During Dreamhack Beyond I had the opportunity to talk to Günther Beyer from Monolith of Minds (MoM). Our interview was about her next game called Lila’s Sky Ark and the Red Code universe in general.

But first I want to show you a trailer of Lila’s Sky Ark:

Below you will find my questions and the answers to them:

Tobias(Game-Releases): “What kind of story does Lila’s Sky Ark tell?”

Günther(MoM): “It’s the story of Lila, obviously, who wakes up on a very strange island that is suddenly attacked by the Soldiers of Noise. Nobody knows exactly what that is and that’s why Lila first runs over it Island to find out with your friends and acquaintances what is really happening here and who is really attacking here. Of course, these are all metaphors that play into our Red Code universe. But they also form the bridge from the real world, which actually ends beforehand and progresses through Lila’s Sky Ark to the story of Resolutiion. It all takes place in a dreamy but at times trippy world. It’s becoming more and more of a rush in the sense that it takes the player away from a very classic fantasy-oriented action-adventure an increasingly dark and mature story. That’s the premise we’re aiming for. But we’re not done yet.”

Tobias(Game-Releases): “So it’s something like what is always described in role-playing games. First you save the cat and in the end you fight against God?”

Günther(MoM): “*Laughs* I love it. Nice question. The best video games are those, or generally the best stories, that seem to be about something else, but at the end of the day it’s actually about yourself. As you live through the story, you feel like you’re learning something about someone else, but ideally you’re learning something about yourself.That was our aspiration for Resolutiion, although we probably pushed it to the extreme . But it’s also the same claim we have for Lila’s Sky Ark again. The story seems like ‘Oh God, we’re under attack’, ‘You have to save your little world now’. But then in the process it turns out that it’s not just your little world, but that world is much bigger and what you save is a part of that bigger world, as well as yourself. That’s the most interesting point of this kind of interactive stories.”

Tobias(Game-Releases): “What did you take away from the experience with Resolutiion for Lila’s Sky Ark?”

Günther(MoM): “*Laughs* Hopefully everything. Well, Resolutiion was our first game and while building it we learned how to build video games in the first place. Hopefully at least a little bit. It was an incredibly chaotic process. But what we did What we also learned explicitly is that this big, yanked, and incredibly sprawling way of developing the story is something that two-man teams aren’t necessarily very good at, and it ended up costing us an awful lot because we didn’t have much and had to learn everything. The whole process and how everything fits together was still difficult. With Lila’s Sky Ark we’re trying to take everything that we learned at Resolutiion, like the art style, the way the story was told, the interactions and the shortcuts, and doing it the same way, but we’re aiming to do that on the scale we originally planned for Resolutiion, a game that’s a maximum of four b is six hours. We’re taking everything we’ve learned and bringing it down to a smaller scale and therefore a much more accessible one. As a result, everything in Lila’s Sky Ark seems a bit childish at first. It seems a lot more approachable at first, but it won’t be at the end of the day. We try to tell a much smaller and more compact story. I once stumbled across Neil Gaiman’s line, ‘I’m actually an adult storyteller’ and that resonated with us. From the technical, musical side, it’s almost the same people as with Resolutiion and they do exactly the same thing as they did back then, only everything is much more compact, organized and much more optimized on the whole. Where things got out of hand with Resolutiion and we still wanted to know exactly what we want, with Lila we know it pretty well.”

Tobias(Game-Releases): “With Resolutiion there were many tools to fight the opponents. With Lila there seems to be ‘only’ the throwing technique to do this. Did you also want to make the game more compact with it?”

Günther(MoM): “That’s a good question. Just the last word you mentioned: compact. Feedback we got from Resolutiion was that everything else was really nice polarizing, but the combat system was too compact huh We found it very strange, as we didn’t want to do a hack’n’slash in that sense. With Lila, the carry and throw function is the core of the mechanical side of the game. Basically, almost everything revolves around this. That’s what you control Combat mechanics by picking things up and throwing them at opponents, which can have different functions. But you also act by picking them up and throwing them in the world. You don’t press a switch, but for example pick something up and pull it. There are There’s also an extra layer that we currently call Abilities. These are hard-coded traits. You find things that give you different movement patterns. This includes the ability to pick up heavy things, for example.”

