Interview: Impact Winter – Survival meets Adventure
There are many promising survival games waiting for us this year, however, most of them focus on surviving only. In Impact Winter the singleplayer experiences a story with survival mechanics, that help us through 30 days in a post-apocalyptic world, doomed by an asteroid. We talked to the developer, Mojo Bones, who answered our questions about the game and its development.
Tell us what exactly Impact Winter is about?
In Impact Winter you play as Jacob Solomon. At the beginning of a new game, Ako-Light (your robot companion) intercepts a radio transmission claiming that help will be arriving in 30 days. Your job is simple: lead over a team of 4 other survivors – all holed-up in an abandoned church – and try to survive until the rescue timer reaches zero.
Our original Kickstarter might have failed to reach its goal but we had a strong response from the people who saw it. Exposure was our biggest issue, and we had a strong belief that if enough people saw the concept, it could do well. We turned to Greenlight as a way of proving this theory which was very successful for us, and attracted publisher interest.
Emotionally, we try not to let ourselves get too dejected by failures, in the same way that we don’t let our successes affect us either. The key is in always trying to make something unique, and doing what you can to make that a reality.
Would you still try a kickstarter campaign?
Like any open platform, from Youtube to Kickstarter, it can be a challenge to give complete freedom to creators whilst also retaining strong quality control. There have been some incredibly successful crowd-funded projects over the years, and we certainly wouldn’t rule out doing another one again; so long as we felt the idea was suited to the platform.
Why did you decide to develop a survival game, when this genre is currently immensely popular?
Impact Winter didn’t start out as either post-apocalyptic or survival. We were attracted to the idea of having you lead over an automated team, and that formed the basis of our original concept/prototype.
As we built the idea up further it became apparent that we needed a world to explore and a reason for our characters to be in this particular situation. ‘Impact Winter’ is a real term, and after some research, we really liked the idea of doing a post-apocalyptic setting that wasn’t based on the usual sandy canyons and typical Mad Max/Fallout aesthetic.
Typically in this genre we’d have to deal with zombies, mutants, dinosaurs and many more monstrous creatures. How did you come by the idea to transfer the survival aspect into the winter?
We desperately try to avoid common tropes. Not to say there aren’t great games with zombies/aliens/dinosaurs of course, but we’ve always liked the idea of ‘going against the grain’ and trying to create something fresh/new.
Part of this comes from the fact that when you’re working on a game for a long period of time, it’s important to try and keep things interesting for yourselves. Automatically, by working on something that hasn’t been seen/done a thousand times before, it makes your work feel more worthwhile and interesting.
Who is your target audience? Do you think players who usually don’t play survival games might still enjoy Impact Winter?
We’re calling Impact Winter a ‘survival adventure’. Our love of RPGs and adventure games has had a big influence over the game’s design. Of course, there are common survival elements (resource management, scavenging for supplies, stats etc.) but the game is designed to appeal to a broader audience than most survival games.