It’s All About Perspective…

AVA and the Half-World

We’ve never hidden our particular interest in Rogue-Like and Rogue-Lite video games. These titles, characterized by their unique traits inherent to the genres, offer remarkable variety and exceptional replayability. Some have even rewritten certain rules of game and level design, and on occasion, influenced the gaming medium as a whole.

Now, imagine adding to all this a video game from these genres that skillfully incorporates a specific mechanic, manipulating, modifying, and playing with perspective shifts and with the players’ perception, as only a few titles in these genres have done. Wouldn’t that be truly intriguing, don’t you think?

Captivating players is one of the key goals set by AVA and the Half-World, a stunning hand-drawn Action Rogue-Lite developed by the French independent studio Bread Panda. This video game aims to completely transform players’ perspective and experience by seamlessly blending action-packed side-scrolling and vertically-scrolling sections.

Are you eager to delve deeper into the project and uncover what lies ahead? Fantastic! Take our hand as we embark on this exciting journey to explore AVA and the Half-World.

Introducing Bread Panda, the small, young, and talented collective behind AVA and the Half-World

The story of Bread Panda begins in 2020, a year before its official foundation, when high school friends Quentin Da Cruz and Fabien Alexandrine participated in the Mix and Game Jam. They submitted a rogue-like puzzle game based on the Futoshiki game, which proved to be a hit, garnering excellent reviews and appreciation. Encouraged by this success, the duo decided to develop a full version of the game in their free time.

Fast forward to 2021, Quentin Malapel joined the team to provide much-needed audio overhaul. Quite interesting, right? Interestingly, Overhaul also happens to be the title of Bread Panda’s debut video game. As time progressed, the trio’s aspirations grew alongside their expertise and skills. Consequently, just a few weeks later, Bread Panda was officially established.

Since then, many things have changed. Three years have passed, but one thing has remained constant: the studio’s lineup, which still comprises those three guys who, since 2021, have come a long way! And so, after nearly two years of working on it in their spare time, the team released its first video game, Overhaul, a Rogue-Lite puzzle game seamlessly blending fast-paced action with quick logical thinking. It has achieved considerable success among players, owing to the various innovative elements it brought to the genre.

Just one year later, in late 2023 – the developers did not specify an exact start date – Bread Panda embarked on the development journey of their second project, AVA and the Half-World, the video game we’re discussing today.

Despite their young age, each member of Bread Panda boasts extensive experience in the gaming industry. Quentin D.C. has gained valuable programming experience working for AdGlobe, contributing to titles like Ender Lilies and Park Beyond. Additionally, Fabien, aside from his role as a developer, also teaches at LISAA, the School of Art and Design in Paris. Lastly, we have Quentin M, an audio designer and composer active since 2018, who has contributed significantly to various projects in the gaming world. Among his notable works are contributions to projects such as Moonscars, Dune: Spice Wars, Crownsworn, and Wartales.

We’re dealing with an exceptionally talented and brilliant team, whose main strength lies in their ability to conceive and bring to life innovative and engaging video games with excellent concepts. It will certainly be fascinating to see them tackle a project that undoubtedly raises the bar even higher than their first endeavor – undoubtedly their most ambitious venture to date.

Who is AVA and What is Her Purpose?

Revealed through a dedicated trailer on May 29th, 2024, AVA and the Half-World is an immersive and dynamic action game that blends ultra-satisfying 2D shooter, rewarding exploration and the thrill of Rogue-Lite endless possibilities.

AVA and the Half World - Reveal Trailer

The trailer introduces us to the story of AVA, a young native from the heart of the Sidereal Riptide, destined to vanish along with the rest of the world. Her past is a mystery, and her temperament is unknown. Even her appearance is largely concealed beneath a long tribal robe, revealing only her flowing green-black hair, striking green eyes, and a face adorned with stylish facial paints that match the intricate designs on her garment.

