Neostream, the developers of indie game Little Devil Inside, discussed the production and marketing of the game in this exclusive interview.
Neostream took the indie community by surprise later this spring when the company announced its new game Little Devil Inside. This incredible project mixes low-poly art, great gameplay elements and big open world in one crazy package. We’ve talked with the developers of this game from South Korea and discussed the production and marketing of the game.
Here’s a new trailer that gives a little more idea of the gameplay.
Neostream originated back in 1998 as a multimedia company producing various multimedia content for a vast array of clients worldwide but our passion has always been in games. Although we have experimented with several game concepts in the past, it was always difficult to really focus and drive all our energy into game development whilst catering to daily business which in itself was no small task: at one stage running two studios in two different countries. We are now just a very small indie team of 3 – Kody Lee (Creative/Game Director), J.J. Lee (Lead Programmer and John Choi (Project Co-ordinator/Communications).
The Title of Little Devil Inside
The title is not representative of a particular feature nor it is intended to directly reflect the world. It is somewhat more poetic and philosophic. By the end of the game (or during it for some players), we hope each player will come to realize the reason we chose that name but we hope that reason will differ from player to player.
One common thing though, and we’re sure many will agree, we all have devils inside us – some bigger than others. The world of Little Devil Inside and its game play is an interesting mix of a sandbox type game play and one that’s not. There is an open world but there’s more to it than that.
The Size of the Game
In terms of physical size (and there have been many questions raised about this within our community), it would be about as big as Borderlands but what we are trying to achieve is not to simply create a massive physical map but a more emotional or imaginary map. Basically, the world can be as small or large as you feel it to be since the game experience for each player we hope, will differ.
There is a main city (or town) – safe or should we say safer than the outside world. You can stroll about, gain news, gossips, shop and repair gear, loot etc. In the outside world, each main area will have different physical sizes but once again, this is probably going to be irrelevant to game play experience.
For example in a desert, our design goal for the world is not to just make the desert seem physically endless, but create the atmosphere (effects, particles, shading etc.) and the character’s adaptation and reaction to all the elements within the desert environment so the player is sensing & creating the image in their minds that the desert is very large.
Little Devil Inside is a survival game. This means the protagonist will have to survive. The character is not a super hero or supernaturally gifted with powers in any way. Through the game he will develop and become strong but within reasonably foreseeable human limitations. The character will be vulnerable and can be sick, be hurt, diseased etc. You will learn new combat skills, become stronger, graft weapons, armor, vehicles etc – all things a human can do realistically.
In short, you will be doing realistic things in an unrealistic world.
About Using Unity
The game is currently being built on Unity 4.6. No fancy technology is used and we haven’t found any desperate need for one yet. We chose Unity perhaps for the same reason why many other developers choose it – availability of a wide variety of assets through the Unity Store. One thing also is that Unity has some issues when working on a project with relatively a large amount of assets but we think that’s more of the Engine‘s capacity rather than a flaw or disadvantage.
When using any ready-made engine to develop an original game, certain issues, conflicts and barriers will arise so I guess the most important thing is to plan out the core game design and features and quickly test them before committing to one. Unity has worked great for us so far.
About Game Visuals
As gamers ourselves, we have grown with pretty much the entire video game era beginning from the early 8-bit days when before making a purchase decision, there was little or nothing to go on except for a little cover art. The cover art often just had characters and the world at a glance but somehow encouraged the gamer to picture the game in their imagination.
This nostalgic essence is what we wanted to create with Little Devil Inside by using what was just sufficiently required of the technology available today hence our main design concept – minimalism. We intend to achieve minimalism through attention to detail. We wanted to design the game where most or all of the features are there for a reason and as a whole, support the design concept and to create a “game-like” game.
The most useful Tools
Well, first of all Google translator! (laughs) I think most tools are designed to be efficient and it’s not the actual tools themselves but how the creator effectively used what’s available to achieve the design goal. That said, all the tools we have used are actually basic – art creation tools such as Illustrator, Photoshop, 3DS Max etc. and Unity of course as described earlier.
Promoting The Game
Promoting the game in any country will always be difficult for us unless of course the game just sells itself – and how many game do that?
Later during development, we will need to collaborate with the right people to promote and market the game to try and gain the farthest audience reach as possible. We do not have any PR agencies yet since the game is still in its early stages.
Fortunately, we have some English speaking friends and associates who have helped us along the way but we do realize that soon down the track, we will require to set up something more professional to effectively manage and build our community and network.
About Greenlight and Kickstarter
We went into the Greenlight campaign basically to gain some objective feedback from the general gaming community on our work so far and was blown away by the initial response. We honestly didn’t quite expect such an overwhelming response and thanks to the community and Steam, we were greenlit very quickly within a week.
So to try and gain some leverage on this, we launched our Kickstarter campaign but kind of unprepared for what was to come.
I guess we were more on the naive side and thought we could continue with our development through the campaign but being a small team and all, ever since the campaign started, things have been just crazy and we have and still are, learning through it all. So no it wasn’t difficult to prepare for the crowdfunding campaign since it’s been more of a “do-as-you-go” kind of thing.
We have what we think, quite a tough (but passionate) backer community to say the least and we can feel that they “really” want the game realized. On many occasions, they have offered advice, even acted on our behalf, raised issues on the game, exchanged punches, patched each other up and cheered each other on – everything is so dramatic that sometimes it brings tears to our eyes. We believe we are where we are with the campaign because our backers drove us here. Not us.
Although we’ve come this far to have the core mechanics and fundamental game design tested, there is still much to develop and physically add in. We are projecting another 18 months of exciting days ahead to complete the game and provided that the funding is successful, most of it will still actually go into development – yes this will mean hiring artists, modelers, game designers, animators, programmers, not to mention professional scripts & storytelling, sound design and music score.
The game is still in its early alpha build stage and with the sufficient amount of funding, we hope for a mid to late 2016 release. We are also targeting a cross platform launch as well – PC, Linux, Mac, PS4, XBoxOne.
After the crowdfunding campaign is over, we will be beginning and continuing talks and discussions to interested publishers so it’ll depend much on the outcome of this.