June 12, 2018

E3 2018 - Unravel 2 hands on and chat with the developer

A few years back when Unravel was first announced, the games direct Martin Sahlin gave a very emotional presentation about how the game came to be, but with Unravel 2, it seems that the darker story came from that timeframe.

Having played the game, with Martin and the others from developer Coldwood Interactive, we talked about a lot of things, whilst playing the game, one of which is just how the story came about. Prior to the public debut of Unravel 1 and its playable character of Yarny, Martin made mention that in early 2015, he felt horrible, nothing felt like it was going right, the game was taking up a lot of time and things in life were just stacking up.

But cut to E3 2015 and we saw the game and the response was crazy, which not only thrilled the studio, but Martin himself and that experience, that year, is what the story of Unravel 2 takes inspiration from. As the game beings, Yarny is thrown from a ship that he was in, when he tried to pull himself back towards the ship, his yarn snaps and he floats away, but more importantly, he loses his spark. But when he comes ashore, he meets the blue Yarny and the two of them are both missing their connections and when their threads are put close together, they join and create a new spark.

This is obviously what allows two players to play the game, but it also provides a forward point for the story, that no matter how bad or dark things seem, there is always someone you can rely on, that will help push you forward. Martin did mention that, they saw a lot of players of the first game, never finished it, because they saw the game getting darker and darker, which was something people were not expecting, so rather than finish the game, they just stopped playing. In Unravel 2 the point is to start out dark and then the game will get lighter and lighter as the player pushes forward.

Of course, story is only one aspect of the game, playing is just as important and the team felt that by adding a second Yarny, they could add more fun to the puzzles and platforming. As the first game was a solo experience, control wise at least, Unravel 2 will let you play that way, if you desire, as you can absorb the second Yarny at any time. When you do that, you will see the other will show up, with random threads of coloured yarn woven through out the playable one, when you need to split the game up lets you then take control of one at a time. The purpose is for puzzles only, you won’t need to control both, when separated you can only move one at a time, so those fast-paced moments that happen, will have you controlling both at once. If you play co-op, you each get a Yarny and then you need to talk about how to achieve the goals, as if you don’t things become trickier.

I did ask Martin, why not make a version for Switch, as it is the question that everyone wants to know, and the answer was straight forward and understandable. The team is quite small and making for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One took up all their focus, meaning adding a fourth platform was not possible. The second issue, was that the engine they use, which is a proprietary engine and it just does not work on Switch, but Martin did mention, it was something they considered, he even pointed out that the two colours of the Yarny characters match the Switch Joy-Con colours, so it would be a fit, it is just not happening yet.

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