However, looks can be deceiving. Despite her seemingly scruffy and defenseless appearance, AVA actually harbors the soul of a fierce warrior. Skilled with firearms and equally adept at navigating this lost world, she won’t give up until she finds a way to survive and change the world’s fate—or die trying.

Thus begins our adventure with AVA, a perilous journey guiding us through the Riptide in search of truth. An obscure odyssey unfolds in this unforgiving yet captivating world, brimming with mysteries to uncover and ancient abominations to vanquish. Our goal is to restore the origins of the Riptide, rewrite the fabric of fate, and save the world from its near-inevitable collapse.

Have you died? Don’t give up, try again!

Despite the trailer featuring early gameplay footage from an understandably less advanced stage of development, what the developers have revealed has captivated us from the start. The vibrant, nearly saturated color palette of the environments unveils a game world rich in detail and nuance, showcasing exceptional art design.

We find ourselves presumably in the heart of the Riptide, an ancient world reduced to a primordial state with no signs of civilization. All that remains are ruins, remnants, and fragments of a forgotten land, now at the mercy of strange, deformed, animal-like creatures.

AVA and the Half-World

Inspired by Rogue-Lites and adventure games, the game world and progression system closely follow the gameplay formula that has made many recent Rogue-Lites great. This includes unexpected events, random encounters in each playthrough, and a touch of randomness that makes every new expedition with AVA different, stimulating, and unique.

We will face a merciless world that punishes even the smallest misstep. To survive, AVA must navigate the surrounding world with utmost care and react swiftly to the looming dangers. As players and co-protagonists in this experience, we’ll need to collect artifacts along the way, deciding which to keep and which to return to the Riptide, gather various weapons, each with its own behavior, alongside relics and catalysts to craft a unique fighting style. Only then can we empower AVA to vanquish the ruthless creatures obstructing her path to uncovering the truth and reaching the end of the world.

And now, let’s explore what clearly stands out as one of the game’s most intriguing mechanics: perspective-switching and its impact on the combat system. In AVA and the Half-World, shooting is relentless, with only brief pauses for reloading, all while striving to evade enemy fire. It’s an experience that, from the very outset of the trailer, evokes classic, fast-paced 2D shooters.

But here comes the twist. As we can see from the trailer, AVA moves and fights on two different planes, a kind of dual-perspective approach, transitioning seamlessly between 2D side-scrolling and impactful frontal visuals. This brings to mind classic rail shooters like Space Harrier or the third-person shooter Shin Hikari Shinwa: Parutena no Kagami, better known in the West as Kid Icarus: Uprising.

However, upon closely observing the combat dynamics, we notice that the focus consistently remains on the 2D plane. This might naturally lead us to think that, despite the combat occurring on a different plane, the primary perspective remains in 2D. What does this mean? Is it an optical illusion cleverly allowing developers to shift combat to another plane while keeping its nature unchanged, or is it a genuine dual perspective? As of now, we don’t have a definite answer to this question. Nevertheless, it’s undoubtedly an original concept, and it will be interesting to understand whether it’s all a matter of perspective illusion or if combat truly unfolds on two vastly different planes.

AVA and the Half-World

Save the Riptide and try to change AVA’s destiny

AVA and the Half-World hasn’t received a release date yet. Although the project was recently revealed, the Bread Panda team has been actively working on it since late 2023. However, it will take some time before more details emerge, including a potential release date or window.

Currently, the game has been announced for PC via Steam. However, the team may consider extending the release to consoles if there is interest in these versions, unless this decision has already been included in the developers’ plans.

To learn more about AVA and the Half-World and stay up-to-date with the latest updates, stay tuned with us, and don’t forget to visit the Bread Panda website and their official X account. If you’d like to add the game to your wishlist, you can find the link to its Steam page here.

Thank you for joining us today. Until next time!

Grown up with MediEvil and DOOM and fascinated by the video game world since 1998. This passion stems from a desire to discover and research the videogame at 360 degrees, with particular attention to the Indie scene.