The indie development scene has produced some of the best retroactive experiences seen in gaming in recent years, from Shovel Knight to Blasphemous to Axiom Verge; but throughout 2021 so far, the subject of this interview has been one of the most exciting to me. Savage Halloween is an 8-BIT side-scrolling shoot ’em up developed as a love letter to the likes of Contra and Gradius telling the story of a group of supernatural bounty hunters tasked with returning the spirits of the dead to the underworld after they resolve to party for all eternity. It’s as wonderfully outlandish as it is fun to play, and after having reviewed it myself, I highly recommend readers play it if they haven’t already.
However, after playing, I got in touch with one of the game’s lead developers Abdel de Oliveira to discuss more this game, and about the company involved in its development; 2ndBoss games based in Santa Catarina, Brazil. So this is what Abdel had to say about Savage Halloween and about what the future holds for 2ndBoss Games:
How has it been to experience such an influx of interest surrounding Savage Halloween and the fanbase it has already garnished?
It’s fantastic! We were surprised and happy with the number of people who got to know our work.
What were the most exciting aspects of developing Savage Halloween?
I think it was the Halloween theme. There are few games with this theme and some prefer to be more dramatic, we like the line of humor and I think that was a factor that motivated us.
What were the most challenging aspects of developing Savage Halloween?
We had no experience with multiplayer, so it was a challenge that took us most of the time.
What’s next for 2ndBoss?
We’re going to take a break from shooting games and launch a precision platformer. It is a game that we would like to release some time ago and I think the time has come.
What kind of game would you and the development team like to create that you haven’t attempted yet?
Who knows… a Metroidvania? We try to think about one project at a time… well, that’s a lie! We have hundreds of unfinished projects, haha! Whoever is a dev knows, this is our suffering.
How important was fan feedback throughout the development of Savage Halloween?
In the prototype stage, we showed some videos on our Twitter and had some feedback, which was cool and motivated us to continue! And then when we created the first type of shoot (the flying bats), people said “hey, what a crazy idea, I like that”, so we continue on that line. So it’s good to hear from people and see if they like the path you’re taking.
Could we see either a sequel to Savage Halloween or even a content update for the original game?
I love the theme, so it’s quite possible. We’re going to have to think about pretty crazy things.
What had been the biggest lessons taken from you and 2ndBoss’s prior developmental experience going into Savage Halloween?
Oh, that was a great journey. I mean, we’re just two guys and it’s a lot of work to do. Like Biolab Wars, we are collecting all the feedback, listening to the community, learning and studying what went wrong and what we got right.
Have you guys had much advice from other developers within the indie community?
Oh yes, that was fantastic. There is a lot of support on Twitter through the Indie World Order, which is a wonderful community. And not just devs, but enthusiasts in general, content creators, musicians, fans! We are all indies!
What is your opinion on the ever-growing development scene in Brazil with the likes of yourselves and Orube Studios?
There is an interesting scenario here, even the great financial difficulty we are going through (if I say what we have to pay in taxes and fees until a game profit reaches my pocket, you will tell us to give up), but there are a lot of people here creating good things. And this is great.
If you guys had the chance to develop for any mainstream development company or work on any gaming series, which one would it be?
Oh man, I wish I had a chance to relive Journey to Silius (Sunsoft).
In the spirit of the game, do you and the development team have any special plans to celebrate Halloween this year, or did you guys do that shortly after the was released in the lead-up to last year’s Halloween?
That’s it, the plan was to release last year. But due to Covid, the QA tests were delayed and so the schedule was hampered. If there is time, after our next release, we would like to prepare something, but it is not a promise.
Do you have any advice to give to any aspiring developers who may be reading this?
Start small but start ASAP! Focus on what you are good at, and leave the rest to someone else (friend or freelancer). Every day that you don’t do the job, it’s a day that you are most distant from your dream. It is a difficult path, but have fun, after all, you are making a game! 🙂
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank all the people who supported our game. Each sale helps the small developer to continue their next game. It is a dream, and you are helping us to live it. Thanks again and I wish you a happy (next) Halloween!
I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Abdel for taking the time out to talk to me about Savage Haloween and 2ndBoss Games, and to wish them the best of luck with their upcoming precision platformer. If anyone would like to check out Savage Halloween, you can play it on Steam via the link below:
You can also keep up with the latest news from 2ndBoss Games via their official website:
But in the meantime, I hope you enjoyed learning more about Savage Halloween and have just as much fun playing the game as I certainly did.
Scouse Gamer 88