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The Making Of Sorcery: A Hero’s Journey

Brian Upton's Avatar + Posted by Brian Upton on May 08, 2012 // Creative Director, Sorcery, SCEA Santa Monica Studio

In this installment of our “Making of Sorcery” video series, we take a look at the fantasy surrounding the spell-casting gameplay and tap a few members of the development team (including myself) to discuss the origins of the story. Our key leads at The Workshop and our Santa Monica Studio were able to provide some great insight into the relationship between the main characters, the motivation of our villain, and the inspiration for the world we created. As you know, Sorcery brings the world of magic and wizardry to life using the PlayStation Move motion controller. To give you a quick refresher on the story and gameplay…the Nightmare Queen has broken the ancient pact with mankind and threatens to cover the land in eternal night.

Sorcery for PS3Sorcery for PS3

As a young sorcerer’s apprentice, it is up to the player to master the arcane arts and fight back the foul creatures of this magical realm. Sorcery puts the power in the players’ hands letting them conjure and command powerful magic as they brave the dark world of the Faerie Kingdoms. On their journey, players will encounter a multitude of enemies, solve ingenious puzzles, learn powerful spells, and craft strange potions with the in-game alchemy system. With over eight spells that can be used in various combinations and countless items to discover and collect, Sorcery immerses players in a unique fantasy adventure like never before. Enjoy!

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23 Comments   3 Replies

1

+ GGCAN on May 8th, 2012 at 8:31 am said:

Thanks for this Brian.

Loving it and can’t wait for the game !


2

+ doctormoon on May 8th, 2012 at 8:37 am said:

Why is their no games coming out exclusively for the VITA, while the ps3 gets one almost every week. While we get one every month Ps3 gets six or seven. Why isn’t SONY focusing on their new product. And i know many people agree with me.


3

+ davontaeees on May 8th, 2012 at 8:53 am said:

in agreement to doctormoon yeah why are they making so many new ps3 games! But i still can’t wait for it to come out!


4

+ Smert_ on May 8th, 2012 at 9:00 am said:

I love Dev Diaries- I hope these behind the scene special features are included on the disc. You gain so much more of an appreciation for the detail and character development when you watch these!


5

+ Smert_ on May 8th, 2012 at 9:01 am said:

Pre-ordered, and can’t wait!


6

+ Ocelot476 on May 8th, 2012 at 9:04 am said:

You guys completely flipped this around. What was once a harmless tech demo is now a fully fleshed out original looking game. I’m so impressed and this will be the reason I will buy a Move controller


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    + Brian Upton on May 8th, 2012 at 10:01 am said:

    Thanks. We’re really thrilled with all the positive comments we’re seeing. The team worked really hard on this title. We hope you have a lot of fun with it!


7

+ Christian399 on May 8th, 2012 at 9:22 am said:

Is there a non-Move version coming? I understand that you’re using this to promote Move hardware, but honestly I find the whole contraption a pain to set up/ play/ flail. Ditched mine some time back. Grats to all those who enjoy motion control (on any console, and I’ve tried them all – equally horrible), but I’m not one of those people. A dualshock patch or future implementation will get a purchase from me. Till then, I pass.


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    + Brian Upton on May 8th, 2012 at 10:04 am said:

    It’s a Move exclusive. The motion control is so integral to the spell-casting that I can’t even begin to imagine how we would port it. It would be an entirely different game.


8

+ Wozman23 on May 8th, 2012 at 9:23 am said:

I’d been debating whether or not I wanted to buy this Day 1. After the last dev diary, I finally pre-ordered. Can’t wait to see the remaining two to tide me over until release.


9

+ supermoc10 on May 8th, 2012 at 9:48 am said:

I’ll definitely get this game. A lot of people (including me) will buy Move for this game, perhaps you could release a bundle like with LBP 2, that would be awesome.


10

+ acwey on May 8th, 2012 at 9:54 am said:

Just bought the Move controller pack in anticipation of this game. Looks fantastic.

I’m wondering if there will be a PSN digital release at launch? That would be the icing on the cake.

