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New Dev Diary: Interrogating Villains!

Greetings Villains!


As we head into 2024 there's only one thing on our minds here at Villainous: the release of Harvest Hunt!


As we steadily inch closer to release, we've taken the time to put our devs in the hotseat and interrogate each and every one of them for the most dastardly details about the next instalment in the Horror Stories anthology.


We'll be releasing these dev diaries here on our website, as well as on Steam blogs, which can be found on our Store Page.


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🎩What details in the game are you proudest of?


We obsessed over some of the details and I'm proud of a bunch of them, but I have to say our fog comes to mind immediately. It's one of those things I think most people won't even bat an eye at, but having the fog be like physical textured panes of glass you go through was great for the overall mood of the game. It makes for a very dramatic and distinct sight and helps give this grimy texture to the air itself!

Uriel Cordas - Art Lead



We have tons of little details in the game that I’m proud of. One of my favourites that adds to the quality of life factor is if you drop an object you were holding, it will reposition itself on the ground. For example, if the pitchfork drops to the ground flat, then it will reposition itself to be standing straight up. Not only it allows you to grab it much easier but also it looks cool!

Valentina Chrysostomou - Game Director




There's several little subtleties in the game that I'm proud of, so it's a bit hard to pick one in particular - but one I really enjoy is how the lantern flickers off when the Devourer emerges close to the player. It's a minor detail, one that might even go unnoticed if it happens in brighter portions of the map, but I really appreciate how impactful it can feel if the player is deep in the cornfield or in a dimmer area. Being enveloped in darkness so unexpectedly, mixed with the anxiety-inducing audio of the Devourer emerging nearby, really ramps up the tension from casual exploration to "I'm in immediate danger"

Miguel Pereira - Associate Programmer





🎩What's been the most challenging feature to implement?



For sure the Devourer. Developing its look and behaviour were long iterative processes, with long discussions being had on the functional basis of terror. How much of the main threat do we show vs just insinuating its presence and playing with tension, what is the exact level of uncanniness vs overt visual aggressiveness we want, etc. There was a lot of trial and error to get to where we are, but the real challenge was in implementation, which is where the rubber meets the road. Collisions, jittery navigation, even things like making it turn in just the right way ended up being challenging, but we got there in the end.

Uriel Cordas - Art Lead



The Devourer! The behaviours it has, the animations, its audio design - it’s been one big task to make the monster play well within the game and the rest of the systems!

Valentina Chrysostomou - Game Director




I agree with Uriel and Valentina, the Devourer was the biggest challenge to get right - they're the star of the show after all! Although they had already been mostly implemented by the time I joined the team, any additions or changes I did to its functionality were by far the most sensitive tasks.

Miguel Pereira - Associate Programmer





🎩If you could add in one feature that was cut during the development process, or if you could add something brand new now - what would it be?


Hard to say but adding more variety to the Devourer's behaviour and look. Possibly exploring some alternatives to the current Devourer with different challenges and tones associated. That would definitely require deeper gameplay considerations.

Uriel Cordas - Art Lead



Definitely more level variety. Whether that means new levels to play in or a system that changes the level design dramatically. Since Luna Nova is a farming village we could still have cornfields in various other levels or a variation of the same idea; like a swamp level, filled with water, can have reeds for you to hide in and get lost in just like the corn in Farmlands.

Valentina Chrysostomou - Game Director




Aside from the level variety mentioned by Valentina, the main big change I wish we could still implement would have to be an "arcade-y" game mode for players to challenge themselves after having finished a full play-through.

Miguel Pereira - Associate Programmer




 

Be sure to follow us on socials and let us know what questions you'd like us to ask in the next edition of Interrogating Villains!



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