World to the West Developers Discuss Their Latest Title’s Characters, Inspirations, and More

Mariela Gonzalez from Rain Games have taken to the PlayStation Blog to announce the follow-up game to Teslagrad; the newly announced game is officially titled World to the West.

The post details the game’s characters, how they were brought to life, and what inspired the developers in making them that way. The post has two developers discussing the game,Peter Wingaard Meldahl, Lead Gameplay Designer and Ole Ivar Rudi, Art Director.

World to the West is scheduled to release for the PS4 on May 9, but if you are interested in the game, you can learn more about the characters, and the approach the developers took with their characters down below:

Lumina

Lumina is in many ways defined by being a the middle child, she’s never had the opportunity to fully prove herself. Her character design reflects this in that she appears quite shy and reserved, but able to move very quickly and determinedly once she springs into action. A lot of her character design is extrapolated pretty directly from imagining what would happen in the aftermath of Teslagrad.

Her outfit is a traditional folk costume from her homeland – the simple wool dress is seen as decidedly unfashionable in the rest of the world, and it probably smells a bit funky. The hooded cape is part of the traditional teslamancer garb, and doubles as protection from the rain – an absolute necessity in her homeland, as the tall mountains surrounding it leads to a near constant downpour.


Teri

First of the new characters is Teri. She hails from the nation of Mesmer, and I wanted to make her mechanics all about mind control.

Right from the start, we experimented with making every monster in the game controllable by the player via Teri’s powers. We already had a philosophy from Teslagrad about what I called “Frenemies” – meaning that monsters would sometimes be threats, but at other times you might need them to help you progress.

The same became true for World to the West. I created the concept of the mindbender’s toolbox, and every living creature that might want to eat or attack the player also got some trait or other that in the right circumstance could become really useful. A character that could control monsters directly on the fly was a concept that we hadn’t seen in a game like this before.


Clonington

The next character design was Clonington, a bit of a lumbering oaf mixed with a british style gentleman. While the other characters can interact with or avoid the dangerous critters of the land in different ways, I wanted to make Clonington a character that was always best suited to face every challenge head on.

Clonington’s abilities are all based on his physical might in some form or another. He’s also the character that makes the most use of verticality as he is strong enough to climb steep walls, which is useful in combination with his ability to piledrive down from up high onto any monsters below.


Knaus

The final character comes from a nation named Motorland, a nation all about mechanical effectiveness, big engines and factories. Home of the industrial revolution in our world, even the name of the country is purely practical and descriptive.

Knaus originated with the idea of children forced to work in the coal mines during the real-world industrial revolution. Knaus is the physically weakest of the group, but he is small, nimble, and knows his way around technology. As I worked on defining Knaus’ abilities, he became all about using the terrain. Knaus has a shovel, and he is able to tunnel through any soft earth. Here he is safe from harm, so long as no strong shock knocks him up from his tunnel.

In a sense, it’s a stealth mechanic, but with a somewhat clarified ruleset- whether an enemy will see you or not is often problematic to figure out in the best of stealth games. Here, a sneaky approach or an action approach is easily determined by simply looking at what kind of floor you are standing on.


World to the West launches on PS4 on May 5.