First off, let me start by saying that our team, here in Rzeszow, is beyond psyched about the launch of Trek to Yomi , available today for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and with Game Pass. We’re super happy we can talk about our game because we essentially poured our hearts and souls into making it.
Trek To Yomi is a game that draws massive inspiration from the so-called chanbara eiga, something most of us simply know as samurai oldies from the 60s and 70s. We paid a lot of attention to virtually all aspects of these movies, whether it’s the camera work, editing, or lighting.
Almost all of the shots in the game were inspired by these movies, all for the sake of achieving a matching atmosphere and style. Speaking of shots, we had to do tons of meddling with composing them. We had to separate planes not only according to distance but also in accordance with their tonality weight, be it bright, medium, or dark.
Since we chose to realize Trek to Yomi as a black-and-white game, it was important to develop an adequate relationship between light and shadow. We also had to focus on how we draw the players’ attention to certain places on the screen and always create a visually clear action area. After all, we didn’t want any obstacles that would obstruct the player’s vision in the heat of a fight.
Another aspect that was very time-consuming was figuring out how to create a channel of in-game communication with the players. Keep in mind that we were limited to only black, white, and shades of grey. That was something we struggled with initially but in the end, I think we nailed it.
We also really wanted to keep Trek To Yomi historically accurate. Aside from doing our own research, we invited Aki Tabei Matsunaga – a historian who specializes in the Edo period – onto the project to assist us. She helped us immensely and even made sure that the dialogue was stylized to correspond to the Japanese that was used during that time period. We believed that in order to maintain the old samurai movie vibe of our game, we needed it to resemble those films as much as possible. We tried to achieve an effect in which a non-player watches the game and initially cannot discern if it’s a movie or an actual video game.
To deepen the feeling of immersion, we also got rid of certain mechanics that are typical for 2.5D games – jumping and passing through enemies. We felt such actions would pull the player out of the setting we’re trying to embed them in. That’s why combat consists of 3 pillars in Trek To Yomi: timing, stamina control, and combining different fighting styles depending on the enemy you encounter. At the same time, we wanted to make sure that the combat and gameplay appeal to both casual players, who are excited by the aesthetics and general vibe of the game, and more advanced gamers who enjoyed a bigger challenge in terms of combat. We want duel enthusiasts to feel really satisfied after each successful encounter.
Long story short, we really just want the player to become fully immersed in our game, from A to Z. We want them to engage with it to such a degree that they feel compelled to finish the game, just like with watching a good movie! If it’s good, there’s no way you’re not going to want to stay till the end. Unlike the movies, however, we’re giving players the opportunity to choose their own path, so choose wisely!
Once again, we, the team, hope all gamers have tons of fun playing our game. We, for one, cannot bold out enough what an amazing journey the making of Trek To Yomi has been for us. We feel like we’ve become the ultimate weebs just by making this game. Ever wanted to be a part of a samurai movie, well now’s your chance!
As a vow to his dying Master, the young swordsman Hiroki is sworn to protect his town and the people he loves against all threats. Faced with tragedy and bound to duty, the lone samurai must voyage beyond life and death to confront himself and decide his path forward.