Rime defies the visual expectations of a post-apocalyptic world. Palettes of decay and stifling clouds give way to panoramic views of majestic stonework rising over blue seas and billowing grasses. Like a painting in motion, Rime is beautiful and it is being created with Unreal Engine 4.
A PlayStation 4 exclusive from Spanish developer Tequila Works, Rime stunned crowds when it was unveiled by Sony at Gamescom 2013. An open world game of exploration and puzzles, Rime follows the journey of a young boy traversing the ruins of a once-powerful civilisation that mysteriously fell in ages past.
Without a word of dialogue, Rime relies upon its environments and the interplay of light, darkness, sound and color to tell its story.
“Rime is a very personal project, and we wish to create deep emotions through the visual and physical experiences of gameplay rather than cutscenes,” says Tequila Works creative director and CEO Raúl Rubio. “It has to evoke wonder, as if looking through the eyes of a child.
“For us, visuals are not only to see but also to feel emotionally. UE4 allows us to translate influences from Joaquín Sorolla, Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico and even Studio Ghibli into something that expresses our artistic vision in a way that can be experienced by the player.”
Origins from everyone
Tequila Works was founded upon the idea of creating with gusto, and the team draws inspiration from natural surroundings while seeking the beauty and the craziness in the ordinary. It wants players to not only move through the world of Rime, but to ask questions and discover its origins through journeying and experimentation.
Rubio says that UE4’s new Blueprint visual scripting system, which expands upon and replaces Unreal Kismet, has proven to be one of the most beneficial tools. Blueprints have allowed the team to quickly transform ideas and possible game scenarios into working prototypes, streamlining much of the ramp-up time associated with early development.
Tequila Works previously used UE3 for the creation of its first game Deadlight, and switching to UE4 required little adaptation.
“Our company culture is based on team participation,” says Rubio. “Everyone plays a part in the design process, using individual perspectives to contribute to the user experience. Our artists and designers and programmers all collaborate directly inside Unreal Engine 4 on a daily basis. The tools needed for every task and department, including sound and lighting, which are integral to the experience – are all right there.”
When asked if he’d recommend Unreal tech, Rubio says: “An engine is not only about raw power or price. It is a set of tools, and in the right hands, UE4 has no competition.”