Vambrace: Cold Soul was recently announced for a release on Xbox One, PS4 and Switch, but now the developers behind it, Devespresso Games, have shared further insight into the long creative history behind the game and how their original concept has become a reality.
It’s been almost 19 years since the inception of, lead artist and CEO of Devespresso Games, Minho Kim’s ideas that have led to Vambrace: Cold Soul as he often worked on the world of Icenaire – the cursed city in which it is set – in his youth. He would populate the realm with all sorts of interesting characters and conjure up dramatic events. Most of these elements were loosely connected, while others found more solid form through discussions he had in Korean online forums. In there, he shared his art with other high-fantasy enthusiasts and they eagerly contributed to this ever-evolving patchwork world.
Throughout the years he would work on many new projects, but Icenaire would remain a fond one and he eventually moved into the area of game development.
Tristan Lee Riven, game designer and COO at Devespresso Games, recounts the dramatic shift. “I somehow managed to convince Minho to join me in this harebrained attempt to make our own game. That’s despite the fact we had no experience or knowledge of how to do so under our belts.”
The two had met in Seoul, South Korea, when Tristan happened to walk by and see Minho working on some drawings. “I invited him for a coffee and we had a discussion about his art and some of my own ideas. Everything clicked right away. We both just enjoyed the creative process of making new worlds together,” Tristan recalled.
The team eventually managed to figure out the complex logistics of shipping an actual game. And after completing their first title, The Coma: Cutting Class (later remastered as The Coma: Recut), Minho’s new priority was returning to the land of Icenaire, which he had been working on for so long.
“When we sat down and started discussing this world, I was amazed by the volume of art that he had already made. He had hundreds of sketches and coloured pictures of settings, characters, creatures, and items. It was easy to get a grasp of this place that had, for the most part, only existed in his imagination,” Tristan said.
Tristan began work on a solid story within this setting. The most important features he wanted to weave into the new game were the underground city of Dalearch; the frozen city of Icenaire; the Green Flame, who are the game’s primary antagonists; and certain key characters such as Zaquard. He tactfully incorporated these elements into the narrative and then worked with Minho to craft the world’s update look.
Vambrace: Cold Soul is the culmination of all this effort and the team behind it clearly takes great pride in the fact that they have chosen to focus on narrative-driven, hand-illustrated games. Headup and Devespresso Games have stated that the roguelike fantasy adventure will come to PC and Mac on 25th April, whilst those of us on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch, must wait until Q3 of 2019.