The gaming community is one in which there is a plethora of colourful ideas! An idea and passion is all it takes to create something beautiful.
Enter Lost Ember.
Lost Ember is a gorgeous game that has been making headlines on reddit as well as image boards all over the internet.
We had the opportunity to talk to the developers of Lost Ember and get an insight into the game and what we can expect from it.
Without further ado, lets begin.
Interview : Lost Ember | Mooneye Studios
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to talk to you.
You’ve created a beautiful world and we’re excited to introduce it to many more viewers!
Q. How did Mooneye Studios come about? Do tell us a bit about your origins!
The four founders (Tobias Graff, Matthias Oberprieler, Maximillian Jasionowski, Pascal Mueller) met at University.
We were all in the same masters program for video games.
After probably half a year of development Florens Huhn joined the team.
Q. I understand you are a team of just five passionate individuals! Introductions are in order!
|Tobias Graff: He is the CEO and one of our two programmers.||Maximilian Jasionowski: Co-Founder and Art Direction | Concept Art||Pascal Mueller: Co-Founder and Programmer|
|Matthias Oberprieler: Co-Founder and 3D Art||Florens Huhn: Narrative Designer|
Q. What are the difficulties faced by an Indie Game Developer such as yourselves?
Probably the most obvious, money 😉
For a project like Lost Ember you need quite a bit of funding to work full time on the game. Otherwise you have to work part time in different jobs which can be very tiring after a period of several years.
Q. We would love to see your workspace! What does it look like behind the scenes?
We have a lot more videos on our YouTube channel. Feel free to drop by!
Q. Was Mooneye Studios formed with the vision of creating Lost Ember right from the start or was it something that came into being upon formation of the company?
Lost Ember was actually there first. As mentioned above we all met at Uni. In our masters you have to work in a group for 3 semesters on one game. The four of us started to work on Lost Ember and we enjoyed it so much that we founded Mooneye Studios and continued to work on Lost Ember.
Q. What engine is the game going to run?
Q. Given that the team has a stronger background in the mobile gaming market, how do you plan to make a mark on the PC and Console scenes?
We started with mobile games, but we all wanted to work on bigger PC or Console games. Thanks to the Unreal Engine the switch from mobile to PC was not that hard and some of us have already worked on PC games.
Q. How did the idea for Lost Ember develop? What were your inspirations behind it?
And why the name “Lost Ember”?
As soon as we came up with the idea of the wolf as the main character, we had a closer look at all kind of similar games , like Zelda: Twilight Princess and of course Okami, which are both awesome games and were great inspirations.
But the main inspiration for us is Journey.
We love the kind of relaxed gameplay it offered and the way they transported emotions into the game. For the memory flashbacks are heavily inspired by Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. The name has something to do with the story, so I can’t tell you anything without spoilers 😉
Q. How big is the game going to be; in terms of explorability and scale?
Our goal is a length of 4-5 hours, but this depends a lot of the player of course. We want to make an exploration adventure, so there will be a lot of additional secrets and if you want to find them all you can easily spend a few more hours with Lost Ember.
Q. Is the game set in a fantastical world and timeline or some place much closer to home? Do tell us a bit about the world in which it is set!
It is a fictional world but closely oriented to South America. You will find a lot of old ruins of an ancient civilization which is inspired by the Maya. Most of the creatures are real animals but some of them are slightly changed like the armadillo-mole we have in the game.
Q. Parts of the trailer show off shapes that seem to be derelict structures. Is there a hidden civiliation in need of discovery?
The story of Lost Ember focuses on the downfall of the old civilization of the Inrashi. On your journey you are guided by a companion that used to be part of the old Inrahsi culture and witnessed the fall of his world. For thousands of years he was seeking and finally found you. Through his memories you will see what happened to the old world and learn to understand him, to finally help him on his mission.
So we want to tell the story of humans through the eyes of animals.
Q. How do you intend to bring forth an understandable story development given that players will be switching between different animals throughout the course of the game?
The companion ( the red light) is the last soul of this ancient civilization and he was present during its downfall.
At certain points of the game the player will be changing characters but the companion remains.
Q. You’ve also provided the possibility for people to choose what new animals are to be added! Will you be adding more animals still?
We have planned for 8-10 animals.
Q. Will the game have the possibility of having a multiplayer option?
No, it won’t.
Q. What kind of mechanics will the game have? Is there any combat involved?
When we started to develop Lost Ember we had a lot of ideas for different gameplay mechanics. Our main focus was always on exploration and telling a great story and we felt that most of these mechanics were in the way of that.
So we cut all the mechanics that stood in our way.
Our main focus now is switching into different animals and using their skills to advance in the game.
Q. The visuals look absolutely stunning! What process did you go through when coming up with the concept art?
We had 3 iterations of the style. First it was a very low poly stylized version. Then we tried out a very realistic look and then ended up somewhere in between.
Q. What about soundtrack, distribution and other aspects of the production process? How are you handling that?
The soundtrack will be available separately and together with the game. But we have not fully decided how to handle those aspects.
Q. What kind of audience are you hoping to appeal to with Lost Ember?
We are aiming at all kind of gamers, especially those who like games like Abzu, Firewatch, Journey, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.
Q. Will you be attending any upcoming events where fans may get a chance to play the game?
So far we have nothing planned yet, because we want to focus on development first.
Q. Will you be releasing the game in its entirety or do you plan to release DLC later on?
At the moment we have no plans for DLCs, but with the release so far ahead we have not fully decided yet.
Q. In addition to the PC, what consoles do you hope to release the game on?
The game will be released on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Q. Given the beauty of the game, it would be a shame if it did not see a VR release. Will you be considering releasing it on VR as well?
It will have VR support for Oculus and Vive, but no special VR mode.
Q. How long do you expect it to be before we can get our hands on the game?
The planned release is between the first and second quarter of 2018.
Q. Kickstarter is a great platform, but with the recent fallout of No Man’s Sky, some people are a bit skeptical about Kickstarter projects. What would you say to ease the concerns of backers?
There are probably 20 gameplay videos out, which show that we have already a lot of the mechanics already implemented.
We also showed the game at several conventions, so we had a lot of people who have seen what we are capable of doing and that of course helped a lot.
A lot of these people enjoyed the game very much so they often answer negative posts even before we see them!
Q. In addition to Kickstarter, how else can people support your project?
After the campaign you can still support us on our homepage of Lost Ember.
Q. Do you have a message you’d like to give our readers?
In case some of your readers think about getting into game development, it is a lot of hard work but so worth it!
And of course thanks to everybody out there who supported us.
A big thanks to Pascal Mueller and the rest of the Lost Ember Dev team for taking the time to talk with us!
We’re looking forward to the completion of this wonderful vision you’ve created.
If you’d like to support Mooneye Studios and play a part in the development of Lost Ember, feel free to follow and back them on their