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Director of Successful Survival Game Says He's "Not a Big Fan of Survival Games"

Abiotic Factor received a lot of positive attention, but the creator finds survival games "kind of boring."

Earlier this month, the world welcomed Abiotic Factor, a survival crafting game that reminded me of Lethal Company but with science. The game was met well and now stands at Overwhelmingly Positive reviews on Steam, with 96% of players recommending the experience.

But it seems like you don't have to be a fan of the genre to create games in it. The Deep Field games founder Geoff "Zag" Keene revealed it while he liked survival games, he wasn't too taken with them. 

"So I've always had this interest in survival games, but I'm not a big fan of survival games," he told PC Gamer. "I play them with friends, but I always find them to be quite grindy and kind of boring."

It's a little surprising but it's not the first time we've seen developers not playing what they create. For example, Balatro's maker LocalThunk doesn't play poker (oh, and it is actually based not on poker but another card game).

Eventually, Deep Field developed a survival game but left only the exciting parts, getting rid of what the team considered boring.

"I liked the exploration of [survival crafting], I liked the adventure, and I like the roleplay of it too. I like sitting around campfires and chilling with your buds, you know, and I think a lot of games don't promote that a lot," Keene said. "So that's why sitting is one of our major features in Abiotic Factor. It's actually how you rest and heal in a lot of ways. We wanted to promote that environment."

Then, the developers added feelings to the mix: "When your character gets sick, you need to figure out why or think back to what you just did to make yourself sick." Keene believes the game is better when it tells you less, "that's why we don't have meters everywhere."

Deep Field wanted to make a game where everything matters, and I think they succeeded. If you want an immersive simulator, Abiotic Factor is what you need, although Keene didn't expect it to turn out this way.

"It's weird that I guess I accidentally made an immersive sim. I'm not sure it was an intentional design act to make it [that way], was more just this is the game I want to play." Abiotic Factor is very much built from the ground up as a game I think would just be fun."

If you'd like to learn more about this unusual survival game, check it out on Steam, read the full interview here, and join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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Comments 1

  • Anonymous user

    If you aren't passionate about what you create, what is the point then anyway? Obvious enough, money-driven developers.


    Anonymous user

    ·30 days ago·

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