Cornerstone interview – charming and creative

Our undying love for indie games and the opportunity that is Kickstarter yielded another result: today, we delved a bit in Cornerstone: The song of Tyrim, an interesting Zelda/Dark Souls inspired open world game by two-men powered Ascension Games. Their crowdfunding campaign is already more than a half completed with 16 days left on the clock. Here’s our conversation with Jonathan Gustafsson.




First of all, can you briefly describe the game to our readers?

Cornerstone is an open world action adventure, with an emphasis on exploration and combat mixed with physics and player choice. A game inspired by The Legend of Zelda games and Dark Souls.


The art style of Cornerstone looks really beautiful. Why do you think there’s been a recent spike of interest in Wind Waker-inspired design? What have been your other influences?

I guess indies are cheap :P minimalism is easier to do,  It’s sad but that’s the main reason nintendo are just really good at being cheap. For Indies going 3D it’s usually a bad idea to try going realistic, we save a lot of time with the style we have. It’s also easier to get a vibrant and more interesting environment.


We also know that the combat system has been inspired by Dark Souls, but From Software’s acclaimed title has been traditionally associated with harsh and challenging gameplay. What kind of difficulty options will you offer to players? Will you have a stamina system to prevent “button mashing”?

In cornerstone there’s usually never just one way to progress. We won’t have a difficulty setting, we think it’s better for the player to adapt to a play style most suited. whether it’s a combination of crafting sneaking or straight on combat. In dark souls you only have the option to fight (or run haha!)

We have stamina right now but we’ll see how we add it in combat, there’s still some balancing to do and the stamina could throw it off.


On the subject of combat, right now we‘ve seen mostly melee fights in the pre-alpha videos. Will Cornerstone have ranged combat, in the forms of either archery or magic?

You can throw a rock! isn’t that enough? Not in the forms of archery or magic no, there will be some more temporary ramged Items/weapons


Will it be possible to upgrade/enhance Tyrim’s armor and weapons, in a RPG-like fashion, through the crafting system?

Maybe some few less (optional) upgrades, we feel adding these kinds of elements would make the game more complex than we would like.


Can players expect to have a more powerful Tyrim by the end of the game, and if so do you have a RPG-like skill progression system of sorts?

The goal is for you to get better and smarter (similar to dark souls). But yeah Tyrim will get stronger, he will have more tools and abilities.


Since the ship is going to be quite important in Cornerstone and you already said that it will have many different uses, I’m wondering if you’re also going to have some sort of ship-versus-ship combat or ship-versus-monster in the open sea.

Yeah we want to have this, we haven’t fully decided yet.


On the story, what were your inspirations other than Norse mythology? Will players be able to make choices during the plot to alter the outcome?

Yeah we pick a bit here and there, things that can make it more interesting and add a bit of explanation. We have more cultures than just the Vikings too, we always try to stay somewhat relevant to the theme.

There might be a few choices but not really a branching storyline.


This seems like a game that could do well as a digital release on consoles. Will you consider developing for PS4/Xbox One/WiiU platforms?

Yeah we have been considering it and it would be really fun to develop it to consoles, but we will need some extra funding for this.


Thank you in advance and best of luck with your campaign!

Alessio PalumboBy Alessio Palumbo (1097 Posts)

Gaming writer since ages, now Founder and Editor in Chief of Worlds Factory. Clan Leader/Guild Master of La Legione del Drago, clan/guild of heroes jumping from a virtual world to another for the most epic (?) adventures ever seen.

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