In the run-up to Gamescom 2020, we got the chance to speak to the Gleamlight with Producer Hidekazu Nakajima taking the time to answer my questions:
I’m sure that 2020 has been a challenging year to be developing a game, what’s that been like? Is it a case of everyone works from home, what kind of challenges have you faced getting this game to market?
Thank you for your interest in interviewing me about Gleamlight.
As you imagined, 2020 sure has been a difficult year to develop a game, especially with the entire team working from home. Every day communication, as simple as sharing information was not easy, and that often led to delays in development. The areas of the game that required delicate expressions, such as conceptual parts, where the story is told more by what you are seeing in the background, along with the design.
By dropping players into this world with so little information, it leaves us asking questions about some of the things we come across. Is there anything more you can tell us about the vividly-red robotic enemies we come across in the game?
We have the ghosts with organic bodies and then we have the machines with non-organic bodies, such as the vividly-red robotic enemies you mentioned. All the boss characters are machines fighting against not only the main character but also the ghosts. You can see ghosts’ corpses scattered in the bosses’ rooms.
What struck me straight away about the game is that you’re very much just dropped in with no one holding your hand, it reminded me a little of the original Legend of Zelda or the earlier Final Fantasies. Was that decision to just let players figure everything out something you had in mind from the start of the project?
And I suppose as follow up, how did the decision to ditch the UI come about?
Yes, our original concept included giving little information to let players enjoy the game more by trial and error right from the beginning. We thought by making the story and progress somewhat unclear, it would help to get players to communicate about their experiences playing the game when they aren’t playing it. Kind of like some of the experiences we had when we were kids. You figure things out by talking to your friends. Therefore, we made the decision early on to give up the UI from the start. We think this enhances a sense of immersion, and it can help to make a unique story for each player. By limiting information and having some uncertainty, it gives players random and various game experiences respectively.
One of the big things that came out of the reveal of the game last year, was the emphasis on this beautiful world of stained glass. How important was it to make the backdrop to the game visually interesting, when the player can see everything on screen due to the lack of a traditional UI?
Besides the game being visually interesting and beautiful, the backdrop plays an important role as a place of installing objects and other items to help tell the story of the game. Since Gleamlight doesn’t tell a story with words and events, its backdrop can help the players to imagine their own stories. We felt this was another unique aspect for players to experience the game.
I’ve seen online that the game has a ‘new game+’ mode that I’ve not quite reached yet, but do you have any plans to release any post-game content for Gleamlight? And what else have you got in the works for 2020 and beyond?
Although we don’t have any concrete plans for releasing additional elements, we are hoping to update the game for better and more exciting gameplay experiences. We’ll do our best to help Gleamlight fans to love and enjoy the game more as they continue to play.
We appreciate how difficult a year this has been for publishing a game so thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
You are welcome and thank you for giving us a great opportunity.
Stay tuned for the future of Gleamlight.
If you’re interested in what we thought about Gleamlight, you can check out our review here, And once again a big thank you to Hidekazu Nakajima for taking the time to answer our questions about the game.
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