Once again looking for independent developers, and their efforts to bring their games to the attention of players, I began looking on Steam Greenlight, and many titles that I found intrigued me, but so far, none more so than Last Stitch Goodnight; a Metroidvania survival horror developed by a studio called Well Bred Rhino and lead designer Ben Cook. Impressed by the look and potential of the game, I reached out to Cook to see if he would ask some further questions I had about the game, and what directions he’d like to take the game later on in development. This what Ben had to say about Last Stitch Goodnight:
What were the influences behind Last Stitch Goodnight?
Lately, I’ve wanted to find a game with a purpose. Repeated caves, hallways that go on forever, and copy-paste offices let the gameplay shine, but they just aren’t as memorable. I think my biggest influence has been seeing this trend and wanting to go in a new direction. I wanted to create a world that existed before you got there, and will exist long after you leave. A world you could remember as a real, lovable space, with terrible events you could think back on and mull over. There are definite hints of Castlevania 2 and Metroid 2, but the bigger influence has to be real offices, real homes, and real-world problems.
What has the developmental process been like?
Long but exciting! I knew I had to spend at least three years laying the foundation before I could really start showing it off, which by definition was eerily quiet. Now that it is starting to stabilize, I am having a lot more fun sharing it, hearing people’s thoughts, and getting feedback!
How close are we to seeing the finished product?
Aiming for the beginning of 2017! A lot of the core is in place, but I have a ton of ideas for side quests that I need to flesh out!
What has been the most exciting aspect of development?
A lot of game development teams start with a giant design document that outlines every step of the way, but for me, the greatest joy has been through the discovery of new ideas mid-development. Virtually the whole game design could be summed up with “I tried a thing, then when I tested the thing I thought of something even more fun.” That thrill of discovery never gets old, and has helped Last Stitch Goodnight evolve in ways I could have NEVER predicted!
What has been the most challenging aspect of development?
Solo development. While one person can make a game, there are a ton of cases where having a second (or eighth) person along for the ride would have been insanely helpful. Then again, by relying solely on myself, I was able to discover a lot of talents I never knew I had!
How well has the game been received so far?
Fantastically! I’ve had a chance to demo it at a few conventions, and everyone has been really enthusiastic. I’ve had a handful of folks screaming as they delivered the final hit on the boss in the convention demo, and a handful screaming a bit louder when the boss delivered the final hit on them. The only exception was one poor kid whose eyes went wide, got a REALLY worried look on his face, and left just when things started to get weird. But then again, I’m not doing my job if I don’t weird out at least a FEW people.
What platforms are you looking to bring the game to?
Right now PC, but I am in talks with some of the consoles. I am going to try to get it running everywhere I can!
Will you be looking to keep the sadistic sense of humor that the trailer seems to suggest the game will have or are you looking to have horror as the more predominant aspect?
A VERY delicate balance between the two, hopefully! The game takes the player to some dark places. It makes them confront some people, creatures, and situations that still make me a little uncomfortable. But I think one of the greatest strengths we have as humans is to openly mock that darkness in order to survive and keep our sanity.
Do you have any advice for aspiring developers that may be reading this?
The true secret to success is making game development a priority and then making it a habit. You have to wilfully choose to not watch a movie, or not play a game, or not see friends, and instead choose to spend 4 hours focused on tutorials. You must be willing to sacrifice. But after you do that for a few days, weeks, or months, a habit will set in, and you will start to uncover talents you never knew you had. And it is completely worth it!
Where about on the Internet can people find you?
The WBR website is the best place for tracking Last Stitch Goodnight’s progress, and Twitter is great for my brain dumps.
Do you have anything else to add?
I can’t wait for everyone to get a chance to play it!
Thanks for the questions!
I would in turn like to thank Ben for agreeing to take part in our Q&A for the blog, and you can support Last Stitch Goodnight by giving it the thumbs up on Steam Greenlight here:
Thank you very much for reading.