, Wii U) this fall. Of course, it will depends on many factors and the internal processes of each publisher. In any event, we think that the game will be available this fall.

 

Jozef Wotawa: Lastly, If any one is slightly unsure about getting this game when it releases, why should they purchase it?

 

Eduardo Garabito: Because it’s unique. Truly. We have many artists and storytellers in the team, and we are very proud of having made a true piece of craftmanship. Every scenario and animation is hand-drawn, for instance. And the music form Jorn Lavoll is incredible. Also, we’ve developed the whole game having in mind an artistic videogame, but not forgetting why the games are done for: FUN.

They have a great team over at Rain AS so don’t forget to vote for the game on Steam’s Greenlight here: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=144846288&searchtext=Teslagrad

Also remember to keep a look at for the games release as this isn’t an opportunity to be missed!