The Thaumaturge Will Require Over Two Playthroughs For 100% Completion

Multiple endings with some hidden ones as well.

Story Highlights

  • The Thaumaturge is a spooky story-driven RPG from Fool’s Theory and 11 bit studios.
  • It has garnered much attention due to its gameplay and its unique take on early 20th-century Warsaw.
  • We interviewed Artur Loska, Dawid Bargiel, and Karolina Kuzia from Fool’s Theory over email.

Thaumaturgy is a mythical concept that, although present across various literature, has not been explored much in detail in any video game. It is considered as “miracle-working,” and Fool’s Theory — the developer — has taken full advantage of the vagueness of this magical craft to create a fictional setting in early 20th-century Warsaw. The game’s titular character is Wiktor Szulski, a thaumaturgist who can interact with esoteric creatures, or Salutors, beyond our realm.

Despite being a “miracle worker,” Wiktor has to overcome many challenges through tactics and overcoming his own flaws. With how well the story is written and the game’s unique combat aesthetics, there are many things we still need to learn more about. As such, we spoke with Artur Loska (Lead Gameplay Designer), Dawid Bargiel (Lead Cinematic Designer), and Karolina Kuzia (Design Director) from Fool’s Theory over an email Q&A session.

Read ahead for the full interview.

The Thaumaturge
Screenshot via Steam.

Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your work on The Thaumaturge?

Hi! Artur Loska – Lead Gameplay Designer; Dawid Bargiel – Lead Cinematic Designer; and Karolina Kuzia – Design Director here.

One of the many intriguing things in the game is the quality of attack animations during combat. Could you tell us about its earlier forms and how the team reached the desired state?

Dawid: We tried to show a more street fighting style than a series of punches like in Hollywood movies. The initial challenge was to record believable reactions to Salutor attacks, but the final design helped us imagine how people should react to them. The session recording animations for combat was a great adventure, the first versions of the animation were not fully satisfactory, but with each subsequent session, we got better and better, and the final effect after implementing them in the game was very noticeable.

Artur: We wanted to give the feeling of a dynamic encounter despite the turn-based gameplay. Additionally, we had to combine brutal combat with the influence of the Salutors in a way that would retain its physical aspect but with the influence of terror from beyond the world.

The Thaumaturge
Screenshot via Steam.

Although combat is an important aspect of the game, there are ways to avoid fighting through negotiation and manipulation. How did you balance these different aspects without making the combat appear like the most appealing thing players can do?

Karolina: We would like for players to choose their own playstyle. It is often possible to avoid combat by using manipulation or pride to get yourself out of trouble, but if you’d like to go for a warpath, you surely should be able to. We’ve equipped Wiktor with various tools to approach and solve conflicts, and it is up to players how they will use them. Besides manipulation and general help from Salutors outside combat, Wiktor, like many people in this world, carries a flaw – an imperfection of character that, if nurtured, could be both a blessing and a curse. Wiktor’s inherent flaw is pride.

Did you ever consider a different period and location for the game's setting?

Dawid: Yes! We actually did. It was still Warsaw, in the Russian partition, but at first, we considered a bit earlier period, that is 1888. Rasputin was younger back then, and times were different, but after investigating the topic and many hours of talks regarding it, we decided to move the action of the game a bit further to 1905. We assumed that 1905 was going to be a much richer period in terms of political and social unrest, changes incoming from the East, and shifting political landscape, but also new, fantastic inventions, such as the telephone (Wiktor uses it quite a lot), electrical trams, and others.

The Thaumaturge
Screenshot via Steam.

The concept of thaumaturgy exists to some extent in different literature. However, this game depicts it in a much more unique and sinister way. Could you tell us how you decided on this concept and which literature, if any, inspired it the most?

Karolina: “Thaumaturgy” is a spacious concept, as it means “miracle-working”; it could be anything you imagine. So, we imagined a world like ours, but with these “magicians” possessing vague powers, living daily routines among ordinary people. The beauty of this concept, for us, is that there is no proof it never happened. In the world of the game, thaumaturgy is considered a myth, an unbelievable tale, and an immeasurable curiosity. We’ve tried to weave “a beautiful lie” into a reality we all know from media, books, and literature. A grim twist is just something we wanted to pursue. We wanted to portray the lives of people of the past as truthfully as possible and create an experience of living in a world that is no longer there but was very real once.

Still, on the topic of keeping it real, we imagined that imperfections of human characters could be actually seen by the thaumaturges and used to their benefit. We all carry our flaws within us, right? Imperfections are created under the pressure of bad habits, painful experiences, or lucky moments. What if there were people among us who could actually read us like an open book? That is, among some other things, what thaumaturgy is in our game.

Will personal choices in The Thaumaturge affect only our relations with other characters and small portions of the game, or can we expect there to be multiple endings that rely on our choices?

Karolina: I’d say this game is based on personal choices. It is what you want (for yourself, from others) and if you’re brave (or proud enough) to reach for it. There are, of course, other minor decisions in the game, but the major ones affect relations with others, leading to various solutions later.

The Thaumaturge
Screenshot via Steam.

It was mentioned in another interview that players will be unable to experience everything in a single playthrough. I am curious to know how long a single playthrough would take and how many playthroughs players would need to do to experience everything.

Artur: The average single playthrough is 20+ hours long. To experience everything there is in the game, with all the endings we’ve prepared for you, you will need more than two playthroughs. There are also hidden endings, that would unlock under certain circumstances.

Can fans expect any DLC updates in the future?

Karolina: We shall see. We’re always ready and would love to tell more stories of the Thaumaturge, and we already have quite a bunch of ideas.

The Thaumaturge

Will the game have a complete story, or will there be any loose ends that you would like to potentially explore in a sequel?

Karolina: The game stands as a complete story, yet it likely sparks questions or wonder about the world and what the future holds. The story never dies; it can continue on in multiple ways further, offering endless possibilities for exploration and expansion.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers? Something we haven't touched upon yet.

Karolina: Only that we hope you enjoy experiencing the story of Wiktor Szulski as much as we loved designing it for you. It is a story about finding your connection with the past but also about choosing your own way. Enjoy!

YouTube video

The Thaumaturge is a story-driven RPG with a unique take on pre-World War 1 Warsaw. It was developed by Fool’s Theory and published by 11 bit studios. The game is set to be released on PC on March 4, 2024, with ports for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S arriving in late 2024. We thank Artur Loska, Dawid Bargiel, and Karolina Kuzia for taking part in this interview and Hanna Herauf for assisting us.

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Mudassir is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the stories behind our favorite virtual worlds. Armed with a trusty notepad and a keen curiosity, he dives headfirst into the gaming industry's most exciting personalities. His knack for insightful questions and his ability to connect with developers and gamers alike makes his interviews a must-read. While on the lookout for the next person to interview, Mudassir keeps himself busy by writing news surrounding the gaming universe. Experience: 4+ Years || Senior Journalist || Education: Bachelor's in Psychology.

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