26 May 2024

8 Minuten Lesezeit

prince of persia

The Rogue Prince of Persia Out Now on Early Access

The Rogue Prince of Persia is available now on Early Access through Steam and GeForce Now, letting players dive into a polished but still-evolving version of the 2D roguelite action-platformer. Starring an entirely new Prince - one with the power to resurrect himself after every death - The Rogue Prince of Persia challenges players to parkour and battle their way through continually reshuffling levels in a bid to fend off an invasion from the Huns. During the Early Access period, more biomes and other content will gradually be added as the developers at Evil Empire gather feedback from the community. To find out more, we spoke with Game Director Lucie Dewagnier at Evil Empire about how The Rogue Prince of Persia took shape and what's in store for the future.

[UN] [RPOP] Early Access Out Now - Séquence 01.00_16_21_38.Still004

What made you want to work with Prince of Persia initially, and what made it seem like a good fit for the kind of roguelite action game your team has experience with?

Lucie Dewagnier: We wanted to use what we learned on [our previous project] for nearly five years. We learned a lot about game feel, fast-paced combat, and difficulty. Prince of Persia was the right franchise to do that, because the movement, the speed, and the fluidity are in the DNA of Prince of Persia. So we talked with Ubisoft about how it would be cool to make a Prince of Persia game with our learnings, and it became The Rogue Prince of Persia.

The game's wall-running is unique, in that it's not just up walls that block the player's path, but horizontally and vertically across the background as well. How did that mechanic develop?

LD: I think what we call the back wall run was in the game since the very beginning. I don't remember if it was the third or the first day of development, but it was in the first week that we implemented this movement. From the beginning, it was important for us to have a move set that was very freeing, that reminded us of parkour - and we have a programmer who is practicing parkour every week, so he was very insistent on putting these movements in the game.

It came with some issues; it's a bit difficult sometimes to understand that the wall behind the character is a playable area too. You're not really playing in two dimensions with the horizontal and vertical, but you also have depth, and sometimes it can be a bit tricky. You need to have a bit of a learning curve to begin to really appreciate the level design and to really control the character. It also came with a lot of concerns generating the levels, to have the right balance between where the wall is and where it isn't. It was a bit challenging, but I think we did it well.

[UN] [RPOP] Early Access Out Now - Séquence 01.00_12_43_53.Still005

How are the levels generated? Are there crafted parts that are assembled randomly, or is it more procedural, with certain rules to ensure consistency?

LD: It's a complex thing. It took us nearly the entirety of development to get it right, and we are still working on it right now, because we need to improve it. We will continue to improve it during Early Access - and all the time, basically. It's based on premade "chunks;" You have something like several meters of level that are premade, and the algorithm assembles those premade chunks to make the entire level. But it doesn't do it at random; it follows what we call the structure, and the structure of the level is defined by the level designer. And every level of the game has its own personality, via its structure.

So, every level is different; every selection of chunks is different, and the structure is also different. Like, in the Academy [biome], you have this big structure with a big elevator in the middle, and you have two loops at the top and at the bottom to be able to open the middle door. It's a very specific structure. It's a bit simpler [than later levels] because it's only a plane with some random elements. We wanted to make it easier to go through, because it was the first level and we didn't want players to lose time.

About how much content will the Early Access version have at release? How many biomes will players be able to explore, and how would you like to grow the game in the future?

LD: At Early Access launch,there will be six biomes available, and two bosses. Those biomes represent the first act of the game, so it's the base of the game. During Early Access, we will add two more bosses and three more biomes. By 1.0 release, we'll have doubled the content.

[UN] [RPOP] Early Access Out Now - RPOP_Screenshot_Untitled_29_Announcement_041024_745PM_CEST

This is a new reboot of Prince of Persia, and a new version of the character. Was there a lot of back-and-forth with Ubisoft about things like the look, personality, and story?

LD: We had a lot of freedom working on this title, and it was marvelous for us to have such freedom. But Ubisoft gave us support; they helped us with certain design decisions, and we worked with a line designer for that. They helped us with narrative, and we talked with the Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown team to exchange notes and pointers, to make sure we were doing two separate titles, and not the same thing.

We wanted to make something very unique, that has its own personality.So, we have two different experiences in the same franchise. I don't think there's such a thing as too many Prince of Persia games.

It's been mentioned that Franco-Belgian comics were a big inspiration in the look of the game; are there any that were particularly inspiring or special to your team as you developed The Rogue Prince of Persia?

LD: I couldn't say that there was any Franco-Belgian art that inspired us more than others. I can say a bit of Moebius and a bit of Hergé. But we wanted, not to take an artist and make that our art direction, but to take the feeling of what Franco-Belgian comics are. It's something with a lot of small lines, a lot of flat color, and things like that.

We also took inspiration from ancient Persian miniatures. It's something that shaped a lot of the look of the game; it's an ancient Persian art style that shows a lot of vibrant and unusual colors. Like, you can have a scene of war with a very bright golden sky. Like in the Aqueduct level, the sky is golden and everything is blue - the stone is blue, the water is blue.

We tried to make the color of the game very unique, and when you see a screenshot of the game, we want you to say, "oh, that's The Rogue Prince of Persia! And it's nothing else but The Rogue Prince of Persia."

[UN] [RPOP] Early Access Out Now - RPOP_Screenshot_Untitled_42_Announcement_041024_745PM_CEST

What sorts of feedback are you looking for from players during Early Access?

LD: Honestly, we could have done the game without Early Access, but at Evil Empire, we truly believe in the strength of working with the community. So we want to work with them to have their feedback, what they want for the game. We want a lot of feedback, and it will drastically change the course of the game.

For now, it's all theoretical, because we know we will touch some people, like Prince of Persia fans and roguelite fans, but we don't know yet which type of people will stay with us. So depending on what happens during Early Access, and what happens with the community, the game will change. And it's not just what we can get, but it's also what we can give them, because I think it's a collaboration between them and us. And when Early Access begins, the game will stop being "our" game at Evil Empire; it will also be the game of the community.

The Rogue Prince of Persia is now available in Early Access via Steam and GeForce Now. For more about the game, check out our hands-on preview.

More From Ubisoft

7 March 20243 Minuten Lesezeit

Valiant Hearts: Coming Home and Valiant Hearts: The Collection Out Now for PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC

The collection, which includes both The Great War and Coming Home, tells the stories of people in World War I.

Mehr lesen
18 January 20245 Minuten Lesezeit

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Out Now

Dive into Sargon’s adventure through a time-cursed mythological world starting today.

Mehr lesen
15 January 20245 Minuten Lesezeit

Ubisoft+ entwickelt sich weiter: Das erwartet dich

Heute startet der frühzeitige Zugang für Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown bei Ubisoft+ und außerdem benennt Ubisoft seine Abo-Modelle um.

Mehr lesen
2 November 2023