Welcome to our exclusive interview with game developer Vassilis Koutsoukos, the creative mastermind behind the highly anticipated video game, Phobos Subhuman. As the founder of Underdog Virtual, Vassilis and his talented team have brought to life a captivating story that blends ancient history, artificial intelligence, and modern challenges. Join us as we delve into the game’s development process, overcoming economic obstacles, and exciting plans for the future.
Who created Phobos Subhuman?
Phobos Subhuman was conceived in 2018 by computer graphics artist Vassilis Koutsoukos, who founded Underdog Virtual to develop the game. A few months later, 3D artist Nikos Emannouilidis joined Vassilis as a partner. The main team was assembled in 2019, and over time, more members were added. Currently, the team consists of eight core members and three freelancers.
When and how did the idea emerge?
Vassilis had already prepared the game’s concept, and he and Nikos believed the project was ready to begin. The development commenced in late 2018.
Did the core story evolve over time?
The fundamental concept remained constant, with only adaptations made to accommodate the team’s abilities and the available technology.
How does the game connect the ancient Sumer civilization with Artificial Intelligence?
Cuneiform inscriptions on Sumerian tablets contain information still regarded as secret knowledge about human history. One tablet, in particular, discusses human development, specifically Homo Sapiens.
Why were Phobos and Athens chosen as the game’s primary settings?
Phobos was selected due to the mysterious disappearance of the Phobos 2 Probe in 1989, while Athens represented a modern city. Ancient Greek manuscripts also influenced the choice of Athens as a main location.
How did you manage to develop Phobos Subhuman amidst Greece’s economic challenges?
It was a difficult process. The team received no external financial support and relied on their own investment, despite the risks. However, they enjoy working on the project and hope to profit from it to continue pursuing their passion.
Did you work on other projects during Phobos Subhuman’s development? Can you provide more information about them?
The team worked on three additional external projects, including an interactive 3D representation for the National Bank of Greece, an interactive gaming exhibition called Endix, and a multiplayer FPS game. They are currently collaborating on a project for Eurobank, another Greek bank.
What applications were used for the game’s development, and which were the most challenging?
The primary software is Unreal Engine 4, along with 3D Studio Max, Blender, Character Creator 3, Zbrush, Substance Painter, Houdini, and Motion Builder. The most challenging aspects were morphing and lip-synching in Character Creators & Motion Builder and visual effects in Houdini.
What types of professionals are required for a game like this, and what roles do they play?
Various specialists are needed, including artists for designing environments and characters, animators for character motion and facial expressions, VFX artists for visual effects like fire, water, and explosions, programmers for coding combat systems and AI, and sound designers and music composers for audio and soundtrack creation.
Do you plan to expand to consoles?
Yes, the team intends to launch the game on Xbox and PlayStation, as the console community is large, and the game’s genre suits this audience.
What are your future plans?
The team is preparing to release the Alpha Demo of Phobos Subhuman, which they hope will generate valuable feedback and give the community a taste of the game. They plan to proceed with the Beta Version afterwards.
What is the game’s story and genre?
Set in Athens in 2047, the game takes place after a third world war and ongoing climate change. Cities are protected by massive carbon walls, dividing citizens into two groups. Those within the walls are considered “victims” of the powerful AI called G.O.D (Growth Operations Defence), while those outside suffer from poverty, hunger, and crime. Simultaneously, astronauts on the first manned mission to Mars visit Phobos, where they vanish mysteriously. The protagonist, Danae, seeks to uncover the mystery of her father’s disappearance, who was among the lost astronauts. Her quest takes her both inside and outside the walls of Athens, confronting unimaginable forces. The game is a single-player adventure featuring action, melee, ranged, and hand-to-hand combat, as well as puzzle-solving and horror elements. Players can also expect engaging dialogues and a rich narrative.
We hope you enjoyed this fascinating insight into the creation of Phobos Subhuman and the passion that drives Vassilis Koutsoukos and his team. As they prepare to release the Alpha Demo and expand to consoles, it’s evident that their hard work and dedication have culminated in a remarkable gaming experience. Keep an eye out for the game’s launch, and be prepared to embark on an enthralling adventure that will captivate players around the world.