Trine busted onto the scene in 2009 and impressed many gamers with its stylish mix of platforming and puzzle solving. Its good reception and critical acclaim persuaded developer Frozenbyte to immediately begin work on a sequel. For the first time since Trine 2 was announced, Frozenbyte answers some questions and gives us a more in depth understanding of what to expect.
Taken from an interview at 1up:
“We're going for perfection, basically. We got tons of feedback from gamers and the press and we've taken that to heart -- we want to keep all the good stuff and throw out all the bad stuff. That's the recipe in a nutshell.”
We hear game developers working on sequels say this time after time and it begans to sound clichÃ©. For example, High Voltage’s latest trailer for Conduit 2 boasts that it will be, “Bigger, Bolder, Better”. Developers claim their game will be a significant improvement of the original, yet sometimes (perhaps even often) that is not the case. However, with the inclusion of several new gameplay elements and the introduction of co-op play, Trine 2 is on track to improving upon an already fun experience.
“In Trine 2, everyone can experience the co-op fun -- or inadvertent mayhem as it may sometimes be, especially with three players. The co-op works on a drop-in/drop-out basis, and you can switch between single-player and co-op on the fly, so it's completely hassle-free, too. And of course, just to be perfectly clear, Trine 2 will have both online and offline co-op, so the couch is still a good option if you want to make sure your friends will face the consequences of their misbehavior.
What's great about the levels and the puzzles is that they support a great number of "solutions": there's no one way of doing things, getting past obstacles and so on. You always have multiple choices, even in single-player. Co-op adds another layer of possibilities and that's going to provide some nice replay value too.”
Trine 2 is sticking with Trine’s Knight-Thief-Wizard formula, but is majorly expanding upon the story by fleshing out the three heroes and weaving more non-playable characters into the narrative. The three playable character’s powers will be a well rounded mix of favorites from the original game and completely new powers, including the Thief’s “time-slow” ability which was supposed to be in the original.
The art style and music of the original Trine were stunning and Frozenbyte is taking the graphics to the next level as well as bringing back the original composer, Ari Pulkkinen, who couldn’t wait to work on Trine 2.
“On the art side our team has created completely new assets and animations, on par with our new quality standards. Or rather, the artists consumed too many mushrooms and set the quality bar sky-high, but it seems to be working!
The world in Trine 2 also feels a lot more alive -- trees, bushes and other plants and vegetation move in the wind and so forth; a lot of nice touches everywhere . . . and the artists have had complete freedom starting from day one. It's like they're running around naked in a field of flowers and rainbows and doing whatever they want. Only that they're not naked in the office. Well, most of the time anyway.”
Mushrooms may have had more to do with the production of Trine 2 than you would have guessed, and this will probably be most evident in Frozenbyte CEO’s favorite level.
“The locations themselves are completely new -- it's a new adventure that's treading some unfamiliar ground. There has to be a castle of course, but it's made of ice. At one point the heroes must travel to the cloud city built on hovering islands in the sky. There's a house carved inside a huge tree (I mean huge). And then there's the Mushroom cave, which is my favorite level right now. The cave is entirely filled with bouncy mushrooms and they come in all sizes and colors you can imagine!”
When met with the question of whether we will be seeing Trine or Trine 2 on a handheld platform, they said that they had thought about it, but the amount of processing power required to run the game made it a difficult transition. Perhaps the 3DS will pack enough processing horsepower under the hood to make the notion of a handheld Trine a reality?
After thinking about it some more, Frozenbyte admitted processing power wasn't the only reason they are wary to take the time to port Trine.
“Frankly, I guess the biggest reason could be that we tend to be a lot more interested in creating something new than rehashing something old. We try to be business-savvy but at the end of the day, it's the gamer inside that wins.”
Even though I'd love to see a portable Trine, I can't help but love their attitude. The best games are made by people that care about them and possess a desire to push the envelope by creating new things. This is what keeps the industry moving.
Based on what we have seen thus far, I can’t wait to get a hold of Trine 2. It looks to be an amazing mashup of what was good from the first along with brand new ideas and settings. I’ll be waiting patiently to see if Trine 2 carries on the magic of the first while simultaneously adding new features.
Did you enjoy Trine and are you looking forward to its sequel, Trine 2? What do you think of Frozenbyte's willingness to allow their artists complete artistic freedom?