Hey, I’m Stephan Logier, Creative Director here at Thunder Lotus Games. It’s an honor to meet you all to present our new game, 33 Immortals, a co-op action-roguelike for 33 players!
I joined Thunder Lotus a few years ago to head up a brand-new team building the studio’s very first online multiplayer title. Our goal: to create an innovative multiplayer co-op experience set in our signature immersive, hand-drawn art and animation style.
It’s been a long journey to reach that goal, and I can honestly say that we’re very proud of what we’re revealing today. But let’s take it from the top!
In the beginning… the only thing we knew was that we wanted Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” to be the foundation for our game world. To the uninitiated, “The Divine Comedy” is a 14th century Italian poem, a bonafide literary classic, and a personal favorite of our studio founder and many members of our team. We had settled on our inspirational source, but almost everything else about the game was a blank slate.
The team and I began by deeply exploring the historical context, religious symbolism, and mythology of “The Divine Comedy”, to tease out what we could bring into the universe of our game. As epic as the tale of Dante’s journey through the afterlife may be, in a real sense the key story in a multiplayer game is the one players are creating in-game, on the fly. We needed to take the literary setting as a foundation, upon which we’d create a world full of incredible creatures and epic scenery in which it would make sense to have many players fighting together.
Eventually, we settled on our key ideas: what if players were souls in the afterlife, condemned to eternal punishment in Inferno? What if they were to rebel against their fate, risking the Wrath of God in the process? What if all the great characters of “The Divine Comedy” were helping them on their journey?
With the basic setting squared away, we got down to the specifics of gameplay. I’ve always been fascinated by the enormous scale of raids and epic multiplayer missions found in MMOs. But the barrier to entry into raids – the necessary time investment, the preparation and practice – as a player, I found these things to be a turn off. This raised the question: what if we made a game that let players jump into epic, social, and cooperative raid experiences instantly? We concentrated our efforts on making the jump into each run as quick and seamless as possible – to make this a “pick up and raid” experience for… how many players?
Admittedly, we didn’t decide on 33 straight away. We began to prototype our game with the idea of many players entering a world, grouping organically to face the difficulties, and progressively joining together to fight a gigantic boss. And as we were starting to consider building the game around 32 players, I wanted to select a unique number to carry our fantasy and world. “The Divine Comedy” has one hundred chapters and is divided into three major sections: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, each with 33 chapters! It was settled: 33 Immortals was born!
So, we tie it all together: in 33 Immortals, you’re a renegade in the rebellion of souls, a soldier in a fight for your eternal life. Runs are quick, punchy, and very challenging – death can and will happen often (as can happen when you defy the Almighty). But players can optimize their builds to match their playstyle, mixing and matching weapons, perks, and persistent upgrades to steadily improve their rebellion’s odds of success.
Each game session ends with a massive raid-like Boss encounter, challenging the rebels to cooperate to counter deadly attacks and defeat their gigantic opponent. Above all, 33 Immortals actively encourages players to collaborate throughout the runs, to ensure that the largest and strongest group possible survives through to the boss fights.
There’s so much more to tell – but we have a road ahead of us too! 33 Immortals will release on Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC, and with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass in 2024. Until then, we’re inviting you to come help us make the game as epic as possible, by participating in the 33 Immortals Beta later this year.
Head to www.33immortals.com to learn more. We hope to see you there!