Yuki revolves around the title character, a space ranger whose job it is to guard the star flower, a celestial body responsible for nourishing the universe with creativity. As the object of lust of the evil Yokaliens, Yuki sees her beloved universe in danger as soon as they steal all of its creative power and steer the universe on a destructive path. Coupled with the immeasurable powers of a child’s wild imagination, Yuki will shoot through infinite bullets and terrifying creatures so that together they can save the universe.
Now that you’re on board for this adventure, you might as well know a little bit more about the universe you are about to immerse yourself in! In this article, we’re going to share with you the game’s core imagination, a key pillar that has helped us sustain most of our design choices.
With the immersive abilities of PlayStation VR, Yuki takes us back to our childhood when the four walls of our bedroom with our favorite toys in hand suddenly became too small to fit into our imaginations. Since this is a game that revolves around creativity, we wanted the player to feel like a kid again and go on a dangerous adventure with Yuki’s action figure in hand to save the universe. Basically every design decision was derived from this principle, which we called the core imagination of the game, which helped us make all the important decisions during the decision-making process, including the bedroom, the game’s entrance area.
It was very important to us that every player had their own view of the game and still felt a part of it, and most importantly, we wanted every player to have a unique connection to Yuki’s action figure, just like growing up with their favorite toys. Because of this, we decided to translate the game into a reality based on our own, but without explicitly mentioning where the story takes place outside of a child’s room. Not just any bedroom, this one belongs to a clearly huge Yuki fan, a decision made to instantly increase the player’s sense of being in the game.
The key to entering the fantasy world, capturing Yuki, gets the player to where the real action takes place. While the main focus here was on creating a challenging mix of bullet hell with roguelite elements, it was important that the game’s core fantasy remained present. Therefore, obstacles and spherical patterns were created that constantly reminded the player that they were holding a toy. At the same time, it would be fun to see if Yuki could walk through the narrow bars of a gate or experience the thrill of dodging seemingly infinite balls, it would also be an instinctive way to bond between Yuki and the player. It was interesting to see how this happened during our play tests, where the testers hid Yuki behind them whenever too many bullets threatened her safety or even apologized to her when she was hit.
A game with roguelite elements, the continuous progress of the player is an important aspect of Yuki, and when playing, the workshop is the place that fulfills this function. Getting this right was fundamental for the team to keep players motivated, but it was also crucial that this location follow the game’s core imagination, which we had been experimenting with since the early prototype phases. Still considered a place based on a child’s imagination, the workshop brings in elements from the nursery like the toy box and desk to ground the player’s experience while having a tactile moment in a kind of holographic hangar where they can grab capsule toys that contain power-ups and charms and decide which one to buy in order to get stronger.
The opportunity to develop a game in which childhood plays such an essential role allowed us to develop it from our fondest memories. By consolidating each and every one of them into the game’s core imagination, we have been able to create a unique gameplay in which we are invited to return to the time when our favorite toys travel with us to the most distant galaxies to help us achieve the impossible reach. We hope Yuki takes you back in time and encourages you to play like a kid again.
Yuki will be available on PS VR next week, November 16th, and you can watch the trailer now
And since you are here, how about sharing some of your childhood memories with us? Did you have a favorite toy? We would like to know.