[PS4Blog.net Interview] Lamplight Studios on A Pixel Story
PS4Blog: Hi! Welcome to PS4blog.net. Good to have you with us. Would you mind get us started by introducing yourself to our readers and telling them about your work?
Hey! My name’s Martin Cosens, I’m one of the developers from Lamplight Studios who worked on the Indie Puzzle-Platformer – A Pixel Story
PS4B: We had a lot of fun reviewing A Pixel Story on PS4, and we wanted to see how you describe this release as if you were talking to someone who has never heard of the game.
A Pixel Story is a 2D Puzzle-Platformer set inside a giant fantastical computer system, you play as a program that starts as a ball in a game of low-fi ping pong, and is then pulled into a new world of colours and sounds. The world is under the grip of a vicious tyrant and, as is so often the way, you are the chosen one, destined to save The System. Using a magic hat that gives you the ability to save a location and teleport back to it, you need to overcome a huge range of increasingly challenging obstacles, gathering memory with the aim of confronting the evil Operator.
PS4B: How long did it take to bring A Pixel Story from its initial concept to its latest home on the PS4? Did you end up making any considerable changes to your plans along the way?
We initially developed A Pixel Story for an annual game development competition in Dundee called Dare To Be Digital, where you develop a prototype in 9 weeks. We came away from that with some funding, and initially intended to release it after 3 months. It’s been almost 5 years since then, so quite a lot has changed along the way.
Initially the idea was a lot more akin to LIMBO, one of the big inspirations for us at the time. You would play a completely linear, empty, lonely and controlled experience with puzzles and cinematic setpieces. Your only companion was your guide. In the end, elements of those inspirations stayed in the game, but we shifted the design, taking inspiration from titles like Mario, Super Meat Boy, and Dizzy. We added NPCs, open explorable levels, and extra non-critical content. Initially we were terrified that people would play through the game and come out on on the other side in 15 minutes feeling ripped off. In the finished version of the game even a minimal run through, if you knew all the answers to the puzzles and did none of the additional content, it’s still much, much longer. Suffice it to say, the game grew quite a lot in scope.
PS4B: Now that the game is out on PS4, are you considering working on additional content for the game to be made available as DLC?
We’ve had lots of thoughts about bonus content we could release, hats seem to be a thing that games like to do, we could give our character a tophat. We’ve definitely been tempted to add even more challenge rooms, but we think we’re happy with the game as a whole experience now, it has a very definite conclusion, if you manage to reach the proper ending. Anything on top would be little bonuses rather than new narratives or worlds.
PS4B: What’s next for Lamplight Studios? Any new projects you’re currently working on?
For now the studio is actually working in different places. We’ve definitely spoken over other ideas, you don’t go through 3 years of making games without churning out a LOT of other ideas. Whilst we’re not working on anything else right now, it’s something we’re talking and thinking about.
PS4B: Thank you for your time. Is there something else you’d like to mention before we end the interview?
Mainly just that we hope anyone who plays the game has a good time, we love to hear what people think of it, good or bad, so please just email us with your thoughts! And thanks a lot for Rising Star Games for helping us get it here!