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Indie survival horror game Room 54 is out now! We spoke to Luca from IK Interactive to learn about their experience creating their first game.
Out now on Steam, Room 54 is a horror game focused on exploration, investigation, stealth, and survival. The game is set in 1984 in a remote town where everything is not as it seems. Daniel and his wife Desirè are taking a short winter break, but residents start disappearing in mysterious circumstances. When Desirè disappears without a trace too, only to be found dead, Daniel must find out what happened to her, uncover the truth, and escape with his life using only his wits in a game that provides a unique experience with each playthrough.
Hey Luca, thanks for joining us again! How does it feel to have your game out in the wild?
Now that we have finally completed and released a project from start to finish, I feel really satisfied. I have learned so much during this process.
The overall feedback was quite good, although it’s a bit mixed on Steam. Unfortunately, at launch, the games wasn’t fully polished, and players found a couple of issues that we promptly fixed, along with adding hotfixes. The game was ambitious for a very small team, so I was pretty sure we might miss something in the end. And some of this was caused by inexperience. Running more beta-testing, especially now that Steam is allowing players to use the new Playtest feature, could be extremely helpful to spot problems for a very small development team like us.
Supporting the game will be important. We will keep working to fix any remaining bugs and add some minor new features to simplify the user experience. At the moment, we do not plan to release any sizeable new content as the game covers the whole story. That said, we do have some ideas of how we could add new content to the game, so if players support it for a while, we may consider it.
How was the experience of creating the game?
During the development and release process, you really learn a lot of things, from the development itself to PR, building an audience, best practices, the Steamworks system, and much, much more. All of this will really help us for our next games. Now that we have released our first game, I think we can start building a community around our games. We are looking for the best way to connect with players, maybe using Discord. Players expect to be in direct contact with developers these days and quicker to deliver any kind of support.
What advice do you have for other first-time indie devs?
From our experience, I think we have a few pieces of advice that other devs will find useful. First, focus your development on a small but fully functional game. Your first game is like a springboard, it’s your introduction to the world of game development, and it will be your first showcase to build your portfolio of skills and competencies as an individual and as a company. Second, don’t overload yourself with too much work, as this will destroy the enjoyment of developing your game. Your mind needs to be fresh and creative! Finally, focus on small but exciting and interesting game mechanics, experiment, and don’t worry too much about your game’s income. It’s likely that your first game won’t be a super-hit if we talk about revenue, but it will be a super-big win in your learning process!
Of course, when you are ready to publish your game, be confident that it is fully playable and contains no critical bugs players will experience. This is very important, as you won’t get another window with such visibility on your game as its launch. Your game launch is unique and important, so you want to exploit the opportunities that come with that moment to the max. Again, keeping your first project small will help you focus on fixing and polishing everything. Remember, negative reviews are always the first to come! Do not let this get you down, but learn from negative constructive feedback, recognize any mistakes, and improve!
What is IK Interactive up to next?
We are actually starting to prototype a kind of 3D platformer inspired by the series of Crash Bandicoot games on PlayStation, which I really loved when I was younger. At the moment, it’s too early to talk too much about it as we are just setting down the ideas and working out concepts, but we will be delighted to share more info as soon as the way ahead becomes clear!
Cheers and good luck, Luca!
Head to Steam to check out Room 54, and stay tuned for more updates on what Luca and IK Interactive are up to next!
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