Ace of the Belfry: How Stoic is Developing Towerborne to be an Epic Action-RPG with a Focus on Fun

Behind the Scenes with Towerborne: An Interview with Arnie Jorgensen

We had the privilege of speaking with Arnie Jorgensen, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Stoic, about their upcoming game, Towerborne. This brawler-style action role-playing game (ARPG) promises to be easy to learn, fun to master, and offers both single player and multiplayer experiences. Set to release on PC and Xbox Series X|S in 2024, Towerborne is generating a lot of excitement, especially since fans attending this year’s gamescom will have the chance to play it for the first time.

Arnie Jorgensen expressed his enthusiasm for the event, saying, “Gamescom is giving us creative energy and we’re psyched for people to see what we’ve been working on. Players will be battling through a tight experience focused on defeating a titanic enemy who resides deep in the heart of an ancient mycelium forest. Weapon combos and abilities will be honed on the way to this boss by brawling with lesser denizens intent on defending their master. I hope players come away from this experience with a thrilling glimpse into the exciting combat and stunning world that Towerborne has to offer.”

A Beacon of Hope in a Ruined World

Towerborne’s description may sound dark and foreboding with its mention of ruins of humanity, but the game’s visuals defy expectations. Despite the burning homes and impending doom, Towerborne presents a bright and cheery atmosphere, accompanied by an uplifting musical score. This stark contrast creates a sense of hope, even in the City of Numbers. Arnie Jorgensen explained their creative style, stating, “Towerborne should look like you’re playing in a beautifully animated feature film. Using Unreal Engine has allowed us to go further and lean into a more updated and modern look.”

Mash Buttons, Get Loot

Towerborne introduces a combat mechanic that is easy to grasp yet deep enough to satisfy even the most experienced players. Whether you choose to button mash or employ strategic tactics during battles, the game is designed for maximum fun. Arnie Jorgensen emphasized this, saying, “Anyone can grab a controller and have fun mashing buttons and getting loot. The combat is bouncy and accessible to a wide range of people. As you play more and go deeper with weapon-specific combos and abilities, you realize the combat is far deeper than you first thought. It’s just a good time.”

A Focus on Fun

Isaac Torres, the senior combat designer, shed further light on Towerborne’s combat mechanics. With a diverse team of designers and animators who have worked on various genres, the game draws inspiration from different sources while establishing its own identity. According to Torres, Towerborne rewards players’ exploration and discovery, making combat feel unique and expansive. Abilities provided by Umbra, small spirit beings encountered in the game, amplify combat and offer new possibilities.

Adventure Together

Towerborne’s combat may be enjoyable, but that doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park. Defending objectives and facing big boss battles can be overwhelming unless you have a trusty companion by your side. In Towerborne, that companion is Umbra. Arnie Jorgensen shared, “The Umbra are small spirit beings, each with their own motivations and personalities. In battle, they provide aid by adding stats and abilities to your combat kit. Seeking them out and assembling a team of Umbra is crucial for upcoming battles.”

Home Sweet Home

Aside from the thrilling battles, Towerborne also offers a hub called The Belfry. Here, players can gather with friends and companions to plan their next adventures. The Belfry is inhabited by intriguing non-player characters, adding depth to the game’s world. While limited information is available about these characters at the moment, they promise exciting interactions throughout the game.