the mechanics offer by focusing on the
characters and journey.
It’s something we felt both by working
on narrative games – survival horror,
specifically – and our gamer experiences
on triple-A titles, offering both accessible
gameplay and a story-driven experience.
A good inspiration for us in this action-
narrative genre was definitely God of War,
especially the first and last games. The
games are great, really tight, and at the
same time, their stories bring an extra layer,
beyond the damsel in distress trope usually
found in classic beat-‘em-up games such as
Double Dragon, Final Fight, and so on.
With Young Souls, we wanted to reflect
the player’s experience through the script
and develop the characters accordingly.
Having gone hands-on with Young Souls,
it only seemed right that we follow up our
play session by firing a few more questions
at the dynamic duo behind the game.
Here’s what Jérôme Fait and 1P2P co-
founder Baptiste Martin had to say.
Why and how was Dragon’s Crown such an
inspiration? What else did you look to?
The structure and the rhythm of Dragon’s
Crown inspired us, in addition to its mix
of genres. We love the instant satisfaction
provided by the arcade/beat-‘em-up
gameplay, and adding a modern touch by
mixing it with hack-and-slash elements
spoke to us a lot.
From a gameplay point of view, we
wanted something less conservative, so we
moved away from this model. Young Souls is
deeper, with much less emphasis on button
mashing and promoting a freer and smarter
approach to combat.
For the mood of the game, we went
looking for games at the opposite end of
the spectrum, like Night in the Woods. We’re
fans of the independent productions of the
2010s, which also influenced us a lot. Young
Souls is the result of mixing it all up!
There seems to be a lot more focus on
story than you might expect from the
brawler genre – why is that?
We love to work on arcade games – they’re
both accessible from the get-go and
demanding in the long term. But to us,
the gameplay alone is not enough – we
like to tell stories, which brings more
‘soul’ to the game. The story supports the
action, reflects the player’s progress, and
stimulates their imagination beyond what
The initial idea was to feature a co-operative
mode, so we took this opportunity to centre
the story around two characters with well-
developed, complementary personalities,
a story that revolves around twins, an
initiation quest with teenagers.
How challenging is it to find the balance
between presenting players with
something familiar when it comes to the
genre, but also bringing in new elements
to keep things fresh and engaging?
As with the game’s genre, we mix ideas
that are quite common in the eyes of
the players but that have rarely been
associated. This allows the player to be on
familiar ground, without giving them an
impression they’ve already played the game.
We respect a few key codes of the genre,
recognisable elements for the player –
old-style 2.5D gameplay, progression in
dungeons, and so on. The new elements
are there to bring originality and a personal
touch. We wanted to push the game in two
real ways: deep gameplay, using different
weapons with their own movesets and
gameplay mechanics, stamina and mana
management, and crowd control; and
through its content ‘volume’, providing a
wide range of tools and skills to unlock –
weapons, spells, accessories, mounts, and
“We love to work on
arcade games, but to us,
the gameplay alone is
Nothing like finding a portal in
your house that takes you into a
world filled with angry goblins.
Combat takes influence from
the likes of Dark Souls.
8 / wfmag.cc