How Source aims to evolve the Metroidvania on PS4

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Your first look at Fenix Fire’s bold new take on the genre

When we began developing Source we set out to create something completely new and unique, yet deeply versed in the classic Metroidvania adventure game style. To us, a Metroidvania is a special kind of adventure game that has a few main components that need to be just right.

First off, there needs to be an expansive, mysterious world to explore. Second, there should be permanent upgrades that are vital to your character’s advancement and survival. Lastly, a rich, visual story should unfold simply by playing the game itself. In just a few months of development time we’ve managed to uncover how we will attempt these familiar traits of the genre, and maybe even evolve them a bit further with Source.

The world of Source, even in its earliest versions, has always been an alternate dimension full of life, energy, and bio luminescence. Early on we looked at ’80s computer graphic movies like Tron, deep sea marine life, and fine surreal art for influence. The reason for this eclectic mix of inspiration was to find the middle ground between the familiar and the unknown in order to help drive the exploratory nature of Source.


For instance, if everything looked realistic you would be able to take all the plants, trees, and creatures at face value, moving on without a second thought. By inventing all our own foliage and living creatures we’ve been able to make a very mysterious world, which allows the player to see through “infant eyes”; essentially seeing the world for the first time.

As the world started to form we began to arrive at our character, the firefly. This was born out of an idea I had while doing chores in the backyard. I saw a humming bird fly from flower to flower, and loved the elegance and tranquillity of the creature. At that moment I saw the entire game; how the ecosystem of Source would become an elaborate system of plants and creatures, and how all of these beings are tied together by this “pollination” or exchange of energy.

The way the character upgrades itself in Source is rooted in the genre of the Metroidvania; search the world for clues, discover a new energy source, and absorb the energy to become imbued with a new ability. These new abilities can be used to fly to new areas, be able to explore places that were previously poisonous to the character, or uncover a new kind of attack.


To evolve the system further, we simply looked to nature for inspiration. In fusing the hummingbird with the butterfly we were able to create a cocoon system that becomes imperative to your adventure. You’ll need to pollinate at least one cocoon while alive. When your character dies, your offspring will be born from that pollinated cocoon and will harness all of your character’s abilities. Sometimes, depending on how much experience your character had, the new offspring will have gone up a level and will be born with advanced strengths and abilities, essentially making the cycle of life a positive and necessary thing.

We feel the root of the adventure game is the story, and we want the story in Source to be truly memorable. The story is told around your character as the game progresses through the gameplay, not long winded cut scenes. It comes down to creating great moments throughout the game to achieve the highs and lows properly placed to achieve cinematic drama. Therefore we’re designing the story to be harmoniously fused with the level progression and the world’s layout.

A great Metroidvania is an experience where you go off on an amazing adventure. You may not know where you’re going, or who your friends are, but you have a purpose and a way of defending yourself. This is what we’re setting out to do with Source; except with a new kind of character set in an alternate dimension, inspired by life as we know it.

Feel free to hit us up with any thoughts, comments, or questions. We feel that Source is a very special game, and would like to get your input as we dive deeper into development.


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  • I’m guessing this was an error and you guys didn’t intend to publish about 10 new PS4 game announcement stories in the same 20 minutes, especially at 11:30PM when the PS Blog rarely ever publishes anything past 9PM.

  • Source is a cool project, love to see some support for their kickstarter, but since they didn’t mention it above, like professionals, I will mention it for them.

  • Is it just me or does this look as far away from a Metroidvania as possible?

  • From all the indie titles I’ve seen presented here this is they only one I’m interested in. It actually looks new and fresh. I like it.

    • Exactly! What I expect from indies is to create something new and interesting like Journey, Flower and Fez The big publishers are scared to do that and instead so nothing but sequels. I hope this turn out great!

  • So this is coming, even if the Kickstarter is not a success?

    Also, people go back this at – This really looks like something special :)

  • Please please please back their kickstarter this is going to be an amazing game to play

  • I think this looks excellent, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this game. It’s a bit like a cross between Flower and Resogun, seemingly anyway, and I can appreciate the otherworldly art style. Is there an estimated campaign completion time? Replay value/NG+…maybe with different enemies/skills/environments? It all looks very interesting and something I would buy. Good luck!

  • Somehow it dont pull me in as other indie game, looks like a butterfly flying around with god of war sort of music, just feels strange :) but good luck.

  • This certainly looks interesting! :) I’ll have to keep an eye on it

  • Wow, this looks pretty sweet. Going to check out the Kickstarter now :)

  • @Brian McRae

    Source looks very, very interesting but I feel that the HUD (the bar at the top of the screen) it’s out of place and to me it does clash with the game aesthetics.
    I know that it’s important to tell the player how much energy/Hp they have left but you could opt for visual cues on the very firefly’s body instead than use bar at the top of the screen.
    I noticed that the firefly has light emitting spots, pass me the expression, and you could use those as “energy/HP bars”.
    For instance you could make so that each one of those spots dims, or change color, depending on how much energy/HP we have energy left.
    When fully “charged/healthy” the firefly would so look bright and colorful with many lit spots but when”empty/wounded” it would look darker.
    A very unmistakable visual cue and in my opinion much more elegant than the HUD.

    Just my two cents anyway, sorry for bothering you.

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