The release of sinister Source-powered FPS/RPG hybrid E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy is apparently "imminent" and so we spoke to StremOnStudio's Christophe Longuepee about his small team and enormous ambition for the game. Ten developers and a cyberpunk assassination game with ambitions in the region of Deus Ex with ninja-physics? Tell us more...
RPS: Can you tell us a little bit about Streum On Studio? Who are you guys and what are you aiming to achieve?
Longuepee: Streum On Studio is an indie team of about 10 people. The majority of us has been working on games and mods since 1999. The strange word Streum is a sort of tongue-in-cheek word from our lands, meaning monsters in the dialect of the streets and ghettos.
Right now our wish is to a release a Mutta’ fuckin’ good game that will please players. Later we’d like it to create enough benefits for us to start a new project. Or that Bethesda or Valve buys our company, for us to appreciate girls with little virtue and coke.
RPS: Okay! What sort of game is E.Y.E.? What kind of experiences are you hoping to offer players?
Longuepee: E.Y.E is a FPS/RPG game, rather old school, and banking on a fast-paced combat gameplay. The player dives in a very dark Cyberpunk world (we’re not talking about the lack of lights in the maps, as said in some comments, it looks like a French specialty, sort of like cooking, cute girls, or bad moods) where he embodies an assassin, torn apart between his sense of duty and his friendship with his mentor. We wanted to put an emphasis on the player’s skills rather than his avatar’s characteristics.
The RPG part is very present in the dialogues and the choices that player’s character will make, that will influence the events and the scenario of the game. Another priority for us was to offer the player an immersion and a freedom of choice as powerful and complete as possible.
RPS: Can you explain a bit about how solo and co-op play will work in E.Y.E?
Longuepee: The solo is composed of two distinct parts that interconnect as the player wishes: A Solo campaign where the player follows a non-frozen scenario. And secondary missions with random objectives but forming a coherent whole.
The cooperative contains the solo campaign playable up to 4 players (more if the players wish, but we do not warrant optimal gameplay), and special missions a lot like the secondary missions in solo, here again playable up to 4 players (same comment as before). In solo or in coop, the player creates a character (he can use it in both modes) and his progress and character are automatically saved.
RPS: How does character creation work? Do you develop the character in an RPG-style as you progress?
Longuepee: The player creates his character by choosing a combination of three genes between nine that will have an influence on his starting characteristics.
Later, during play, the player will earn experience points he’ll be able to distribute in characteristic points of his avatar. We also included an option for players who aren’t very interested in RPGs where the character’s progress is automatically done according to the actions the player does.
RPS: What sort of specialisations and abilities can we expect to see from the different character types? Can you also explain what sort of skills and inventory system you have?
Longuepee: The player has great freedom concerning his character’s evolution: there aren’t real classes. But if we had to describe the main possible ways:
- The infiltration-oriented character, playing with agility, speed and stealth.
- The warrior character, fighting essentially in close combat.
- The marksman character, specializing in firearms.
- The PSI-specialist character, who manipulates his psychic energy to control or destroy his enemies.
- The hacker character, shielded by his drone slaves and taking control of machines and NPCs’cyber-brains, but who can also destroy or infiltrate by using viruses.
And of course the player will be able to blend these ways as he wishes.
The character is represented by 8 characteristics:
Strength: Defines the weight of the equipment he can carry and the power of his hits.
Agility: Defines his speed and stealth.
Endurance: Defines physical resistances and stamina.
Accuracy: Defines his bonus to damage from long-range shots, and the weapons he can use.
PSI Force: Defines his psychic power and resistance to spells
Hacking: Defines his skills in computer hacking and his level in implants knowledge.
Mental balance: Defines his psychology and his resistance to terror.
Medicine: Defines his efficiency to heal others and himself.
The inventory works on a base of cases and corporal zones, exactly like the old X-COM titles. Every weapon and item occupies a certain amount of cases. The player will have to pay attention to the available space in his inventory. And every item has a weight that will slow the player down.
RPS: How does stealth work in E.Y.E.?
Longuepee: The enemy NPCs patrol and walk freely in the maps. The player must then avoid to be seen or heard, or reinforcements will be sent. This also occurs when the enemy triggers an alarm.
The player can use psychic powers and/or cybernetic implants to enhance his stealth. For example increasing the cybernetic legs will decrease the footsteps volume, or the cloaking field will make the player invisible (however enemies can still see the waves and silhouette of the player if he is too close). The player can also generate an hologram to confuse and lure his enemies elsewhere.
RPS: What plans do you have for the release of the game? How far into development are you?
Longuepee: The development is over. We’re thinking about an imminent release.
RPS: Why did you choose to work with Source engine? Has that had any advantages or disadvantages for your team?
Longuepee: We chose the Source Engine for its polyvalence, and because it runs on a large range of computers, even low-range ones. And we knew its architecture and tools very well. One of the drawbacks on this engine was to create huge maps while keeping a certain amount of detail. As some of our videos and screenshots show, we didn’t always succeed.
RPS: What aspect of E.Y.E. do you think RPS readers should be most excited about?
Longuepee: The fast-paced combat and the mix between firearms and melee weapons. And I think the freedom of play will please them.
RPS: Thanks for your time.
We're currently playing E.Y.E. and should have some impressions soon. The game's release is "imminent" via Steam.