On a side note, with all the recent announcements and exclusives been released, compared to the competition, Sony is, no doubt, on the top of its game. I am proud to announce I have became a fanboy. LOL


11

+ acwey on May 8th, 2012 at 10:02 am said:

@ + doctormoon and + davontaeees

I am bias, given my previous comment, but I have faith that after E3 the Vita will have tons of titles to be exited for.
Let’s just give Sony some leeway here!!! In-fact for a new platform I would say the games library is pretty great so far…


12

+ Blkant on May 8th, 2012 at 10:14 am said:

Really looking forward to this. Just seems to re-capture the kind of imagination and adventure aspects that were abundant in the previous gens but has really been laking as of late. I really hope this series can continue as well, seems it has a lot of potential for continuing its world.


13

+ Heavenly_king on May 8th, 2012 at 11:17 am said:

I will buy this game most probably next month because right now I have no money because of Starhawk, Resistance Burning Skies, Gravity Rush, Dragon´s Dogma, and Diablo III.

It looks really good. Most PSmove games have been not so compelling but this one looks like a PSmove seller for those who does not have the PSmove controller.

Keep the great work and please ADVERTISE this game!!! Games don’t sell by themselves :P


14

+ RenderMonk on May 8th, 2012 at 12:14 pm said:

I have this game pre-ordered and paid in full. Thanks goes out to the dev team for working so hard to bring us a Move title that’s been built from the ground up to utilize the move controller. I have high hopes for this game. Really hoping that all your hard work pays off in the form of more Move exclusive games built from the ground up.

I do have a question, back when the game was first shown off at E3 it was sporting a much different look. Now it was changed pretty dramatically. My question is, how much of your teams effort got rerouted into changing the look of the game? Did it cause some gameplay elements that you really wanted to work on and see make it into the game, get cut? I mean, remodeling the character, the enemies, the texture mapping, the lighting, the environments….all that takes time. Question has been bothering me for a while now. Thanks again for making what looks to be a fantastic Move game. Can’t wait to play it!


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    + Brian Upton on May 8th, 2012 at 12:43 pm said:

    Both Sony (who I work for) and The Workshop (the development team) were already in agreement that the game needed to changed when it was shown at E3 2010. We showed it anyway to support the Move launch, but we were already moving toward a different look for the title. There were two main changes:

    * The look and feel made it seem like the game was being targeted at kids, while the gameplay was deeper than that. So the entire game got a visual overhaul.

    * The game was originally designed as a simple dungeon crawl. We wanted more variety in the environments and monsters.

    I don’t think that re-imagining of the world affected the gameplay negatively at all. In fact, it gave us more time to experiment with what we could do with gesture-based spell-casting.


15

+ RenderMonk on May 8th, 2012 at 2:29 pm said:

Thanks for the reply. That’s great to hear. I didn’t mean anything negative by that comment. Just that I do 3D work myself, and I know how time consuming can be. From the demo that was shown, it looked like the main character, enemies, spells and environments were pretty fleshed out. So to change all that took time, I know. Glad to see that there’s potion mixing in the game as well. I wrote an article on my site, http://www.primitivecreation.com dedicated to Sorcery (under “Motion Controls” in the categories), and how I was looking forward to games incorporating all sorts of move based controls, not just for combat, but for all sorts of crafting as well. Those moves that are acted out in all the crafting professions, ie: potion making, blacksmithing, smelting, really lend themselves well to the move. Glad to see they made it into the final product. Thanks again, can’t wait to play and review the game.


16

+ plaztiksyke on May 8th, 2012 at 4:49 pm said:

A white, straight dude in another spectacle-focused game. Yawn.

If the demo’s move controls are off-the-hook, I might change my mind. Thus far, all Move games appear to be minor iterations on the initial (impressive) tech demos/launch titles. What have you guys done above and beyond what we’ve already seen?

Right now, though, it looks like all the edges have been sanded off. That’s is what I expect from other platforms, not PlayStation. What are the differentiators story and character-wise from other fantasy titles?

Will the graphics render in 1080p native resolution? Can we expect lossless audio?

I want to like this title, just having trouble latching onto something.


17

+ StarFoxMania on May 8th, 2012 at 6:42 pm said:

Eternal Darkness? GASP !!! …and let all those poor virtual citizens (or villagers??) get vitamin D deficiency? No freaking option. You’re on a mad mission dark queen! But to succeed, you’re going to have to face the wrath of my DS3 … wait whaaaaaaaaaa? the MOVE? :’(

I agree with post #7. Please make a patch so that it is Move optional, not Move mandatory! I always support new ideas and technologies or whatever, but they DON”T need to step on the conventional methods’ toes to make their point. Everything should be a choice to gamers, not forced upon them.

