Game news Biomutant: “The response was so positive that we expanded the scope of the game.”
Biomutant caused a stir when it was announced to the press and public, including the editors of igamesnews.com, at gamescom 2017. A hands-off presentation the following year, followed by a playable demo at Paris Games Week later, communication was also held about this open-world action RPG, dubbed “Fable Kung-Fu” by its creators . Originally scheduled for 2018, the project has seen several consecutive postponements to finalize its start date of May 25, 2021. Because after several months of radio silence, Biomutant finally came out of his silence last January. The developers in the person of Stefan Ljungqvist (director of Experiment 101 studios) also gave us a 30-minute interview to review the development and vision of this unique project.
Biomutant was repeatedly rejected during its development. It took almost four years to realize the vision of the Experiment 101 studios, a vision that, according to key players, has evolved significantly since the game first appeared at gamescom 2017. The main reason for this change is the exceptional reception of the press and the public, which urges the developers to review their copy and in particular to radically increase the scope of the game. Stefan Ljungqvist confirms this: “The reception at the announcement in 2017 was so positive that we expanded the scope of the game.” To this end, the team, which at the time had 13 employees, welcomed new members to its ranks. The production power of Experiment 101 then rose to 20. The studios thus remained on a human scale, which was unusual for such an ambitious project. This allows for 100% involvement of artists, programmers, etc., with the latter adding to the overall vision of the project.
We first changed the scope of the game to create this totally open world experience. We had a lot of ideas and were lucky enough to be able to add them. The scope of the game has changed and so has the release date. – Stefan Ljungqvist (Director of Experiment 101 Studios)
It is common to imagine a publisher quickly setting a release date to reduce the risk, especially since Biomutant is a new franchise, but it isn’t. THQ Nordic gives free rein to studios that have the flexibility to bring their vision of the game to life. Stefan Ljungqvist describes this relationship as “fantastic”. The collaboration between THQ Nordic and Experiment 101 is based on discussion and not on the commitment to production. The two companies want to build a common future and this requires common and achievable goals. Biomutant’s priority is to realize the developer’s vision while ensuring optimal gaming comfort, namely limiting the number of existing errors and eliminating all critical errors. The two companies hand in hand announced a release date for Biomutant as soon as the project entered the final phase and not before.
We were never forced by our publisher (THQ Nordic) to release the game on a specific date. – Stefan Ljungqvist (Director of Experiment 101 Studios)
At the end of last year we thought the error situation was under control. We were therefore able to plan a release date for Biomutant under good conditions. A vision that we share with THQ Nordic. – Stefan Ljungqvist (Director of Experiment 101 Studios)
The Experiment 101 teams may have spent part of the past year reducing the number of bugs, but they weren’t satisfied with simply cleaning up the open world of Biomutant. The writers dug into the script in 2020 to turn this adventure into a real action RPG.
At the end of 2019, the script consisted of around 85,000 words. There are over 250,000 in the last game. These are two short stories, two books. In 2020 we wrote a lot to get the script ready. – Stefan Ljungqvist (Director of Experiment 101 Studios)
Biomutant is inspired by many video games or not elsewhere, but The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild occupies a very special place. Experiment 101’s action-RPG cites the game Nintendo as a reference for anything to do with exploration and the resulting concept of freedom. However, The developers have moved away from their original libertarian vision to guide the players in this universe that is promised to be rich in missions, quests and other activities. Biomutant retains this freedom to roam indefinitely but reverts to a more classic structure. Most of all, he wants to support those who just want to follow the main story without losing sight of the original vision of the project. The studios have therefore added quest markers or tutorials. It’s up to you to use it or not.
We tried to create a game where we put the responsibility for discovering the world in the hands of the players, but we realized last year that too much freedom can be bad. We changed the structure of the game to make sure that players can discover this universe and all the cool things it contains. – Stefan Ljungqvist (Director of Experiment 101 Studios)
Last but not least, to take advantage of the extra development months granted to Experiment 101 … the war of the tribes (or tribal war). In particular, the players’ interest in this aspect of the game has motivated the studios to enrich it. During the adventure, the hero allies himself with one of the 6 tribes present, all different tribes, with different goals and behaviors. This choice has a direct impact on the end of the game, but also on the way to get there. When some tribes view the end of it all as renewal and urge the universe to destroy it, others view union as the only cure for the evil that engulfs a world in ruin. Biomutant offers different endings depending on both the choices made in the game and the hero’s past or the survival (or not) of the tree of life.
The different endings are directly related to the tribes and your choices as a player that affect them. (…) The war of the tribes, the tree of life, the hero’s past, but also your relationships with other characters influence the way the game ends. – Stefan Ljungqvist (Director of Experiment 101 Studios)
The existence of the project on ninth generation consoles was also discussed during the interview without really getting any definitive answers. Biomutant is in fact released on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. With the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X / S, we’ll have to wait a little longer before we know their respective futures.between simple backward compatibility, next generation updates and dedicated versions.
The aim of the game is to be playable on the current generation of consoles. – Stefan Ljungqvist (Director of Experiment 101 Studios)
Biomutant will be officially released on May 25, 2021 on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
By Silent_Jay, Journalist igamesnews.com