Frostpunk publisher 11 bit studios has unveiled The Thaumaturge, a new supernatural isometric RPG in development at Fool’s Theory, the same studio that CD PROJEKT RED has tasked to rebuild The Witcher from the ground up using Unreal Engine 5. Taking place in the culturally diverse capital of Warsaw in early 20th century Poland after it has been annexed by the Russian Empire, the game is described as a story-driven RPG that offers a unique take on combat, character development features, and investigation mechanics, touching upon the complex theme of inner demons. A gameplay demo of The Thaumaturge will be presented behind closed doors at this year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC), which will be held in San Francisco from March 20–24, 2023.
“The Thaumaturge revolves around the idea of demons both on physical, and metaphorical layers. After all, it’s a game infused with 11 bit studios’ philosophy of meaningful entertainment. Its theme is evoked in different areas of the game with gameplay mechanics or narrative aspects being only a part of those,” states Fool’s Theory Design Director, Karolina Kuzia-Rokosz.
“Fool’s Theory has proven to be a great studio to materialize our desire to add a meaningful RPG to our portfolio,” praises Marek Ziemak, Chief Production Officer at 11 bit studios. “And with a hefty team of around 60 people and an appropriately scaled budget, The Thaumaturge is our biggest publishing project to date, which resembles the scope of the first Frostpunk. And one especially close to our hearts thanks to being set in a place many of us were born and raised, which we’re tied with, and which we believe hasn’t yet seen a proper representation in any game. Summing that up, we’re more than thrilled to shed light on what we’ve shaped in the more than four years since the initial idea emerged.”
From a 11 bit studios press release:
In 1905, and under the yoke of imperial Russian tsardom, Warsaw is a city of conspicuous contrasts. Poverty and hooliganism are as much its shades as high society wealth and political plotting. A place in which the individual interests of groups with diverse beliefs—Jews, Poles, and Russians—are often in conflict, and in which one man’s big chance can mean another man’s untimely demise.
Existing in the supernatural cracks between the real world and the shadows of this story-rich isometric RPG are esoteric beings called Salutors. Wielding immense power, only a Thaumaturge can truly perceive a Salutor and use their unique abilities to their whims. Thaumaturges—able to pry deep into the crevices of the human personality to the very core of one’s psyche—will find a person’s honest intentions and surreptitious desires alongside someone’s shameful secrets, distortions, exaggerations, and imperfections. Faithfully obeying their masters, Salutors allow Thaumaturges to manipulate humans, preying on their secrets and insecurities, bending one’s will to their own needs while changing the world surrounding them. As for turn-based combat, Salutors, with their roots coming from various cultures, serve as a powerful force, highly useful during dangerous encounters in the dark alleys of districts like Praga.