NOTE: Welcome to episode 3 of The Indie Initiative. This series aims to bring you a look into various indie games, their studios, and the people behind them. This episode features Tchia from Awaceb which launched on Tuesday, March 21 for Epic Games and PlayStation 4/5. If you want to be a part of The Indie Initiative, please fill out this form.
Tchia is an open-world adventure game from Awaceb studios. The game sees you play as the titular character on a mission to rescue her kidnapped father. Using various abilities such as Soul Jumping and your trusty Ukelele, you traverse an archipelago inspired by New Caledonia where you’ll meet countless people on your adventure.
The Story Of Tchia
First announced back at The Game Awards 2020, Tchia is a game that has been deep in development for over two years. Of course, when that much time goes by, it could be assumed that many fans may forget about it.
That changed during the latest PlayStation State of Play from Sony when Tchia was featured once again. It brought the game back to the forefront ahead of its March 21 release.
“I think every time we were fortunate enough to feature the game on a big show, you obviously get the most eyes on the game,” game director Phil Crifo said. “So, conversations start going and then everything you post afterward kind of gets a little bit of a snowball effect which is always nice.”
For those that don’t remember, Tchia was originally going to be exclusive to Google Stadia. Unfortunately, when Google Stadia started having its issues and shut down, Crifo and the Awaceb team were left to find plans elsewhere.
“It was a pretty scary moment,” Crifo said when the Stadia release plans fell through. “We learned kid of like anyone else, it struck out of nowhere. So we were left with an announced game but no significant partner.”
Luckily, Sony and Awaceb quickly came to an agreement, making Tchia a PlayStation console game. It put the team at ease, allowing them to continue making the game they dreamed of.
That game did go through numerous changes throughout development. However, Crifo says that Tchia always stayed close to the vision the team had for it.
“Some of the mechanics and systems, of course, have been kind of revamped and redesigned along the way, but the core idea of what the game’s about is very much there,” he said.
One of those mechanics is the aforementioned Soul Jumping. A primary mechanic within Tchia, Soul Jumping is where the game stands out from other indie titles. That said, it was something that they didn’t want to overpromise people on.
“The initial reaction [from publishers] was that it was a cool mechanic,” he said. “But we didn’t want to overpromise. So we didn’t want to say you’ll be able to possess every animal, every object because we realized that was an ambitious way to design it. But we were confident that we could do it.”
Crifo talks about much more in the 20-minute interview on The Indie Initiative, including New Caledonia’s inspiration on the game. Catch the full episode on Tchia below and make sure you subscribe to Insider Gaming on YouTube.