E3 2019: UnderMine dev talks classic gaming inspiration

A number of both classic and modern games have inspired the team behind UnderMine, the upcoming roguelike release from Thorium.

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As gamers well know, some mechanics and gameplay elements tend to stick with us more than others. After all, many of the best genres today were established years or even decades ago, and developers are still refining those formulas into fresh new experiences. Such is the case with UnderMine, a new roguelike from Thorium that takes inspiration from releases such as Soul Blazer as well as more modern takes on the genre, such as The Binding of Isaac.

Shacknews once again met up with Clint Tasker, creative director and designer on UnderMine, to hear the latest updates on the team's upcoming action/adventure/roguelike experience. Check out our interview in the video embed below.

Tasker has told Shacknews numerous times that UnderMine was inspired by a number of classic and fan-favorite games. In particular, the game takes obvious draws from titles like Rogue Legacy and The Binding of Isaac, particularly the overall combat of the latter. However, there are nods to other games as well: Heroes falling into pits animate like Link in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and characters can freeze-jump between doors like Mega Man does when approaching boss rooms.

Given that the game is a roguelike, players can certainly expect to die. However, their progress will carry forward to the next generation thanks to the helpful wings of a canary companion. When heroes fall, canaries carry their gold out of the mine, giving the hero's successor a sum equivalent to half the amount of money earned. These funds can then be put toward new items and gear for the next run.

Indeed, the focus on items and character builds is a core component of UnderMine. Even beyond new equipment, players can rescue NPCs (like they can in Soul Blazer, another of the game's obvious inspirations) who will eventually provide permanent upgrades to heroes. Several of these NPCs are planned, including a blacksmith, an alchemist, and even a priestess, and available upgrades will include boosts to stats such as health or damage output.

UnderMine will hit Steam Early Access sometime this summer, with the team aiming for an August release window. After that, the developers hope to reach 1.0 and release the game for Xbox One and Game Pass sometime in 2020. Be sure to keep it tuned to Shacknews and GamerHubTV over on YouTube for more hot developer interviews right from the E3 showroom floor.

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Kevin Tucker is a core component of Shacknews' powerful guide development team. For questions, concerns, tips, or to share constructive criticism, he can be reached on Twitter @dukeofgnar or through e-mail at kevin.tucker@shacknews.com.

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