Hello everyone! I’m Phil Crifo, Game Director of Tchia. We just released a really cool gameplay trailer during The Game Awards, and we look forward to diving deeper into our Soul Jumping mechanics.
Soul Jumping allows Chia to control animals and objects around the world, opening up exciting and unexpected possibilities for exploration and combat gameplay. In this blog post, I’ll share a little bit about how this mechanic evolved during development and how it works in the final version of the game.
Soul Jumping Basics
Soul Jumping in Tchia is simple: you press a button and Tchia goes into a kind of trance – in this mode the time slows down significantly, allowing you to aim accurately. Objects and animals that you can Soul Jump to are highlighted in green. Aim, press the Soul Jump button, Chia deforms to the target … You are in the game!
Notice how the chia tiare flower is carried over to the animals’ ears while you control them.
Chia discovers her soul jumping abilities early on in the game, but that doesn’t mean she’s in complete control of her abilities from the start. At first, you will only be able to control things for a short time, but as you progress through the game, you will discover special challenges that, upon completion, will provide you with an additional slot on your soul meter, allowing you to use your abilities more widely and start experimenting with complex combinations.
Uses and possibilities
As soon as you control an animal or object, you will notice that the Chia Soul Meter slowly depletes depending on what you do. This allows us to balance movement and abilities. For example, just rolling, as the coconut will drain your meter very slowly and traveling long distances with the bird will be a little more difficult.
Animals have very different abilities. Some of them are unique, for example, dogs can unearth buried treasures, and crabs can destroy locks and chains with their crazy tongs. Other animals have locomotion benefits such as flying or the ability to swim very quickly and deeply, which are very useful for exploration.
Animals are fun to control, but items can be very useful too. When the soul jumps to any object, you can control and roll it using a fun physics-based motion system. From there, you can perform a Soul Throw; this technique allows Chia to aim and shoot at the target while deviating from it. It is very effective, for example when used with explosive or flammable objects.
Behind the scenes
Soul Jumping is the core mechanic of Tchia and we’ve been refining it since the early concept days of the project, here’s a quick overview of its evolution throughout development.
At first, Chia had a simple telekinesis ability. It was fun to move things around, but it wasn’t very dynamic and didn’t feel super fresh.
We later tweaked the mechanics to actually give the player direct control while Chia is stuck in place in a trance state. It was instantly more fun, but we realized that it doesn’t allow dynamic combos or movement skills as you will always return to Chia’s original location when you don’t own it. It also made Chia’s body vulnerable, preventing him from quickly dodging the ability on the fly.
The next natural step was to make Chia warp towards her target with a quick and sharp movement and jump out of it in place when she is not in control of it. It allows for very cool and dynamic combos, stimulates the use of the ability in evasive and offensive maneuvers, and overall a lot of fun!
Soul Jump on our social feeds
Please let us know what you think of our new gameplay trailer and drop us a line if you’re excited about the game (we need support when we get to the later stages of production). Stay tuned for updates to dive into our sandbox mechanics in the near future, and follow us on Twitter for regular updates.
I hope this review of our Soul Jumping mechanic has generated some interest and made you explore the world of Tchia as a crab, bird, shark or any of the 30+ playable animals and many objects present in the game.
Tchia will be released in Spring 2022 on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Hooray! 🦜🦀❤️