Mega Cat Studios had the amazing moment to interview Elden Pixels, the team behind the adventure game. A Void Hope! A Void Hope takes you on an atmospheric puzzle platforming adventure to find a cure for a collapsed city. Follow the story of a tormented couple as they try to decipher reality from nightmares and overcome the shadowy threats lurking in the dark.
Get ready to step into the light as we discover how this game was developed!
How was this game born?
At its core the story is about a couple trying to navigate a world where external threats are lurking in every corner, so I took inspiration from the world we live in today with the pandemic and all. We started development at the start of 2021 and with everything going on that year it heavily influenced the direction of the game. But something pivotal happened mid development when we established our very dark art style and all of the sudden all the pieces fell into place and the story came to fruition.
What has development been like so far?
Extremely different from our previous games we’ve made. Our first game was Alwa’s Awakening and we had so many classic platformers and adventure games to draw inspiration from, so designing that game was so much fun. And for our second game, which was the follow-up called Alwa’s Legacy, we didn’t really write a design document. Instead, we just made a list of the 10 most vital parts we wanted to improve on, and we just started working.
For A Void Hope, it was a much more complex development process since this game changed so much during the development process. And we tried a lot of different ideas, design, and mechanics before we landed in what we have now. Now with everything in place and we’re getting ready to finish the game it feels amazing and we’re having so much fun!
What makes this game special?
It’s a very unusual game and I can’t really think of any other game that does what we do. It’s not a traditional platformer since you can’t kill anyone or anything. It’s not really a puzzle game, nor an adventure game. I think it’s an adventure platformer with a lot of ambiguity and a story very much open for interpretation. The complete lack of violence is definitely unusual.
What games influenced this one the most?
We didn’t look at any other games for inspiration, only movies and It Follows was probably the biggest influence. Other movies we looked at were The Road, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Videodrome and They Live. If I have to say one game, I’d say the retro game Another World.
Any fun stories or wild moments during development?
Well, originally the game was a 4-player co-op puzzle platformer where you could rewind time. So each character had a 10-second run to record their moves and then the challenge was to align them all to work together in the time loop, imagine Braid combined with The Lost Vikings. As much as that sounded cool on paper, actually making that game turned out to be quite challenging and as development progressed, we changed from four characters to three, and down to two and finally down to one. And then we removed the time rewind mechanic and changed the story and art style.
So basically, the original idea never happened and instead we made A Void Hope, which turned out to be a lot cooler and a better game.
Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?
What's your favourite memory as a gamer?
Oh, there are so many! Two come to mind. Doing absolutely everything possible and getting every single achievement in Skate 1 to 3. I played the first one on my Xbox 360 and they had this feature where you could load mp3:s from a USB memory stick and I just played for hours and hours listening to the same album on repeat.
Another one was playing all the old Sierra text adventure games on my Amiga 500 and since English isn’t my first language and this was long before the internet, I always had my dictionary so we could look up words. Sometimes when I played at a friend’s house, I brought it to him so we could play Leisure Suit Larry 3.
Who will enjoy this game the most?
Very good question. I know everyone is talking a lot about defining your target audience but due to how development looked for this game we didn’t really have a target audience in mind when creating this game. I hope and I think fans of our previous Alwa games will enjoy it and hopefully people that enjoy small indie games will find it interesting as well. We spent a lot of time crafting the game and I think it shows so hopefully it’ll find an audience.
How do you want this game to be remembered?
Also, a very good question. Maybe as a good example of how you can create an interesting and fun game that doesn’t revolve around killing, collecting, and draining resources?
A Void Hope will be the sixth title we release from Elden Pixels, three of them are our own games we developed and the other are great retro titles we are fortunate to have been able to be involved with. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if our next title is a great looking retro title!
Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks everyone for your support and in keeping retro gaming alive!
Check the trailer here: