From the second we heard of Eternal Hope from Doublehit Games, we just wanted to know more. A puzzle-platformer that has been inspired by the artistic stylings of Studio Ghibli, the appeal was immediate. And so we reached out to the team at Doublehit to request a little chat, all in the hope of finding out more about the game. Gabriel Oliveira, the Audio Director and Sound Designer on the game, was more than happy to divulge more.
Please introduce yourself – what is your role at Doublehit Games?
Hello, my name is Gabriel Oliveira, I’m the Audio Director and Sound Designer for our game, Eternal Hope.
So sell it to us, why should gamers be interested in Eternal Hope for PC and Xbox One?
Eternal Hope, at its core, is a love story with a captivating art-style and immersive storytelling. Every piece of the game is put together to tug the heartstrings of players as they travel with Ti’bi across dimensions to find his Love.
Aside from the stylings of Studio Ghibli, what are some other influences on Eternal Hope?
Limbo is a great influence since it is one of the most acclaimed in that style and genre category. Also, Ori, especially for the magical environment of the game and the touching story that brought so many of us to tears.
The audio so far provided has certainly been lush and pretty – does this also draw inspiration from Ghibli?
It mainly is inspired by Ori and the Blind Forest in order to create an immersive audio experience for the player with that magical, mystical touch.
Could you tell us a bit more about how the two worlds manage to interact narratively?
You, Ti’bi, received a gift that allows you to access the Shadow World, a purgatory-like realm. You must explore both worlds, the Real and the Shadow World, in order to advance in the game and unveil all the secrets that the Shadow World holds.
Part of the adventure in Eternal Hope will see us making use of many friends. How do these help you throughout Ti’bi’s journey?
There are creatures in the Shadow World and the Real World that you can and will use to help you in your journey; the creatures of the Shadow World are called An’mu and are strange creatures, but most of them can be friendly.
What can we expect to see from the “ghoulish beasts”?
Well, you can’t expect that all An’mu are going to be friendly! Some of them are not there to help you, as you might expect. You’ve got to keep your wits about you.
Those “ghoulish beasts” as they appear, are creatures that have lost their souls and thus they are violent and can present challenges for Ti’bi to complete his journey.
And how do the puzzle elements of the game come into play?
You must go to the “other side”, a place you didn’t know truly exists. You’ll need to use what’s available to you at the moment to progress in your quest, no matter the challenge. Don’t forget you can access the Shadow World to help solve puzzles! You might find a helping hand will move you along as well!
One of the major selling points is that we’ll be able to uncover secrets of our past. Could you possibly expand on this a little? Will this provide one of the most central of mechanics?
Even Ti’bi’s past is unknown. You’ll quickly find that your journey in Eternal Hope will take some twists and turns and you learn more about Ti’bi, which will happen as you encounter fragments of history along the way.
For the average gamer, what do you expect the rough playtime of Eternal Hope to be?
About 2-3 hours of gameplay.
What major takeaways did you gather from the Eternal Hope demo that dropped last year? Did this then inspire the free-to-play prologue chapter?
We received an immensely positive response from the demo, and we wanted to show more of the game. Our idea to release the free-to-play prologue stems from the fact that we want to tease players with a bit more of the Shadow World mechanic, especially.
With the first demo, we were able to get a lot of feedback from players and found ways for us to improve the game. The big thing for us was to see if players felt invested in Ti’bi’s love story and wanted to see how it all plays out.
Are there any plans afoot for any post-launch DLC or updates?
Nothing is set in stone yet, so I can’t say anything about that at this time.
And finally, as a developer with a focus on mobile, how has the move to mainstream console and PC allowed more creative freedom?
For us, the creative freedom was a huge aspect. With creative freedom comes more challenges, however, along with a heavier “all hands on deck” approach to the development process. We explored all kinds of different gameplay and mechanics and we feel Eternal Hope, as our first PC and console title, is a huge success for our team.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything else you think our readers should know about Eternal Hope?
It was a pleasure! The players can expect a game made with love and passion and a story that will definitely touch their hearts in a way they may not expect. Thank you.
Massive thanks go out to Gabriel for providing us a little more insight into the development of Eternal Hope. You’ll find the game releasing on PC come August 6th 2020, with an Xbox One launch occurring later in the year. Keep an eye out for it. And if you want to know even more about how Eternal Hope is shaping up, check out one of the latest trailers below, or follow the team over on Twitter. There’s even a free prologue of Eternal Hope available over on Steam.