Developer Interview with Mooncube Games

Mooncube Games Interview - Featured Image

“Whatever your passion is, keep doing it. Don’t waste time chasing after success or comparing yourself to others. Every flower blooms at a different pace.” – Suzy Kassem

Who are Mooncube Games?

Mooncube Games is a small indie studio based in Montreal, Canada. The team consists of three co-founding members, Keith, the art director, designer and programmer Felix, and Alex who is the audio director and business manager. Using their previous experience working for other developers, they have recently created their first major project together – Spirit City: Lofi Session.

Mooncube Games Logo

Spirit City: Lofi Sessions by Mooncube Games

Spirit City: Lofi Sessions is a very relaxing productivity tool and idle game in which players can customise their avatar and virtual space, as well as collect cute spirit critters. The game does exactly what it sets out to and does so in a beautifully original way allowing the player to relax and enjoy themselves whilst simultaneously concentrating on personal objectives and tasks.

Developer: Mooncube Games
Released: 8th April 2024
Price: £9.99

Platforms: Windows
Available on: Steam
Engine: Unreal Engine 5

A full review of Spirit City: Lofi Sessions, discussing gameplay, narrative, and styling, is also available on Indie Hive. Click here to read it!

Spirit City Lofi Sessions - Key Art

Interview with Mooncube Games

What first motivated you to create Spirit City: Lofi Sessions and how long was it in development?

Spirit City: Lofi Sessions is our first game, but prior to that we created a few other prototypes that we didn’t move forward with. Spirit City was originally going to be a platforming adventure game where the player had to chase down and capture spirits on camera! After creating our initial prototype, we knew that to reach the level of quality we wanted, the development would be too long. So to keep the scope manageable, we focused on one single feature of the initial pitch, a bedroom, where the player could chill to lofi music.

We took inspiration from games such as Chill Corner and Virtual Cottage, as well as the popularity of lofi music streams.

After we settled on a more manageable scope, we spent about a year and a half working on Spirit City. For most of that time, we worked on it part-time while we worked full-time jobs.

What were your main aims for the game when you began development?

When we began development, our initial goal was to create a cozy environment for players to relax in. We had envisioned Spirit City: Lofi Sessions as a customizable lofi experience. We had originally planned for the game to simply be an avatar that you customise, features such as the spirits and productivity tools came a bit later when we realised that players were finding it helpful to focus on their work,  so adding in a to-do list and pomodoro timer came naturally.

Was it difficult to find the right balance of tools to help aid focus and productivity but also add some fun elements, such as the customisations and Spiritdex?

The main difficulty we had was balancing the “game” elements with the core philosophy behind Spirit City. We wanted to create a distraction-free environment, where players could focus on their tasks. We quickly learned through playtests that players wanted a bit more gamified elements. Throughout the development, we tried to make sure that all the additional features weren’t too distracting.

This included not having distracting popups or notifications that could interrupt the player when focusing.
Spirits were a solution we came up with to add a passive discovery element to the game, allowing players to unlock them as pets, and little snippets of info in the Spiritdex.

Which of the collectable spirits is your favourite, and why?

That’s hard to answer as they’re all special to me! I would have to say Trashnuki is my favourite. He went through a few iterations, and I considered cutting him before I landed on his current design!

Spirit City Lofi Sessions - Trashnuki

What sort of problems or difficulties did you face during the development process?

I consider the development to have gone relatively smoothly! I think our biggest challenges were because this was our first game as a company! Prior to this we all worked at other indie studios but were never responsible for putting a game together from A to Z.

As a team of three, we all had to wear many hats during development and learn a ton of new skills. The development was a pretty chill experience overall, we only really felt the pressure ramp up a couple months before release. Thanks to careful planning and scoping, we knew we were able to achieve what we set out to do.

What was the most enjoyable or satisfying aspect of creating the game?

The most satisfying aspect has been the player’s response. We try to read all the messages we get, and the majority of them are very wholesome. Hearing how the game helps people get stuff done, or even helps relieve their ADHD symptoms, it really warms my heart every time.

Of course, getting to create our own world and characters has also been super enjoyable. We only had to answer to ourselves, and it really allowed us to create something we’re proud of.

There are some great Lofi tracks in the game. How did you go about finding different artists and selecting the music? Also, do you have a preferred playlist?

All the music in the game has been provided by Homework Radio. They reached out to us very early in the process, allowing us to pick songs from their extensive catalogue. Our audio director worked with them to choose a variety of songs to find different themed playlists.

I’m partial to the playlist “Uplifting Spirit Infusion” myself as it includes more upbeat songs.

Spirit City Lofi Sessions Screenshot - Playlist

Spirit City: Lofi Sessions has a very soft art style and customisable ambient lighting that helps create a soothing in-game environment. Was this difficult to achieve and were any other visual concepts considered?

Achieving the soft art style and lighting was indeed challenging. This was one of the first aspects we tackled, to make sure we hit those cozy, welcoming vibes. It took a lot of tweaking to get right. From the beginning, we had a lot of references to various anime scenes with similar lighting that helped guide us.

What, in your opinion, is the most successful aspect of the game?

That’s a tough one because I think all the elements we’ve included are needed to make everything work. If I had to pick, I would say it’s the welcoming vibes. The game invites players into their own little oasis.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when promoting and marketing the game, and how did its release match up to your expectations?

We started marketing our game fairly early, launching our Steam page in April of 2023, with lots of placeholder screenshots.

Our biggest challenge early on was figuring out how to brand our game, and deliver the elevator pitch. There were almost no other games in the same genre, so we couldn’t use them as a reference point for players. We were essentially creating something new. We did a lot of playtests early on, this helped us discover what players thought of it in their own words. This really helped us hone in on what aspects of the game we should focus on. 

Since this was our first time releasing a game on our own, we tried to go in without any expectations. We had reached 90,000 wishlists by launch, and based on data from other games, we knew we could expect about 10%-20% of our wishlists as week one sales. There was still that fear in the back of our minds that players wouldn’t “get it” and pass over it.

We were overjoyed with the launch of our game. We ended up selling over 50,000 copies in the first week. It was successful beyond what we could have imagined, and the support from players has been phenomenal. 

Do you have plans to release Spirit City: Lofi Sessions on any other platforms?

We’re getting inundated with Mac requests from players!  We’re investigating bringing it to Mac first, then we’ll consider other platforms. We know a lot of people have been asking for it on Switch!

Will you continue to work on the game? And if so, what updates and/or DLC can we expect in the future?

Our plan is to continue supporting the game throughout 2024 with free updates, and eventually paid DLC later in the year. Our players have been very enthusiastic about letting us know what new features and improvements they want!

We have plans to include more of everything, Spirits, customization items and quality-of-life improvements.  We shared a mini roadmap, but hope to have more detailed information soon!

Spirit City Lofi Sessions Mini Roadmap


It was an absolute pleasure to hear from Mooncube Games and learn more about the development of Spirit City: Lofi Sessions. They put a lot of love and hard work into creating their game and it really paid off. I highly recommend checking it out, especially if you’re a fan of casual games or are looking a unique tool to help with focusing and achieving goals.

If you’d like to read more developer interviews, we have a selection available HERE!

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