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UEDI Developers Play Through Demo and Reveal Exclusive Content in Stream

Onion Soup Interactive developers Andy and Amy Madin played through the UEDI: Shadow of the Citadel demo and revealed exclusive in-game content in a June 20 stream.

“We kind of started [UEDI: Shadow of the Citdael] just after Nippon {Marathon],” Andy began, “which we were living from Airbnb to Airbnb in Japan.”

“Because we decided it was a really good idea to release a game and then try and relocate to Tokyo at the same time,” Amy added.

The demo began with purple-tinged opening cinematic in which protagonist Uedi skydives to infiltrate a planet placed on interplanetary lockdown by the evil dictator Hazuki. The developers teased that some friends might help Uedi in her quest.

“Skydiving has got a little bit of a history for me, hasn’t it?” Andy said.

“Yeah, it has,” Amy. “Yeah, you’re not so lucky.”

“No, I broke a bone pretty badly skydiving, so every time I watch this, I’m reminded of that,” he laughed.

The demo’s first objective tasks UEDi wish exploring the area around her crash landing, scavenging for materials along the way. The gameplay was occasionally paused by a handful of the “500” hints that will be included in the final game.

“I didn’t use the word ‘loot’ because I feel like it’s got slightly negative connotations and I hear it too often,” Andy said. “And I don’t like words that I hear too often, so I change them for other ones.”

Uedi returns from Nippon Marathon with a new hairstyle and an enhanced jumpsuit. This dystopian world is far cry the colorful insanity of Onion Soup’s previous release. While still boasting the musical stylings of composer Robert Ruby, the UEDI underscore is decidedly more subdued and ‘80s-inspired.

“We’ve got the wonderful, awesome music by Robert Ruby,” Andy said. “I forgot to mention him on the intro because I was prattling on, but what a guy, what a dude.”

“He’s done good,” Amy agreed. “It’s a good soundtrack.”

Players can uncover bits of lore in the form of letters left behind in hidden areas. In one cave, Uedi found an “e-note” from user J.R.R. Graney discussing a vague threat “advancing toward the North.” The fictional author notes that the group could be rebels or Hazuki’s machines, as both are constantly entwined in battle.

“So these are some notes that you’ll find in the game world. This one’s by J.R.R. Graney. He’s got quite a grand name for a man who lives on a cliff. He’s talking about how he’s been living here for a little while, and he’s seen some people approaching. He’s a little bit concerned about that,” Andy detailed.

“It sounds like he’s not really that fussed about the rebels or Hazuki’s men, so now, Uedi and the player’s getting a little bit of an idea about the different dynamic on the planet. So there rebels, there’s Hazuki and his army, and there are other people who have survived what’s going on here, and maybe they’re kind of stuck in the middle,”

“So whose island is this?” Amy asked.

“This is Hazuki’s,” Andy said. “Everything belongs to him and his dynasty, the dynasty that goes all the way back to feudal times. So their family is an old, powerful family, and the’ve branched out onto other planets, it seems.”

“Is it also the same island that he traveled back to in Nippon Marathon credits?” Amy continued. “Because he followed Hazuki going through the planets. Is this the planet that he’s ended up on?”

“I’m gonna answer that by saying ‘mmm,’” he replied. “If you want an honest answer, which is what we’re here for today, not rubbish answers, I would say I feel like it’s a sideways step. It’s an alternate universe. So they’re related, and characters are related, but maybe the Nippon Marathon itself doesn’t exist in this universe. Like, Uedi’s not going to talk about it, so I don’t think it happened.”

“But she’s still a journalist,” Amy said.

The demo featured combat sequences that showed in the agile Uedi in full action-RPG glory. Altercations seem largely weapons-based, with a radar on the HUD alerting players to nearby enemy activity. The radar displays in “hunted” mode when attackers are in active pursuit of Uedi.

“We’re gonna be putting some stealth mechanics in the game a little later on,” Andy said before shooting down a drone a picking up “10 of those wavy things.”

“I like collecting stuff,” Amy said. “Collecting stuff’s the best.”

Puzzle elements will also play a role in the game, with Andy saying: “The puzzles will be like the kind of puzzles you get in Zelda dungeons. For example, when we started off and Kai didn’t want to go inside that structure, that is likely to end up to be a Zelda-style dungeon.

“Rather than it be like a temple of water or that kind of thing, it will be maybe a bit more like the ones in Horizon. They’re more technological and less fantasy, but they function in the same kind of way that a Zelda dungeon does,” he elaborated.

The developers sought to create an aesthetic imbuing anime of decades passed, even going so far as to say that it should feel like an anime VHS tape. This goal is reflected in the character designs, the general mood, the music by Ruby, and much more.

“It is [‘80s-themed] in the sense that really I was thinking and feeling very motivated to do something that was inspired a bit by Akira. But yeah, we’ll make this more obvious as we develop the game, more pronounced,” Andy explained.

The developers noted that the presentation would improve with further development time. Full voice acting and motion-captured characters are planned for the final build of the game.

“We wanted to get some really good motion-capture stuff for that, but COVID happened,” Andy said.

“It’s on our to-do list,” Amy chimed in.

Much of the exclusive content during the stream came in the form of in-depth developer explanations of various gameplay features and a shot-by-shot analysis of the teaser trailer released earlier this year.

All in all, it was an absolute joy listening to the Onion Soup duo eagerly discuss their upcoming project and witness the game’s opening moments in action. Here’s hoping we learn even more as time goes on.

Until next time, I’m out. Follow Wilcox Arcade on Twitter or join my Discord server for the latest in gaming news, reviews, and commentary.


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