From Tiny Troopers to Toy Soldiers, join us as we share the highlights from our interview with Rogue Sun Game’s Senior Producer, Chris Brooks, as we discuss all things Tin Hearts. If you love a good puzzle game that comes packed with plenty of puzzles and an emotional story, then this is cetyainly a game you need to know more about:
Heart to (Tin) Hearts:
Miketendo64: What is Tin Hearts and what can you tell us regarding the game’s story?
Chris Brooks: Tin Hearts is a “Lemmings-esque puzzler” that is fully 3D unlike Lemmings. It was conceived from the Lemmings in VR idea back when the studio was founded in 2016 by some ex-Lionhead developers. The story of Tin Hearts is that you play a character called Albert who is a Victorian inventor.
The game is set in kind of an alternate Victorian reality. You have a lot of steam-based inventions around, it is very steampunk themed. As you venture around each level in the story, you will learn about Albert’s family. Things will start to take a turn for the worst and Albert starts working for this organization that he has been avoiding for a while. I call it an “Evil Invention Company” who comes after Albert because they really like his skills. Albert takes the job in order to support his wife.
Albert is the kind of person who always tries to fix everything and loses himself in the basement working on his weird and wonderful inventions. I like to describe Tin Hearts as having kind of a Pixar-esque story with its deep highs and lows and its narrative is probably what I love the most about this game.
Miketendo64: Can you tell us a bit about Tin Heart’s gameplay and puzzle progression?
Chris Brooks: Being a puzzle game, with Tin Hearts we chose to introduce each new concept slowly in a tutorial fashion, so that it feels very natural to the gameplay. At least we hope it does. It does to me. In one of the first puzzles, you have to move the blocks so that the soldier can progress.
It was meant to be longer but we found that people weren’t always picking up the time power before they reached the door. This puzzle has two routes that you can take. In the very beginning tutorial, you have to get all the soldiers to the door to progress. You can use the clock to fast forward. Later on in the game you will also be able to rewind the time as well.
There is a balloon machine that I think you have got at this point as well. This machine gives your soldiers a balloon and they can fly for a short period of time before falling. This place is level 19 and but it is also the same location as level 9. Players can use cannons to fire cannonballs and directly affect the environment.
Miketendo64: How Many levels are there currently in Tin Hearts?
Chris Brooks: I know this will be quite a weird answer because it should just be a number. In the marketing material, it says that the game has 40+ levels, which I am not sure why we decided that as there are more than 60 levels. Some of the levels are more narrative focused and there are plenty of puzzles that, depending on your skill level, can take a some time to finish a level.
Miketendo64: How does the console version of the game differ from the VR version?
Chris Brooks: Mainly, it differs from how you are interacting with the world. This game has been adapted from a VR angle. Though with the VR, you have the option of changing the angle of perception where as in this version you only have a flat screen. Other than that, there is not really that much difference. One thing that we are still working on is where we have gone from VR to flat, it has broken a lot of mechanics so we are working on fixing them for the console version.
Some mechanics that become available in later levels like the ability to rewind time are only usable in those particular levels. You won’t be able to go back and play an earlier level using these mechanics as they are only available in their respective levels.
Miketendo64: Was there much trouble getting the game running on Switch?
Chris Brooks: It was a challenge to get the game to work on Switch but it does. There was some additional panic getting Tin Hearts to work on Switch. After the initial shock, it took a couple of weeks but we managed to get it working on the console without too much compromise to visuals. As for performance, the Switch version runs at a minimum of 30 fps most of the time.
The PC version will be coming out this year but the Switch version is aimed for a Q1 release but it is not set for definite.
With the speed up mechanic, you can use the trigger buttons to change the velocity of the speed.
Size isn’t Everything:
Miketendo64: In regards to level size, the tutorial is limited to the table but later on, you have the entire room to navigate. Are there levels that extend even bigger than that? Like across two rooms for example?
Chris Brooks: Short answer, yes. We kind of have every tone going in this game. It is fairly gloomy to start with but it’s then act two, you have access to the house and all the rooms would gradually open up like the dining room, the bedrooms, a music room, and the basement.
Miketendo64: Due to the size of some of these levels, if a player wanted to pause the game and pick it up at another time, can they save their progress in the level?
Chris Brooks: As it stands in the PC release, the checkpoints are limited but we do want to add more in. For the console releases next year, we do want to have regular checkpoints put in. Maybe a checkpoint every 15 minutes or so.
We would like to thank Chris for his time in speaking with us and for anyone keen to check out Tin Hearts, while there is no release date for the game announced as of yet, with Gamescom on the horizon that can easily change in the next week.
About Tin Hearts:
Behind every brilliant invention, hides a magical story. From members of the team that brought you Fable, comes Tin Hearts – an immersive puzzle adventure game wrapped in a powerful tale of love and compromise.
Guide a troop of mischievous tin soldiers through a magical toy-filled world using a variety of whimsical and inventive contraptions to bounce, shoot and glide them to their goal. March through 40+ levels of time-bending, soldier-routing riddles, forge new paths for your toys to follow, and solve increasingly elaborate puzzles to unravel the emotional, thought-provoking story, of Albert J. Butterworth, a genius inventor of Victorian times.