At the beginning of April, publisher Meridian 4 and Italian game development team, Indomitus Games, released In Verbis Virtus on Steam. It’s a game where players get to use their voice to cast powerful spells as they discover the secrets in the depths of a forgotten temple and battle the enemies they encounter within. the temple is filled with challenging puzzles for the player to solve using the various spells they learn along the way.
We got the chance to speak to Federico Mussetola, one of the programmers from Indomitus Games about In Verbis Virtus.
CA: Hi Federico, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. For those who haven’t heard about In Verbis Virtus, tell us a bit about the game.
FM: Sure. In Verbis Virtus is a first person fantasy game where players explore a forgotten temple and cast spells with their own voice using an ancient language we created for the game called Maha’ki.
CA: So what made you choose voice commands over a tradition approach?
FM: With In Verbis we really wanted to create something very different. A lot of first person games are very similar and we wanted to find a way to give the player a much more immersive experience. We decided to use a mage and we know that mages like to use their voice a lot, so it’s kind of like a mage sim.
CA: Did you have many difficulties with different accents for casting the spells? I know I tried saying them in a few different accents and the system seemed to be very versatile.
FM: Yeah definitely! One of the main features with the language that we created for the game is that it has a reduced amount of letters in it. This was to make the spells as universal as possible for example there is no use of the letter R, as the pronunciation varies with different people. Also within the game we added a voice trainer which can be used to help the game understand the way you pronounce certain spells.
CA: That’s really helpful. One thing I’ve been interested in recently is the use of more features like motion control, AR/VR and voice control, as they improve do you think we could be seeing the end of gaming controllers?
FM: No definitely not! I really love mouse and keyboard games. We designed the voice control feature in In Verbis Virtus to really add to the experience of the game and add to the immersiveness of the game as a whole. At no point does it take over and there’s still plenty to do on the controller.
CA: So what inspired you to make this game?
FM: There really isn’t one single inspiration alone for this game, we all love fantasy and wanted to work on this game.
CA: One of the things that first struck me was how good the game looks, what engine did you use? And what sort of PC will players need to play?
FM: We used Unreal Development Kit, which is an indie version of Unreal 3 engine which we pay royalties to. This game has been in production for a while now and Unreal 4 wasn’t available when we started. It’s the same engine that some of the Bioshock games were made in. Any modern gaming PC with a high end graphics card should be able to run it just fine.
CA: Also, as I started the game, I noticed that there wasn’t a lot of breadcrumbs or hand holding going on, was it a conscious decision to not over tutorialise the beginning of the game?
FM: Yes definitely, we didn’t want to over do the tutorial element. At first we completely removed all tutorial from the beginning of the game but we found players were getting disorientated at certain points so we decided to add a few hints along the way.
CA: I really enjoyed the way the sound and music helped to create the atmosphere, how did you go about designing that?
FM: I’m really not the best to answer that question as I’m a programmer not a sound designer! But the music and the sound were both made alongside the graphics to make them fit together better.
CA: You went through the Steam Greenlight feature with this game, how did that work for you? Was it a good experience?
FM: We found it really helpful, yes. It was good to be able to talk to players in the early access and get feedback while we were still making the game.
CA: Great, so what’s next for you guys? Any sequel being planned?
FM: We still have a lot to with In Verbis Virtus, including ports to Mac OS and console but we want to work a different project next so we’re not thinking about a sequel yet.
CA: Thanks for your time!
The guys at Indomitus were kind enough to give us keys to play the In Verbis Virtus before it launched at the start of the month so I’ve had plenty of time to get to grips with it and the main thing I found from playing it is that it’s fun! Who doesn’t want to run around a a dungeon shouting magic spells at enemies! The visuals are great and the puzzles provide a sufficient challenge. It’s available on Steam right now for a modest £14.99 and I can think of a lot of ways to spend that amount of money that are nowhere near as good. Be sure to keep an eye out for more titles from Indomitus Games too, follow them at https://twitter.com/indomitusgames.