Gamereactor UK. Watch the latest video game trailers, and interviews from the biggest gaming conventions in the world. Gamereactor uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best browsing experience on our website. If you continue, we'll assume that you are happy with our cookies policy

Crisol: Theatre of Idols

Crisol: Theatre of Idols - IndieDevDay David Carrasco Interview

We caught up with veteran developer and Vermila's CEO in Barcelona to see how this promising survival horror transcends the indie space as a visually-striking AA project that takes inspiration from Resident Evil and Bioshock.

Audio transcription

"We are at IndieDevDays in Barcelona and this is day 2 for me and we are here David vs David and we are going to talk about this creepy, horror, FPS game which I didn't know about and it's very interesting because, you know, you sort of have several sources of inspiration but at the same time you add a very personal touch to it. Is that how you would define this game?
I think so. It all started as a seeding with a lot of the Spanish folklore, ideas of religion and we wanted to make a game that kind of transmitted that with our own perspective of it making it atemporal and somehow something that reminds you to all of that but you cannot pinpoint exactly where you are or when is it."

"At the same time we have been referenced by amazing games like Resident Evil, Bioshock, Dishonored, Bloodborne that have made an impact in our gaming experience so we wanted to somehow take the best elements from there and make it our own.
It is interesting how some indie games as of late or double-A games, I don't know where to put yours because it looks really nice and production values are perhaps above your typical garage sort of break but it is interesting how many games are drinking or absorbing the Spanish folklore as of late instead of... We haven't seen this so much and then we have Blasphemous and others like trying to..."

"Why do you think this happened and what do you want to convey here compared to what's been done or not done in the past?
I think one of the main elements there or the main reasons why Spain hasn't been pushed forward was the market or the different studios were not mature enough so they were scared of pushing one culture that may not be as well-known as the American or the British and they were scared of not being able to sell it."

"So as of late, as you said, they've been seeing that it is indeed very deep, it can be utilized in many ways and then it can be used to sell games, sell something very interesting, very different and we think it has its own value and its own uniqueness.
Now that you mentioned they are scared, tell me a little bit about how are we going to be scared with this game and what sort of horror twist to it you are implementing here."

"We are survival horror, so we use horror as a narrative element and something that will accompany you throughout the gameplay for a while.
So it takes you in a roller coaster of tension, it's not a continuous jump scare or... It has a good mix of puzzles, of action and narrative."

"Kind of like you've seen in other big franchises.
So in the end, horror is conveyed not only in the atmosphere but also in the topics that are within the narrative from beginning to end.
At the same time, one of the key elements in the game is that your blood that you need to use to recover your health, it's also used to reload your weapons."

"So you will have to be very conscious when you use your blood in order to face enemies, run away from them, reload them.
You need to be very careful and strategic to make sure that you are utilizing your blood in the best way possible."

"You got too scared. He said enough is enough.
I guess so. Well, he's been playing for almost an hour.
That's a big demo.
Our demo is a full one hour of gameplay experience that tries to convey everything from the tutorial, to the puzzles, to the narrative, to the action and then a mix of everything."

"So it takes a while but we think it's worth it to be able to experience the whole game.
What is the theater of idols?
That's something you may need to find out in the final game but there has something to do with religion, gods and the idols that some people put their faith onto."

"So we talked about the lore into it, the horror, the thriller aspect to it.
What about gameplay?
What can players expect to be doing in terms of an FPS as you say?
Exploration, how do you progress through the story?
What sort of items do you have to collect?
What is the map design like?
What can they expect to find here?
Although the aspect is very much a 6-hour, 7-hour in our mind experience, we expect it to have a good mix of narrative cinematics that will play within in-game and also as a cutscene kind of cinematic."

"Also you will find items that can help you regain blood, increase your essence that can be used to make your skills or make your damage better in the game.
You will be able to find more weapons."

"So not only a knife or a pistol, we have shotguns, we have a harpoon launcher, sniper rifles.
Those are combat elements that will be hidden or that requires some extra effort from the player."

"Very Resident Evil-ish, right? In that way.
Yeah, you know, Resident Evil, super big inspiration, especially 7 and 8 that have that first-person style, very narrative, very creepy but not like jump-scare all the time."

"So yeah, we have many different enemies.
In the demo we are showcasing one of them with several variations, but there are many more and also Dolores who seems to be the main villain and will kind of be your nemesis during the game."

"So it's Dolores, like it's probably causing you pain in Spanish, right?
So it's causing you pain through the adventure and then you perhaps have some sort of secondary bosses through the game, right?
That's it."

"That's it. There will be certain bosses, certain key situations that will mean larger combats, finding a certain element that can help you defeat certain enemies or go through a very specific moment that will take you to the end zone."

"And it looks really nice already.
I don't know, what can you tell me about the technology that you guys are using and also about the background of the studio?
I know you are a veteran yourself, but tell us a bit more about the studio and the team you have working with you."

"Absolutely. So we won an Epic Mega Grant and we started the studio in 2020 and we've been working on the game since then and created the game in Unreal Engine 5.
So it's very high-end quality assets."

"We use real-time illumination, Nanite, which helps us show very finite textures, very minute details in a lot of spaces.
Also World Partition, that sounds like a crazy term, but it will load in the background, so you will not have load zones or will have to pause the game to load certain aspects."

"It is very fluid.
Once you load, you will not have to wait to be playing the game throughout the whole game.
And about the team themselves?
We are 15 people now."

"I am the more veteran and I oversee the studio.
My partner in crime is the creative director, he's David Tornero, and he oversees all of this, that the game makes sense, the assets make sense, and all the art and style have a coherence and make the game unique and special."

"And then we have a much larger than usual art team because they need to be able to create everything from scratch because we don't like buying assets.
We want to create everything from scratch."

"So that shows in every single element you find in the game.
It kind of brings the inspiration and the line of art that we want to have in Tormentosa or in certain areas of the game, right?
And then, of course, dev team, also technical art."

"We use stuff like Houdini to make beautiful effects.
I think that comprises most of it.
Of course, production, a little bit of QA, sound and music.
Our musician is somewhere in the show today."

"So we are trying to bring more or less complete product to the marketplace and hopefully be releasing in 2025 when we finally publish.
And on which platforms?
PC and crossing fingers for the Xbox Series XS and PS5."

"All right, thank you so much for your time, David.
I'm looking forward to playing Crissoul and Vigiskirt.
Looking really nice and we will follow you guys closely.
Thank you so much. It's my pleasure, David."





Movie Trailers