Tobias(Game-Releases): “Do you have to have played Resolutiion to understand Lila’s Sky Ark, even if it tells the story?”

Günther(MoM): “Definitely not. We design Lila in such a way that anyone can get in there without having dealt with Resolutiion. You don’t even need prior knowledge of the Red Code universe in general. Of course, the game is full of little bits and Fanservice, which then build the bridge to Resolutiion. But they’re always kept relatively simple. That’s due to the fact that we actually wanted to work on Resolutiion 2 right after the debut, but then got to the point that we realized that this becomes too big and we’d rather go back 2-3 steps first. The idea for the prequel was already there, but we didn’t plan to implement it yet. Originally, the game idea for Lila was even decoupled from the Resolutiion universe. That has then just clicked and we pushed the idea back and forth until we got to the point that lilac is actually the origin story, we’ve been at it for about half a year now and it’s all coming together together.”

Tobias(Game-Releases):“You have created a roadmap so that players can learn more about the next steps. Do you think that you will make Early Access next month, for example, or is there already other information?”

Günther(MoM): “We have made it our goal to decide exactly that by the end of next month. At the moment it looks like we are working very clearly towards the 50% mark in the next few weeks. So we have half of it It’s game in the can and it feels good too, but you never know if it takes 2 or 4 weeks to polish, time will tell, we’re in talks with various publishers and some are in favor against others Early Access We’re a bit torn on this as we’re not that keen on working with publishers this time, we still have a desire to do it ourselves but it depends on all of these things if we do going into early access or not. Our preference right now would be we publish alone and go into early access in early September. We still want to stay very close to the roadmap that we have in mind.”

Tobias(Game-Releases): “So far only Steam is listed as a confirmed release platform. Are you planning to release the game on other platforms as well, since Resolutiion also appeared on Switch, for example? Which consoles are these?”

Günther(MoM): “We know that we can release on the switch. We managed to do that with Resolutiion as the first Godot game on the switch. There are two factors that play a role. Firstly, whether you work with a publisher or without. Depending on the publisher and their network, a transfer to a console is easier or more difficult. The other point is the technical aspect. Godot is relatively solid in terms of switch transfers, Microsoft / Xbox is slowly starting to do better and Playstation is currently still almost in the stars. In summary: Yes we want. Technically, we’re waiting until it’s possible. According to Godot’s roadmap, it shouldn’t be long.”

Tobias(Game-Releases):”On YouTube you posted a video of how you create a robot graveyard in the game. The viewers seemed very excited to be able to see these processes. Are there more such videos planned until the release or are there more Processes you want to show your player landscape?”

Günther(MoM): “We actually keep getting requests that we should do more of them. At the moment, however, we tend to put all our time into the work. However, since the requests are increasing, I think we will will do something in that direction. We have a few ideas.”

Tobias(Game-Releases): “There was a demo for Lila at the Steamfest. Does the feedback flow into the development?”

Günther(MoM): “Definitely. All feedback flows into the development. Although we have a relatively clear vision of what we want and what we enjoy, it’s still the case that we want to develop Lila’s Sky Ark as openly as possible explicitly with the community. We’ve gotten to the point that with indie development, you don’t just lock yourself in your little room and do your thing, you want to exchange ideas. At the end of the day, people should have fun with what you create, in whatever form. A lot of developers make a huge drama out of including these people in the development right away, which I don’t understand. We want to design it so openly from the start that the people who want to can participate. If “If anyone wants to get involved, we think that’s super cool. This collaborative network aspect, which modern media or cross-media interactivity enables, is one of the nicest things about it. We want to get people involved include. It doesn’t matter whether it’s conversation or feedback or you want to work on it. We see this as more of a very big messy art project. The way to the goal with the community is almost more important to us than the end result.”

Tobias(Game-Releases): “That’s actually it from my side. Would you like to say something else?”

Günther(MoM): “Of course, what interests us is: how many people are really interested in Early Access? Because this only makes sense if the players are aware that the time they play is out of proportion to how long “It’s still a work in progress. On top of that, everyone who reads this article is welcome to join the community. Look forward to the Steam Deck. We’re definitely getting there.”

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Hi, this is Tobias. I'm currently studying and I like to spend my free time cooking and gaming. I prefer games with a good story, long-term motivation or a couch co-op mode.

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