NOW PLEASE DO READ FURTHER Dear Mr. Developer:

When Killzone 3 was announced as a MOVE OPTIONAL title, how many people do you think went: ah shoot I like the game but… no, no one did. And how many people are there going to be reacting like me and Christian (#7 post author)? We don’t know how many, but regardless of that number I am sure you would like to see the money of these people in your pockets rather than some other mediocre (please god forgive me for this next word) shooter.

continued below….


18

+ StarFoxMania on May 8th, 2012 at 6:46 pm said:

…continued from post above

You see, I am completely baffled at the success shooters have had. I guess, gamers’ combined IQ kinda of hugely disappointed me, lol. If someone told me 6 years ago, shooters would sell so much I would either call them pessimistic or an idiot. Yea it maybe is about personal taste but then again it also maybe is because some people just don’t like to think ………..drumroll……..AT ALL!!! (oops did I say that out loud shooter fans? Burn!) They just rather prefer to start level 1, progress through the story with the left stick and bleed their right finger on the R1 button. Never solve a puzzle or stop shooting. BORING !!!

continued below …


19

+ StarFoxMania on May 8th, 2012 at 6:47 pm said:

…continued from post above

THAT IS WHY GAMES LIKE: Sorcery, Elements of Kameo….Starfox Adventures always always pick my interest, but I do find the move controller a pain. My 3D plasma TV is so thin and steep at the top, that I can’t put the PS eye. I’ve even bought 3rd party stands for it with clamps and what have you and they don’t even fit the top of the TV. And don’t even get me going on setting up the PS eye at the bottom of the TV. Good god, why does Sony even consider that an option. Even games that made the Move control tight, were unplayable with the Eye set at the bottom,… unless your TV is right at the ceiling. The camera faces the floor for crying out loud. Do you want me to play laying down?

continued below …


20

+ StarFoxMania on May 8th, 2012 at 6:49 pm said:

…continued from post above

But for argument’s sake, let’s say that the I set it up fine. My gym time is BEFORE* work, not after work, do you know what I mean? After work is gaming time.

I know that it’s most likely into your employers’ hands SONY whether to give the green light for a DS3 patch or not, so I guess I should have maybe started this post with the words “to whom it may concern:” but regardless of who makes the decision, I believe I made a few very good points and it would be (in my world) ALMOST UNETHICAL not to read or consider your own customer’s inputs.

P.S: GOOD GOD, SONY! WHY DO I HAVE TO SPLIT MY FREAKING POST INTO 4 parts. DO NOT BE SO LAUGHABLE! INDEPENDENT WEB SITES ALLOW MORE CHARACTERS FOR THE LOVE OF COMMON SENSE! You’re a multi-million $ company, wtf? Increase the limit please!


21

+ Shadead on May 8th, 2012 at 11:08 pm said:

@StarFoxMania

Perhaps you should read http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120426114341.htm

After you read that you could perhaps use that IQ to understand that the world doesn’t revolve around your personal opinion of what is or isn’t good? And gasp maybe they wanted to devote their time to making a killer game for the Move without having to be bogged down by additional development time into dualshock controls as well.

As for the PS Eye problem of having it below the TV….. you can angle the camera up so that it doesn’t point at the ground…. or perhaps use that obviously vastly superior IQ of yours to make your own stand that functions with your TV.


22

+ Elvick_ on May 9th, 2012 at 3:53 am said:

Get over it, the game was designed with PlayStation Move in mind. The game would have to undergo a complete overhaul just to play with a dualshock 3. :/

So either buy a move, or don’t play this game. Games are exclusive to the PS Move to make it worth buying. Just as games exclusive to the PS3 are meant to make a PS3 worth buying. Your complaint is about as pointless as going to complain to Microsoft that they don’t make Halo on the PS3, or that Nintendo doesn’t make Pokemon on PS Vita.

And the PS Eye can be moved up and down… so if it’s facing the floor, it’s because you put it that way. :/ smh


23

+ Alastair83 on May 10th, 2012 at 12:12 pm said:

Looks good but sadly I won’t be able to play given my condition tremor’s anything that requires you to move to do certain thing’s I’d be terrible at given I have tremor’s (where your body and hands espcially constantly shake.) Does look good though a pity there’s not a non move version.


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