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Could Exilium be the next big roguelike boomer shooter?

Project manager Carlos Antezana and lead programmer Mario Sants from Exodus Studios joined our David Caballero at the IndieDevDay to describe the very promising premise behind skill-based retro-shooter Exilium.

Audio transcription

"Alright, we're in Barcelona for the IndieDevDays and we're taking a look at a shooter I don't know how to call it because there's this term as of late that they call it a boomer shooter or a retro shooter What do you like this to be called? Thank you so much for joining us guys Well, boomer shooter is a really good term because there's a lot of shooters of this kind and people love them if you like Doom, Quake and that kind of style of shooters and our shooter is really taking inspiration from those kind of games Ok, because it's very twitchy, very retro in the graphics and also you gather a lot of items but it's mostly skill based, so what can you tell us about this?
Well, it is also a roguelike, so there's also a skill because there's a lot of items and a lot of weapons so you need to be good with all the weapons because each one works in a different way but as there are many weapons, each player can choose which weapon to play with so no matter how you play, you can play the game because you can show your own gameplay Ok, so for viewers to sort of learn what they're going to do in the game so you sort of appear in a level and then you get a basic weapon to start with and then from there, there's a bit of a market type of thing that you have to expand your points to sort of customize your way through the levels, right?
Yeah, it's kind of a mix, like you get random things and also you can take little decisions so you can customize your playstyle, so let's think with, you can start with the grapple like it's the basic skill you have, but then you can get another break like a dash and you can mix those things together and make synergies with the abilities and also you can have a break for those abilities so you can start in the basic round and then build up from there and build your own playstyle Ok, and what are players going to find inside the levels?
There's enemies, there's ground enemies, but it also is a multiplayer experience, right?
Yes, so it's going to be a multiplayer experience, but you play with, not against like in other games you play with your friends against the computer, against the enemies so the thing is you're going to have to choose, because one weapon, only one player can pick one weapon so you have to choose which one plays what weapon, so for example one player could have a sniper build he can also, all the items for the sniper, he will pick up those items another player will have a shotgun build for example and in the rooms you will have the enemies, when you kill the enemies you will get some items or maybe weapons if you're really lucky and after each room there's a connector room, as my friend said and in the connection you get the shop where you can buy another item for those weapons so that's what you find in the rooms What's going on on the screen right now, what can you tell us about this?
We're sniping here, there's some long range enemies Right now we have the basic enemy on the ground, it's the zombie it's some basic level layout, right now we're going to upgrade this AI so it's going to be more responsive and interesting, but also there's going to be more ground enemies so you will need to adapt with all the things we just said before like you have builds, you can build your own playstyle, you will have to adapt your playstyle so you can fight against what you find on the levels And what can you tell us about the special abilities?
We've seen some slow motion here, what are the powers players can get besides customizing the loadout and the weapons?
You begin with the grapple because you're using this character, the girl No name right now, but we're going to..."

"No naming girl No naming girl, yeah With the grapple, but you can find more characters while you play you can unlock them and they start with a different ability You can start with the dash, with another player, with another character but you're going to decide which to play, and that's it These abilities, you're going to find them through the whole level and you can mix, like, you start with the grapple then get the dash or you can start with the dash and then get war run, for example You can mix all these things And finally, what can you tell us about the level design?
Is it going to be very vertical? Is it going to be very open-minded?
Is it going to be very, you know, with corners and nooks?
How do you approach level design, perhaps both of you?
Level design, well, we have now rooms that are not really big, they are small ones We have a big one, but we don't think we're going to go that way because we tried and it doesn't feel fun because it's really big and there are a lot of enemies in one room I think the player needs to chill a little bit between each room So there are more small ones, but also a little big so you can move freely and use all your movement abilities I think that's, you want to say something else?
Yeah, I mean, on the levels, like he said, I don't think that big levels are our way I think we should be more like a little bit open areas and then go to rooms more close and we're going to try to do a lot of stuff so no level feels repetitive, you know?
And you, of course, have some random elements to the levels themselves and then you have some connectors, like a room that connects to the next room Basically the rooms are prefabs, so the room is one, it's that room and when you finish the room, there's going to be a connector it can be a shop, it can be just a connector with nothing else and then you get another room and then these rooms are going to be placed randomly and every room is going to be different And it looks very smooth already, but it's not final Of course you told me that there are some elements that need to be replaced So what's the status of the project?
Right now the project is early because we've been working for like three months, more or less and we are thinking maybe the final game will be released, more or less in Christmas 2024 or 2025, more or less So yeah, the game right now is really early We currently have only 11 items and we are thinking maybe 100, more or less and we now have just five weapons and we are thinking a lot more weapons And in enemies we just have another two, and the boss So we are thinking very variants of more enemies and we only have one boss right now but we are thinking more levels because one level is like five rooms and then the boss fight So then more levels with more bosses and different enemies How hard is it going to be in road-like terms?
Is it going to be like Returnal?
That they crush you and then you start all over without anything You die, you don't get anything from the previous run Or is it going to be a bit more forgiving in that perhaps you get some credits that you can spend on your next run or how is it going to work?
Right now, if you die, you lose everything You need to start from the ground So it's going to be difficult in road-like terms It's also a skill-based game So we really award the good players But if you are a casual gamer, you can also have fun with Zillium Because as I told before, you can customize the way you play So there are going to be items that maybe help the player that cannot perform the high-difficulty, high-reward We have a little bit of those systems In road-like, you start from the ground up when you die And do you guys have a publisher already?
Do you want to auto-publish?
Right now, we don't have a publisher We publish the game on Steam Not for outdoor, you can wishlist Zillium on Steam right now But we are looking for a publisher maybe in the future So maybe we can make the game feel better and everything else Is it your first game?
Yes It doesn't look like it, so it looks fantastic Thank you so much for your time and good luck Thank you very much Thank you Zillium"

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