While wandering the show floor at Play NYC, many games caught my eye. Cede was one such game. It had a unique style that really made it stand out. Furthermore, it was advertised as "combat farming." I had to know what combat farming was, so I made time to go see Cede.
The game puts you in the role of Seph, a golem looking creature that lives in a world that has been torn apart. His goal is to grow plants and grass in the darkness, which will fend it off. Of course he can't do so peacefully and along the way he's attacked by creatures. There's two main ways Seph can defend himself. Punching is always an option, letting Seph knock back and eventually kill anything that got close. Or Seph can shoot seeds, playing more like a twin stick shooter. He only has limited shots, so running around collecting the seeds that you find on the ground will be necessary if you want to continue to use this ability.
Thankfully Seph isn't alone. Accompanying him are little wooden golems called Lil Bois. Every time you kill an enemy it drops a seed, and the Lil Bois can nurture and grow these seeds into plants. In the demo I had two: one which would turn the plants into flowers that attacked enemies, the other other that turned them into flowers that dropped apples to heal myself. Utilizing these flowers, which I could pick up and move around the map, was essential to victory in Cede.
It took me a while to really understand the best way to advance in the game. I had to utilize every element to win. By throwing seeds or defeating enemies I could turn patches of shadow into grass, while enemies would destroy my grass and turn it back into shadow. As such, I needed to reposition flowers all the time to use them as a barrier, almost like the game was combining tower defense elements as well.
Once I conquered enough of the darkness I found the golden acorn and reached the end of the demo. I have to say I came away really impressed by Cede. The game combines several elements effortlessly and is quite fun to play. It's also challenging, and I had to spend quite a bit of time figuring out its mechanics so I could advance. It's going to be worth keeping an eye on in the future.
After I finished playing I got a chance to have a quick talk to Edwin Jack, the game's director, about his inspiration for the game and some future elements planned for it.
TechRaptor: Edwin, I got to play Cede. It was really cool. Can you tell me a little bit about how you came up with the idea?
Edwin Jack: Yeah, so… In Cede the main character is Seph, which is short for Joesph. It’s a persona of Joesph from the book of Genesis, and Joesph did farming in his life. So we said “okay, we want to base it off of him” and we said we’re going to use that, farming. So we started making prototypes and we came up with something were a sproutling shoots seeds at enemies, and they turned into grass. So we just kept expanding on that and expanding and expanding and adding in the supporter and defender plants to help you. Everything is centered around the plants. Also, myself, I’ve been getting into farming and agriculture, so it’s also something that is directly connected to myself as well.
TechRaptor: So what work specifically did you do on the game?
Edwin: So I’m the founder, I do pretty much the design, I’m the director of the game, all the bits inside. A lot of the 3D that you see is my work, as far as the animations, the rigging, lighting, things like that.
TechRaptor: So you said this was based on the… I’m sorry, the book of…?
Edwin: From the book of Genesis, in the Bible. Joseph, the story of his life. So there are a lot of keypoints in his story that we took and put in our game. Which is why the planet is kind of cracked up, we exaggerated a moment in his life. So it’s like a little twist on the story, but the persona of our character is Joesph.
TechRaptor: So I guess in a way that makes this almost sort of a religious game?
Edwin: Well I wouldn’t say religious. The game is built on the foundation of our faith, but, you know, I wouldn’t say religious in a way. For me it’s more of just belief and faith. So, like I said, we added a twist on the story because there’s a lot of cool ideas that we had for it.
TechRaptor: Awesome. So when I got to play the game I was throwing the seeds around, making grass, and then that would make plants that would help me out. In this demo you had a flower that shot things at people and one that laid apples that you could get for health.
TechRaptor: Is there any other currently planned for the game?
Edwin: Yeah, yeah, most definitely. There’ll be a lot of plants. There’ll be different plants with different functions. This is our demo so we just have two kinds with two functions, but as you progress throughout the game enemies will turn into different types of plants that, maybe, will freeze enemies and plants that will put enemies to sleep. Things like that. You know, the Lil Boi’s that follow you, they’ll level up and they’ll be able to enhance the plants even further and things like that. You’ll get new Lil Bois that have new abilities like, for example, maybe one Lil Boi that can create a stone wall to protect your plants and things like that.
TechRaptor: About how long have you been working on this game?
Edwin: Two years.
TechRaptor: Two years. And how much longer do you think it is before I can get my hands on it at home?
Edwin: So right now we have our demo on our website at www.barehand.co, but we’re looking at Steam Early Access come the fall. So it’ll have some new features, some updates, and things like that. We are confirmed for a console we can’t announce yet, but we don’t have a release date for the final product.
TechRaptor: Alright, well I’d like to thank you for bringing Cede here and letting me play it and talk to me man, it’s really cool
Edwin: Appreciate it, thank you so much.
We'd once again like to thank Edwin Jack for taking the time to talk to us.