In an exclusive interview with FandomWire, the developers behind A Plague Tale shun a light on the development of their latest hit.
About A Plague Tale: Innocence
Published by Asobo Studio and Focus Home Interactive comes a game about two siblings. Amicia, the sister to a young, sick Hugo, must cling to one another to survive the horrors of 1349 France. The invasion of rats carrying the Black Plague, the takeover from the English Army, and a cult calling themselves The Inquisition. These are all challenges and threats that the two siblings are up against as they attempt to acquire a cure for Hugo.
A fantastic experience that offers an emotionally-fuelled story with a mix of compelling narrative and one of the best looking games of 2019.
Talking to Aurélie Belzanne
Aurélie Belzanne joined the team of Asobo Studios back in October 2011 and has since become the Head of Marketing
How Did It Feel Knowing You’d Created Something So Special For Players?
It is both scary and awesome at the same time. It gives us so much energy but also a responsibility to work harder and harder, achieving new games with the same level of quality and commitment. Quoting one of our interviews last year,
“The kindness of people playing, finishing the game and contacting us, telling us so many emotional stories and reactions they had while journeying with Amicia and Hugo. The Twitch sessions we watch discovering players who are committed to saving the De Rune kids and audience holding their breath during a whole walkthrough. The tweets we see, spreading awesome screenshots of the game everywhere in the world.
The profile of players featuring some of our characters. Outstanding fan arts and cosplays. We are proud of our orphans and our 5,000 little rats and suddenly other people grab them and make A Plague Story their own… It is the best reward we could get. That’s why we are making games. And we mean it !”
Did You Ever Doubt What You Were Working On? And If You Did, What Pushed You To Keep Going?
Yes, all the time. It was our very first original story-driven creation, so we had many challenges, doubts, questions and obstacles. But we knew deeply inside us that the story was worth telling.
When we were working with other people such as Logan (Hugo) and Charlotte (Amicia), seeing a little light in their eyes when acting. We knew we had to find the resource and the solution to finish the game. Also, our team was extremely focused, committed and unified.
Would There Be Any Consideration To Create A TV/Movie Adaptation?
Would be awesome, yes, but for the moment the game has not finished its career, we have so many players to convince and play the story.
A Plague Tale Had Some Vampyr & Life Is Strange Vibes. Was There Any Inspiration Taken From Those Games?
We appreciate the two games and they are game classics now. But no, we had our own identity and references and ideas about what we wanted to do and how. Besides, Vampyr, as well as LiS2 were in development almost at the same time, so we’ve worked in parallel most of the time.
Did Charlotte McBurney and Logan Hannan Spend Time Together Before Recording Their Dialogue To Make Sure Amicia And Hugo’s Relationship Felt Genuine?
Not that much. But they helped us with their natural and true-to-life interpretations. Sometimes they helped us change some lines for more IRL dialogue and phrasing. We also have a lot of parents in the team who helped find the best suggestions, from what they’ve observed on their own children.
Some of the team’ children also came occasionally to record placeholders when prototyping in the early stages of development. It was very interesting to talk with them and see how they were understanding and interpreting the lines.
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Was Dialogue-Choices Ever Considered Before Opting For A More Linear Option?
It was basically not the core concept and also we had to make choices because we were only 45 people developing. We simply couldn’t have implemented choices without abandoning other ideas, so we went for a linear concept to emphasize on other things we wanted to focus on.
A Plague Tale Became One Of The Best Games Of 2019. Due To This, Many Of Us Are Left Wondering What’s Next For Asobo Studios?
We are working on something new published by Focus. It was announced last March 19, but we cannot say more at this point so you will have to stay tuned.