Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla isn’t the only time travelling Northern European adventure game coming this year. The End Of The Sun, built off Slavic imagery and built by a core team of just three developers, has been in the works for the past three years and next week its Kickstarter is going to officially launch. Over at Indie Game Website, I’ve previously spoken to the game’s director and writer Jakub Machowski about the process of creating a wooden carving in real life in order to scan it into the game, but for Hammer Space, Machowski gave us an even greater insight into the game itself, and the story it seeks to tell.

Where Valhalla is built on violence, bloodshed and conquest, The End Of The Sun is based around exploration and adventure in the purest sense of the world. You play as the Ashter, who has the ability to travel through time, with the game using non-linear storytelling between four periods of your lifespan. This means who will encounter some villagers as they are young, and be able to skip forward to key moments in their life, while others will start the game older, and will pass away as you move forward in time.

Each era is illustrated by a season; Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, mimicking the path from birth to death.

This ability also gives you a unique influence, with decisions made in the past directly impacting the future, but also things learnt in the future potentially changing how you might act in the past.

The lines between reality and myth seem to blur together, as you are tasked with unravelling a mystery full of weird and wonderful riddles. It’s a game of precise detail, so it’s no surprise the team put creating a living, breathing environment at the heart of their creation.

The statue of Svarog was the focus of the Indie Game Website piece, but as Machowski explained, the process went far beyond one statue. “To get unique graphics, we visited ethnographic museums where we scanned hundreds of objects and entire buildings, so you can admire them in the game the way they actually are. We also scanned the elements of the natural environment in order to get the most European Slavonic climate possible.”

The environments are dynamic too, with lighting and time of day changing before your eyes.

The result is a unique artstyle with a level of detail unheard of from such a small team. The aesthetic leans away from the warrior laden history Slavic and Norse games are usually pigeon holed in, with a much warmer, more homely, village feel to it.

Slavic culture has clearly had a huge impact on the game too, as various myths and legends are at the heart of the mystery you must uncover. Each time period you jump to is set during a different Slavic festival, and the game is filled with long forgotten daily activities from traditional Slavic villager life.

Isn’t Slavic a fun word to say?

Check out the 20 minutes of gameplay the team have released below, and follow the links for their Kickstarter, Steam page and official site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s