An Interview With the Developers of Ira
Back in April, the indie developer Ore Creative announced that after they contacted Nintendo with interest about bringing their adventure game Ira to the Switch, their hope became a reality. Act 1: Pilgrimage will be out for the Switch as well as other platforms later this year.
We got in touch with Ore Creative to learn a little more about this intriguing adventure game.
Ira is an adventure game, but it sounds as though it isn’t the traditional point-and-click interface found in many adventure games. How would you describe Ira’s gameplay?
That’s very true, Ira isn’t your standard point and click adventure, it’s a hybrid. Ira started with a basic point and click mechanics system, but we found a lot of challenges and limitations with the classic system. The more Ira evolved as a project the more I realized we needed a system that helped keep players in the moment and with the old point and click inventory system the player is forced to stop gameplay in order to engage with a menu. That pushed me to design a system that allows for expanded functionality and in the moment gameplay. The adventure should flow as one fluid experience much like Playdead’s Inside.
So, to reiterate. Instead of clicking on a menu and stopping the flow of gameplay, you simply select the character, time slows down, and you can toggle on and off different items and what they affect, and this changes how the character experiences the environment in real time. So if you are running through the woods and you need to turn off your lantern (as to not be seen), you don’t have to stop gameplay to turn off the light. All you have to do is use the radial menu and you’re never taken out of the adventure. It works great with both gamepad and PC controls too.
It’s also a choice-driven game, correct? Could you give us an idea of how the choices and timelines will work?
Well, without giving too much away I would say, think of it less as time traveling and more of multiverse hopping… The multiverse is the hypothetical set of possible universes, including the universe in which we live. All I can really say is imagine a physical junction, in reality, where different multiverse exist. Thus for all intents and purposes, different timelines. How could different choices affect the outcome of a world if you could see or exist in other possibilities?
While the basic description of the story is somewhat cryptic, the Kickstarter description gives a more extensive look at Ira’s universe. What inspired you for this story and setting?
Classics sci-fi like Forbidden Planet, The Thing from Another World, and books like Dark Matter, just to name a few. Much of what we come up with is just from our own personal sensibilities as well.
It sounds as though you were interested in a Switch version right away. Did anything about the Switch in particular catch your attention? Will Ira use any of the Switch’s special features, such as HD Rumble?
Just the ability to bring Ira anywhere is a tantalizing idea. We do plan on using the touch screen as an option and we are still experimenting with HD rumble.
Ira was announced as a 3-act game. Will Act 1: Pilgrimage tell a complete story on its own, or will it have a single overarching story across the three acts?
Yes, and yes. It’s one big story full of smaller ones. Act 1: Pilgrimage will introduce many story elements but not all of them will be wrapped up in the first act.
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about Ira?
Ira will be coming to all major consoles early 2018. Feel free to wishlist us on Steam for release updates.
Between the multiverse and its classic sci-fi inspirations, Ira certainly sounds like an interesting title. We’re happy we had this chance to learn more about it. What are your thoughts on Ira?