Developer Dialogue: No Place for Bravery Interview @ PAX Online
There were plenty of unique and exciting games at PAX Online this year. One that stood out to me the most was No Place for Bravery, an action RPG from developer Glitch Factory with gory, fast-paced combat.
I had the opportunity to interview some of the developers behind No Place for Bravery, as well as a member of the publisher, Ysbryd Games. Joining me for the interview were Jacob Burgess, Director of Operations at Ysbryd Games, Pedro Machado, Game Designer and Producer at Glitch Factory, and Matheus “Matt” Queiroz, Producer and Director of Operations at Glitch Factory.
“I had a chance to sit down with the demo for No Place for Bravery. The brutal combat in the game seems to be the main focus. Can you tell us about the combat system and why you decided to go this route?”
Pedro: “Since the beginning of the project, we wanted to make a grittier RPG. We’ve been developing this game for several years, now; almost five, actually. Since the start, we wanted to make an RPG that was a little less romanticized. This combat style just fits our core concept for the game. We wanted it to be challenging, to make the player work for his achievements and to complete the game. The demo is a little difficult, but we are looking to make the game more accessible. That’s something we’re still working on. We want the game to reach broader audiences. We think the game has more to offer than just its difficulty.”
Jacob: “But we’re still making sure to keep the challenge for the folks that want it to be brutally difficult. We wanna make sure we accommodate the players that came for that, along with a really good story and incredible art, music, and message.”
“In No Place for Bravery, you play as a warrior named Thorn. What can you tell us about him and the world he lives in?”
Pedro: “The game deals with some very personal themes for us. The story is very important. The game tells the story of Thorn, who’s a war veteran who goes out on a quest to find his daughter. He goes on a journey in this weird and fantastic but, at the same time, low-fantasy world.”
Jacob: “It’s like a low magic, high-fantasy world.”
“What makes this game an RPG? Is it a more minimal take on the genre?”
Pedro: “We are actually really inspired by great classic, action, so-called RPG games like Zelda, Dark Souls. It is an RPG, but it’s not very number-focused. The player won’t have to crunch numbers to make more optimal builds. That’s not what we’re going for. The game deals more with mechanical skill; the player will have to know their enemies, learn their patterns, and get good.”
“What can players expect from this game from a narrative standpoint? Is it more traditional and in your face, or is it more subtle and mainly told through the environment?”
Pedro: “You touched on a very important part of the game’s narrative, which is environmental storytelling. We are paying a lot of attention to details. Every space you find yourself in, every level, has a purpose to being there. We’re going for both a mix of traditional storytelling in games and also environmental storytelling.”
Matt: “This opportunity at PAX, it’s a work in progress, the narrative. The feedback that we’re going to receive from the community is going to be a great input in this matter.”
Jacob: “One of the things, as the publishing partner, that I love about Glitch Factory is how much they’re willing to tinker and iterate and adjust to make sure that the game is the best that it can be. And to your point on narrative, everything in the game is married to each other, it’s difficult to look at the narrative without looking at the gameplay, without also looking at the environmental storytelling. They’re all intrinsically linked in this story that Glitch Factory is trying to tell.”
“What were some of the inspirations that led to the creation of No Place for Bravery?”
Pedro: “One of the first pitches we had for the game was kind of like an RPG created by Coen brothers, you know, the movie directors? Hence the name, No Place for Bravery – the title was inspired by No Country for Old Men. I love the Coen brothers; they are a huge inspiration for me, personally.”
Matt: “There’s also a bit of Shadow of the Colossus. How the game portrays the narrative, it’s a mix of multiple things. Dark Souls and Sekiro were also huge reference points for some of the gameplay.”
“Tell me about the music in this game. The demo had some really amazing tracks in it that are really unique. Who composed the soundtrack, and will it be available at release?”
Pedro: “It was made by our friend, Edward Zohoft. He’s, like, awesome and a great composer. Everyone is really excited; everyone who played the demo or watched the trailer is very excited about the soundtrack. I gotta say, having heard almost all the music for the game, I can say it gets even better. I love his work.”
Jacob: “Yeah, he’s really good at matching environment to tone, and yeah, it’s just great. The soundtrack will be available when the game releases.”
“Is there anything else you think players would like to know about No Place for Bravery?”
Jacob: “We’re looking for a 2021 release. We haven’t given any more specific information than that. Ysbryd games, we want to give our devs the freedom to make the best games that they wanna make because that’s what being a good partner is. So, we’re aiming for 2021, but we have complete faith that Glitch Factory is gonna put out the best damn thing that they possibly can. We’re gonna release on Steam and Switch, which are the only ones we have announced at this point. We hope folks are going to really enjoy it.”
Pedro: “It’s a very personal experience for us, so there is a little bit of every one of us in this game. The story is directly inspired by some of our teammates’ life [stories]. We’re not just trying to make a rad action RPG, this is our life put into a game. So it’s very emotional and very important for us.”
Matt: “I mean, we’re in love with what we’re doing. Expect a lot, but this is our first major release. It’s the first big project from Glitch Factory, and we’re very excited to see how the launch goes.
Jacob: “Every release feels like a major release.”
Matt and Pedro: “Yeah,” (both laugh).