Texas based indie developer Steamburger Studios have just launched their campaign on Kickstarter to help fund the development of their colourful new camping adventure game, Let’s Go Camping! We had the chance to chat and find out more about their plans.
With its beautiful, simple visuals and mix of open world exploration, monster hunting and camping, Let’s Go Camping feels a bit like the lovechild of Zelda and Skyrim, with elaborate narrative replaced with playful camping adventures. The Kickstarter campaign is a week in so far, and this is one game that we really hope reaches its goals.
Steamburger’s Brian Mayberry and his team took the time to answer some of our questions:
We love the idea of Let’s Go Camping – it seems a bit like a Minecraft-ified version of Skyrim. Where did your inspiration and desire to create it come from?
Believe it or not, I started off making a lowpoly Starfox clone. Late one night I opened up one of the levels and dropped in a first person controller. I started wanting a bow or something to shoot, so I made one, and quickly got really inspired.
You’ve previously worked on games such as Star Wars: The Old Republic and Defiance – how does indie development compare to working on traditional console games?
It’s such a different experience! From a 200+ team in close quarters working on a huge project, down to just 4 guys connecting on Skype to make a smaller single player adventure camping game. There are some tools and development cycles that translate over quite well and we do communicate in a similar way when updating assets and setting tasks. The best difference is that everyone can really bring their ideas to the table from the start; nobody is left feeling like a small cog in the big machine.
A big part of the game seems to be using the bow and the realistic bow & arrow physics. Any plans to add other weapons and tools or will it all be spectacular archery action?
Yes! There will be a few alternate weapons, but they will not completely replace the bow. The bow is your key weapon, and most of the combat and design will be tailored around it. There will be items that give you new ways to navigate the overworld, and allow you into places previously unreachable.
The game’s lowpoly visuals and barebones gameplay seems really appealing – what will you be doing to keep players hooked in and progressing?
Let’s Go Camping! is all about exploration and discovery, clearing those dungeons and finding that perfect camping spot. Lore and role play fans will enjoy the openness of the story, since we mostly leave it up to the player to work it out for themselves. There is a kind of linear progression to the game which will become more apparent as we get further into development; an ultimate destination so to speak. Item, camping gear, and arrow/food management will also play a part to keep the player motivated to place themselves in more dangerous situations.
Let’s Go Camping seems quite suited to co-operative multiplayer, is that something you’re considering?
Right now we’re focused on building a fun single player game. If player demand and support is there in a big way, we’d certainly consider it as a future update.
Which single aspect are you pleased with the most?
I’d have to say it’s been the reaction to the games lowpoly appeal, and how that has folks ready to jump right in and play. This kind of style is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long while, and to see that resonating the way it has, it just feels great!
All the indies seem to be developing games with Unity nowadays – what makes it so great to use for your project?
It’s extremely fast to get an idea from your notepad into a working asset with Unity. My background is cinematics, which meant I never touched much code when developing in the past. With Unity as prevalent as it is, I was able to teach myself the basics in about 4 months with a small android game, which later became a Fire TV launch title.
Do you have any advice or ‘wise words’ for other start-up indie developers?
We are brand new to indie development ourselves, so I’m not sure if we’re even allowed to have advice to give yet. I’m sure we’ll have some after the game comes out! But I will say this, prepare yourself for a ton of writing. Way more than you can imagine.
What games are you playing now?
Brian: Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, and I’ve also been playing Minecraft with my 4 year old, her first ‘real’ PC game.
Randy: Minecraft, and “Everquest Next Landmark” (closed beta) the other is a Guitar game called “Bandfuse”
Mike: Kerbal Space Program is my steady go to game, however I am also playing Hawken, Warframe, and Bioshock Infinite.
Kevin: Proteus, Under the Ocean, and Godus
Finally, faced with fighting five hundred fully grown rabbits, what strategy would you use to ensure your victory?
In Let’s Go Camping! all kidding aside, this is a very real probability. I would have to risk using the Portable Science Lab (which works like grenades but with random effects), and hope it doesn’t backfire in some terrible way.
Thanks to the Steamburger guys for answering our questions!
The Let’s Go Camping! Kickstarter campaign still has a few weeks to run. Campaign backers can pre-order a copy of the game, which is due for release on PC, Mac and Linux in 2015.