Interview: Champion Shift Devs Currently Working On Adding El Vejigante

Champion Shift
Champion Shift

Champion Shift is a brand new action roguelike that brings various warriors of mythical origin to the genre. These mythical characters have unique design and abilities with customized kits that cater to different playstyles. Still, the game has so much more room for content and with no idea of what the studio plans for the future, we decided to speak with Jorge Castillo, Studio Director for SRG Studios, to get his insights and a glimpse at their roadmap.

Champion Shift
Champion Shift – via SRG Studios.
Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your work on Champion Shift.
Castillo: My name is Jorge Castillo, I’m the Studio Director for SRG Studios. We have been working on Champion Shift as a studio for a little under a year now, working hard to deliver a game we sometimes say has been “a decade in the making”. We lean on this since we have been working together as a studio for over a decade now, and the learnings throughout have led us to this opportunity to create Champion Shift. We envisioned and designed the game collaboratively as a team, and I can honestly say this project has been a great team effort from everyone in the studio.
The game recently released a demo version with several new features and improvements. Could you tell us a bit more in detail about them and how players can expect to see them in-game?
Castillo: The new version of the demo has some really cool new features that are focused on progression throughout the game. We developed an upgrade system based on the mythological Tree of Yggdrasil, in which players can navigate branching nodes and upgrade their base stats, unlock stat upgrade abilities in-game, and acquire new options, such as the ability to revive once defeated. Additionally, some modifications were done to the mission system in the game, requiring players to defeat enemies prior to triggering their availability. This makes the stage experience flow better and gives the players more opportunities to upgrade their abilities and go deeper into their builds.
Champion Shift
Champion Shift – via SRG Studios.
Tell us a bit about Prologue and how that sets up the players for the main game.
Castillo: Champion Shift: Prologue was a version of the game we released, which was the first time players experienced the initial moments of the characters’ story in Champion Shift. As we progress in the game’s development, we’ll be adding more story nuggets for players to sink their teeth into and discover the journey our Champions have taken. Since then, these elements have been folded into the demo as well, so all players can enjoy them equally.
SRG Studios has years of experience in mobile gaming, with several successful titles. But seeing as this would be your first title for PC, were there any major challenges you encountered with your transition from mobile to PC game development?
Castillo: Bringing a game into a new platform for the developer always has its challenges. Probably the biggest was creating an experience that would run smoothly on a wide variety of PCs, which was a cornerstone of the project from the beginning. With the game having an online co-op mode, having the experience be as lag-less as possible was paramount. Visually, the game has a ton of visual effects and entities on screen, so optimizing all those aspects is always a fun challenge to tackle. But in truth, our years of experience in mobile have prepared us for a lot of these aspects, as these platforms are much more limited than PCs.
Champion Shift
Champion Shift – via SRG Studios.
What were some inspirations behind Champion Shift's gameplay and overall mechanics?
Castillo: We were definitely paying close attention to all the rumblings in the action roguelike/bullet heaven genre during the past year, as a lot of cool games have been coming out. Everyone on our team is a big fan of roguelikes in general, and we were experimenting with a few ideas even during our time on mobile, getting a feel for mechanics that were fun and engaging. We were drawn to the auto-attack mechanics in general, as we believe it opens up the game to be enjoyed by more players without restricting the gameplay to complicated features. Even so, we wanted to differentiate ourselves from the pack early on, and that is where the concepts of transforming into a vehicle and having an online co-op came about. We just thought it would be very cool to be able to shift form at will and traverse more intricate stages with ease and power, and it has definitely been fun to develop.
Are there any plans to release the game on other consoles?
Castillo: We do have plans for console releases. Stay tuned to our social media and our Discord for an announcement on that end in the near future.
Did you take any pieces of media as a reference for different heroes' abilities? If so, could you tell us about that?
Castillo: I wouldn’t say there was a direct inspiration for the abilities of Champions within the game, but in general, we play so many games that it’s hard not to be inspired by the many fantastic offerings in the market. We did have a design pillar from the beginning, which was to make the hero abilities distinct, so every Champion felt like it had its own playstyle and feel. Since a lot of inspiration for our heroes comes from mythologies and legends, we thoroughly researched each of their stories and made sure we paid homage to their origins and used their abilities as a way to express that.
Champion Shift
Champion Shift – via SRG Studios.

Speaking of the heroes, are there specific characters you would like to add to the game sometime in the future? Or is there someone in particular that fans really want to see added?
Castillo: Oh definitely. If anything, the lists of Champions we want to add are extensive, so we have to curate them continuously to keep them in check! One Champion we are currently working on, which we are very proud to present in the game, is the character of El Vejigante, which is based on a fabled legend from Puerto Rico. Being a team based on the island, we jumped at the opportunity to reflect some of our lore and culture and give it a modern twist. As for what fans would like to see, we encourage everyone to join the discussion on our Discord and offer their ideas and suggestions! We are always happy to listen to feedback about which Champions should be added, and you never know when your idea might make it into the game!
Were there any features that you wanted to add at some point but abandoned for some reason?
Castillo: Not really abandoned, but shuffled around the schedule for sure. When we started out the design, we made sure to keep the idea austere and sharp instead of expanding it too fast and too big. As an example of one of these ideas, we are going to be adding a squad of enemies that hunts the player in certain situations in the game, and these “hunter squads” have the same vehicle transformation abilities as the player, making them a deadly force to be reckoned with. This was one of the first ideas introduced, but as the production evolved, its introduction has been pushed back some. But don’t worry, they are coming to the game!
Champion Shift
Champion Shift – via SRG Studios.
After the release of Champion Shift, are you planning to support the game long-term, or would you like to move on to another IP?
Castillo: We plan to support and expand Champion Shift as we release additional updates once the game is out. We definitely have big plans for new features, including some new competitive game modes that will allow players to compete in Leaderboards and obtain additional rewards. There are new Champions planned, new stages, more boss fights, and a ton of Achievements and Upgrades for players to unlock. Can’t wait for fans to get their hands on all of this!
Anything else you would like to share with the readers?
We thank everyone for their support in this incredible journey of making Champion Shift a reality. We are nearing our Early Access launch, which we will announce soon, so we want everyone who hasn’t yet to Wishlist the game as it helps immensely! And stay tuned to our socials (links below!). Thanks, and see you all in Champion Shift!

Champion Shift is a co-op action roguelike by SRG Studios. The game’s demo version is currently available on Steam, with the Early Access launch scheduled for February 29, 2024. You can keep up with all news regarding the title on Champion Shift’s official Twitter handle, or interact with the dev team and give feedback on Discord.

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