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A Peek into the Creation of the Cinematic Platformer Stela, Releasing Today on Xbox One

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I’ve been working on games for over 15 years and playing them non-stop since I was a little kid. My dad brought home my very first adventure game (Space Quest I if you’re wondering) and I’ve been absolutely hooked ever since.

I’ve always loved exploring game worlds, poking and prodding their corners, and satisfying that very human need for discovery and adventure – but hadn’t really had the opportunity to create one from scratch until Stela. Let me tell you a bit about the world we’ve created.

Stela tells the story of a mysterious young heroine struggling to survive the haunting and hostile environments of a world suffering through its last breaths. It’s an arduous journey and it’s up to you to get her through to the other side.

Stela

Stela

Through her you will witness the final days of this ancient world and with your help she will outwit, evade, and overcome the vast threats and obstacles in her path. Monsters stalk the forests, burrow beneath the snow, and slumber in the dark. The air is thick with smoke and the setting sun casts long shadows across the surface of this dying world – all brought to life by our talented artists and animation team! Who would have thought all this doom and gloom could look so wonderful?

I’d be remiss not to also give a shout out to our audio partners at A Shell in the Pit for crafting an incredible original soundtrack in addition to all the sound effects for the game, from lonely footsteps to the terrifying shrieks of a monster just before it chases you down.

When I joined the development team, Stela was just a spark of an idea for a game that played like a side-scrolling platformer but featured a rich and mysterious world conveyed through pulled back, cinematic cameras that emphasized depth and scale. Since then many great (and some not-so-great) ideas have come and gone as we’ve refined the game, but we’ve always held true to our vision.

StelaStela

We always wanted Stela to be an immersive experience. Pulling back our cameras allowed us to see more of the world and we wanted the gameplay to take advantage of all that space. Even though the game is a side-scroller, the creatures and environments of this world don’t know that; we wanted them to be believable and rooted within this world so we looked for opportunities to design puzzles where they can move between the background and foreground. Atmosphere, tension, and intrigue were prioritized over raw difficulty with the objective that anyone should be able to experience our game. Danger can come from anywhere but the obstacles in your path don’t exist just to test your skills as a gamer but because they enhance the feelings of struggling to survive.

Stela‘s namesake is a word meaning “a carved or inscribed stone slab or pillar primarily used as a grave marker, dedication, or commemoration”; a tribute to help us remember our past.

Our game has changed, grown, and evolved dramatically over the last couple of years and now it’s making that final grand transition: getting released and played! We couldn’t be prouder.

StelaStela

We’re excited for you to experience this new adventure!

Stela is available now for Xbox One on the Microsoft Store. Click here for purchase details.

See the rest of the story on Xbox Wire

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