I really enjoyed Croteam's philosophical puzzle game The Talos Principle when it came out in 2014, and so I was genuinely excited when the studio said a couple of years later than Talos Principle 2 "is going to happen." I had no idea how it was going to happen, given the first game's very definite, end-of-story finish, but that's a problem for someone else—someone like, for instance, The Talos Principle co-writer Jonas Kyratzes, who told me in a recent chat that despite the studio's silence on the matter since the game was announced, it is definitely still happening.
"We've had a number of meetings over the last year or so with myself, Verena [Kyratzes] who's joining the writing team—Verena and I have kind of morphed into being the Croteam writing team, I think—and of course Tom Jubert is also coming back," he said. "We have planned out the plot of the game, so we know what it's about. There's been a very small amount of pre-production, we have some knowledge, some images, some plans, some whatevers."
Unsurprisingly, things have been quiet on the Talos Principle 2 front because Croteam has been working on Serious Sam 4—which is also kind of an ironic twist, since The Talos Principle actually emerged from early work on Serious Sam 4. But once that's wrapped up, Kyratzes expects the studio will get a proper start on Talos Principle 2.
"It's this kind of back-and-forth, but when a project goes into extreme mode—I don't mean crunch, I just mean the last few months of a game, everybody has steam coming out of their ears, so everybody's been really focused on Sam for awhile now," he said.
"But Talos 2 is definitely happening, we definitely have a plan, we have a pretty good story that I'm very happy about. Because it's very difficult to do a good sequel like that, especially when the first game kind of wraps up the plot in hopefully a satisfying way for most players, and you don't want to just go, 'Oh that didn't happen, and now you have to do it again!' So we have a very interesting, very ambitious story for the second one, and then we just have to execute it."
He also said the studio is looking forward to The Talos Principle 2, "because it's a lot easier to do than Sam."
"The moving parts are fewer. It's very challenging in other ways, but the technical aspect of it, of course, when you don't have thousands of enemies running around all the time and have to deal with guns and god knows what, it's all a bit easier," he said.
"It all takes a lot of time. Making games is very slow. If people understood how much work goes into this, it's so frightening, it's so insane how much work goes into this. And I don't even mean us, the writers, although we worked our asses off too, but the programming, the art, all of that, oh God. It's a miracle anything gets finished. It's really a miracle."
There's no word on when The Talos Principle 2 might be out, but Croteam's next game, Serious Sam 4, arrives on Steam and GOG on September 24. Kyratzes also spoke in depth about the studio's efforts to give its big, dumb shooter a more engaging narrative bent (which was actually the point of the interview) that you can read all about here.