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Tchia Is Releasing This Spring on PS5, PS4 and Epic Games Store

(Image by Awaceb)

An open world adventure game based in a unique cultural background is launching this year.

Tchia will release this spring for the PlayStation 5, PS4 and on PC through the Epic Games Store from independent developer Awaceb.

The game is inspired by the culture, folklore and people of New Caledonia, a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean where the studio’s co-founders are from. Awaceb was formed in 2016 by Phil Crifo and Thierry Boura, two friends who grew up together on the islands. Crifo is the game’s director while Boura is the tech lead.

The studio is currently based in Bordeaux, France. Awaceb’s team is also made up of around 40% Neo Caledonian, according to the studio. There’s around 14 people on the team now. Kepler Interactive is the game’s publisher with Awaceb, who are a co-owned company made up of several developers, one of them being the Tchia creator. Awaceb received funding for the project from Kowloon Nights, an investment fund for independent developers.

The game is set in a fictionalized version of New Caledonia. In the story a young girl named Tchia is trying to save her father from a tyrant named Meavora, who is in control over all the islands. The main character is part of the Kanak, who are the local Melanesian people of New Caledonia. Locations and areas in the game are based on real-life settings and landmarks in New Caledonia.

One of the main gameplay features in Tchia is the Soul-Jumping ability, where players can take over animals and objects in the world. There will be over 30 animals and hundreds of objects to take control of, ranging from birds and other native wildlife to even a coconut. These Soul-Jumps can also be linked together to quickly travel the island.

Players will do a lot of exploring across the island with a glider and sailboat or by climbing, swimming and Soul-Jumping around the in-game world. The player will encounter some enemies in combat called fabric soldiers that are under Meavora. There will be sidequests involving the island’s people where players can get to know more about their culture and stories. There will also be hundreds of cosmetic items for players to unlock that customizes Tchia’s look or their sailboat.

A Ukulele will also be an important part of Tchia’s inventory, which will be fully playable. It will be part of scripted story events where players will perform songs. During gameplay the instrument can also change the environment with an ability called Soul-Melodies, like turning night into day, causing it to rain or summoning helpful creatures.

The game’s voice actors are all local people from New Caledonia speaking in one of the island’s indigenous languages called Drehu or in French, as the area is also a French territory. Tchia’s music and sounds are also taken from the local culture, with performances contributed by native musicians there. Some of these songs can also be played on the Ukulele.

Awaceb worked closely with locals living in New Caledonia to create an authentic experience in the game and represent their culture the right way.

Tchia first got revealed at The Game Awards in December 2020. It was originally scheduled for a spring 2022 release but was delayed last May. The game has been in development for a few years.

The game can currently be wishlisted on the Epic Games Store.

Awaceb had previously developed a game called Fossil Echo, a hand drawn, 2D platformer that released in July 2016 on Steam. The studio’s name is Neo Caledonian slang for “It’s all good” or “No worries,” as also seen by the company’s logo.

Watch gameplay from the developer:

Watch part one of the behind-the-scenes series into the game’s real-life inspirations:

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