July 3, 2022

Hands On With Disco Elysium: EGX 2018

Disco Elysium is a Detective RPG from Zaum Studios and was a lot of peoples game of EGX 2018 for good reason.

Disco Elysium was one of the more unique games at this years Rezzed section at EGX. It has a genuinely beautiful art-style and inspired writing. What I got to play was the beginning of the game where you wake up after a hard night on the booze and after getting dressed get to go around talking to NPC’s, learning about your character and the world he inhabits.

“Disco Elysium is a groundbreaking blend of isometric RPG and hardboiled cop show with a unique urban fantasy setting.

You play a disgraced lieutenant detective in Revachol West, a shore town where corruption’s out of control, murders go unsolved, and the kids just wanna dance. Kick in doors, interrogate suspects, or get lost exploring a gorgeously rendered city and unraveling its mysteries. All the while, tensions rise around you as Revachol threatens to explode.

Disco Elysium’s completely original skill system makes your innermost feelings, doubts, and memories an integral part of every conversation. Level up your rational faculties, sharpen your wits, or give in to your basest instincts. What kind of cop you are is up to you.”

We had the chance to ask the devs a few questions on the EGX show floor:

Can you tell us about your team?

We are a relatively small team, about 20-30 people. We have five writers and our lead artist is an oil painter.

What was the most challenging aspect during the development of Disco Elysium?

There are no game developers in Estonia, we are the first so it was a challenge to get the project off the ground.

How long have you been working on this project?

Five years

What inspired the art direction of Disco Elysium as its very striking and unique?

Our lead artist is an oil painter and wanted to bring that unique look and feel to the game and its world

The way the games narrative plays out Disco Elysium could become episodic very easily, is an episodic launch planned?

No that’s just the way our narrative comes across. There is a definitive start and finish to the game, it’s a very detailed world. We haven’t ruled out possible extra content in the future.

How difficult was it to write and design a game that is different for each player?

Very, the game is truly reactive to what you do. Meaning its very complex. Lots of parts we implemented just didn’t work later on and were removed. The writing for the game was very time consuming and integral in achieving this ever changing narrative.

The universe of the game is outstanding and vast, will we see some of Disco Elysium’s characters in future games?


Is it a truly fictional game or are some aspects inspired by your real life experiences?

Kind of, lots of parts could we be inspired by our real life experiences but nothing in particular. Some character traits are possibly taken from people we know or have met but in general its just been organically developed up as we progressed.

If you could change, add or remove one thing from your game would you do it and what would it be?

Characters, we would love to have more characters and more interactions. But that’s a big ask for a small team. At the moment we will focus on what we have and see where it goes.

What we were able to play on the EGX show floor was brilliant and definitely a game we are going to be covering more of. Hyped already to be one of the best RPG’s of all time, Disco Elysium an absolute one to watch for the future.

For more hands on’s with games from this years EGX stay tuned to ABG.

If you like this why not check out our hands on with adventure game Card Life.

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