In this developer interview, we talk to Kirill Bykov of Amanito Computing, developer of Apocalyptic Vibes.
Games By Amanito Computing
Name: Apocalyptic Vibes
Developer: Amanito Computing
Released: 2nd March 2023
Platforms: Windows, Linux
Available on: Steam
Apocalyptic Vibes review available here.
Interview with Amanito Computing
Thanks for being here with us at Indie Hive, Kirill. For starters, would you mind telling us how you first got into the game development industry?
Kirill – With this game. This is my first experience with game development.
Tell us a bit about yourself, if you don’t mind. Where are you from, and how old are you?
Kirill – I’m from a small town in the Volgograd region(Volgogradskaya oblast’), Russia. My exact age is also hidden for now.
Do you think your cultural and social backgrounds have influenced the way you develop games? If that’s the case, in what way?
Kirill – Yes, I think so. The game is generally inspired by places and memories from my home town. Also, I think some art trails used in the game are peculiar to Russian culture, such as the theme of the “cosy” and “warm” melancholy and nostalgia. All these, of course, are not particularly unique for Russian culture, but I think it occupies a special place for our creativity. Also, the game has a lot of references to Russian or Soviet art. Also now, after the release, I see some parallels with how other games from CIS were developed. We always try to develop a dream game. Making a lot of mechanics and details we can even forget about polishing and balance. So my game wasn’t an exception. On the release, it had HUGE problems with bugs. And yeah, we love here post-apocalypse genre.
About Apocalyptic Vibes: what movies, books or other media have inspired you the most, in depicting and creating your idea of a post-apocalyptic setting?
Kirill – In general, the game was inspired by: original (2010) Metro 2033, the art from the internet comics Romantically Apocalyptic, early and mid Strugatskys’ books, I can also remember now the film Dead man’s letters (1986), even the classical Soviet animated film Hedgehog in the Fog, and again, by my home town.
Having played your game myself, I have to say you accomplished something exceptional with the limited resources of a one-man Indie studio. What were the biggest challenges and obstacles to overcome during the development process?
Kirill – I really love to develop it, so I can’t say that something was really an obstacle. But there were some hard to make things: Weather system that is also attached to the checkpoint system. Radio which is just a side-mechanic. Also, it is very hard and monotonous work to make enemies’ sprites.
Are you satisfied with this first game you released, or do you instead with that you could have had more time and resources to improve it even more in terms of content?
Kirill – I’m making a large free content update for the game. I had to cut out a lot. So the game will be greatly expanded. But in general, I already like the game now.
What are the future plans for your studio? Do you already have a new project in mind, or will you focus on Apocalyptic Vibes for now?
Kirill – For now, I’m focusing on Apocalyptic Vibes. There will be the major update, releases on other marketplaces, also I plan a DLC with a spin-off story, and a limited retro-styled physical edition. Then, I plan to make one more game as a lone developer, and after this, I’ll get a team.
What does a developer like yourself do in their free time, while not staring at lines of code or map editors?
Kirill – Watch some films or YT vids, playing some music, reading some books, doing some basic sports, just chilling, vibing, nothing really special now.
Do you have a favorite videogame yourself, as a player? Excluding Apocalyptic Vibes of course, haha!
Kirill – Yeah, original Metro 2033.
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