Sam Greer at PC Gamer goes to class in an interview with Brandon Sheffield, Creative Director of Demonschool, the school-life tactics RPG with hints of Persona, Shin Megami Tensei, and Italian horror cinema from developer Necrosoft Games and publisher Ysbryd Games, coming to PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam Deck in 2023.
The game streamlines the combat of tactics RPGs and wraps it up in a story of students navigating the perils (supernatural or otherwise) of university life. Speaking with Creative Director Brandon Sheffield, it’s clear that it’s a game with a wealth of influence. “People compare it to Persona, Shin Megami Tensei and stuff… there was like Devil Survivor which was an SMT game, that was influential, a little bit with the relationship system… but the influences were much further flung and more from the cinematic and music sides. So it’s great that this grab bag of things I like has come together into something that people actually wanna look at.”
The demo I played featured a handful of combat encounters and a bit of the downtime between, both of which are very promising. Even just aesthetically it’s such a pleasing world to be in, with lovingly detailed environments and enchanting transitions. The human world is represented in 2D, with your characters and NPCs as sprites; the demon world and its most monstrous inhabitants are 3D. Eerily, the school itself is somewhere between the two, a 3D space presented as 2D, a sign of its supernatural corruption. As a visual effect it’s eye-catching as hell, but that there’s some meaning to the stylistic flair really gives Demonschool some teeth.
“The films of Lucio Fulci are a big influence, so like City of the Living Dead, The Beyond, Psychic and all those have music by Fabio Frizzi who is a big music influence on us…There’s also touchstones like Suspiria,” said Sheffield.
The secret sauce is in the synergy of its characters’ simple abilities.
“[We are] making a tactics game that is efficient with players’ time. Reducing the number of clicks and making all choices really clear—making you able to fast forward or rewind.“
Check out PC Gamer’s full article here. For more information on Demonschool, please visit their official website, follow @necrosoftgames and @YsbrydGames on Twitter, join the Discord community, and search for #Demonschool on social media.