Games Asylum contributors Jay and Zayne are about to release NekoNecro, a hand-drawn 2D platformer with a three-year development and lots of fine-tuning.
Obviously, reviewing it would be considerably shady – a huge conflict of interest. We even stepped back from a preview. But we still want to get the word out of its imminent release, and this is where this interview comes in.
Zanye: Hello! I’m Zayne, I write reviews for Games Asylum, and I’m here with Jay, who also writes reviews for Games Asylum. I’m publishing one of Jay’s games, so obviously, in the name of ethics in games journalism, we’re getting ourselves a feature on…Games Asylum. Hello Jay!
Jay: Is this an interview? Am I about to get fired? I have no idea what I’m doing here.
Z: It is a bit weird! It is also an interview, and you are ab- Oh no, hang on. No, you’re good. Thought we’d just chat about NekoNecro – the videogame we’re releasing on Halloween.
J: Good job we’re not reviewing this thing because, and I’m going to be real, I love NekoNecro. I love it so much. So, hell yes, I could chat about it forever. Or until we’ve enough body text for a feature.
Z: I also love NekoNecro. I remember it being a thing you were just starting on when we first became Twitter friends, and I was like “When can I play it?” And now, finally, some four years later, it’s here. How does it feel?
J: It’s wild, mainly because I’ve never spent this long on anything, not least a videogame! It wasn’t even planned or anything, I’d just wound down from the launch of an earlier game of mine, APOCABRIX, and was looking to branch out into making games out of my drawings instead of pixel art. NekoNecro, as it was, was just an experiment into seeing if I could work out some kind of pipeline for turning my paper drawings into, y’know, a game. And I guess I could!
Z: I think that’s something we absolutely cannot understate to people. The entire game is literally actually genuinely drawn by your very hand, isn’t it? Not an AI, or a Photoshop, or a… I dunno, Fiverr or something. This is all by hand, on paper, from scratch.
J: That’s right. It seemed to make sense at the time, I can draw sort of well so why not start doing this for game graphics instead of pixel-pushing? The reality of it all though is that I had absolutely no idea how long this would take. The results are great, for sure. But I’d recommend this approach to precisely nobody. There are better ways to make your game graphics, but I’m very set in my ways and like scribbling on bits of paper.
Z: Almost like you’ve achieved an amazing thing that you’re incredibly proud of and would never do again?
J: I can’t promise I won’t do it again. Heh. We’ll see how the game is actually received though…
Z: What’s good about it? Sell me on this game I know is already amazing for the purposes of the audience.
J: It has a whale that wears a fez! Need I say more? Oh, I do? I’ve gone to great efforts in both the movement and level design to make sure everything’s got a nice ‘flow’ to it, much like many of my favourite classic platform games have. It’s like those all over the place, from the diverse world-based locations, the hidden collectibles, the crazy boss characters; all wrapped up in a kind of neat graphic novel presentation you wouldn’t have got from those classics. Old, but new.
Z: Which is, I think we can all agree, the best possible qualities you can have in a 2D platformer because they were better when we were kids anyway. A bold statement. I might just be putting that in there for the sake of controversy and attention, it might be a genuine nostalgic opinion, who’s to say? Either way, NekoNecro ticks all the right boxes.
J: Oh, for sure, there’s a reason people get nostalgic for old things sometimes; even long after the novelty of ‘the new’ has faded, some of the classics are absolutely deserving of their lasting legacy. As for NekoNecro, it’s out on Halloween! The 31st of October – a delightfully spooky date for a game by a developer who subtly hides the number ’13’ a lot in their games.
Z: It’s launching in the UK on Steam for the suitably spooky price of £13! What a helpful and supportive publisher you must have. Let’s hope NekoNecro is everything people want it to be, and they can find out by buying it, and they should buy it because they should buy it. We hope everybody has a lovely time with it.