Interview | Anatoliy Guyduk on inSomnia

I recently had the chance to prepare a few questions for Studio Mono’s Anatoliy Guyduk regarding inSomnia, a title currently doing a further round on Kickstarter – this time seeking funding to push through the final stages of production on a vastly stronger, more refined product than that initially funded. Anatoily has served as Lead Developer on the title since it’s inception back in mid 2011.

For those of you not in the know about the project, you can view the Kickstarter [here], there’s also a lengthy prologue chapter available to download on the Kickstarter page.

Can you tell us a little about the game?

InSomnia is an RPG with an atmospheric, dark & retro-futuristic style – it’s got a complex story, and a realistic, hardcore combat system. game with complex story, and realistic hardcore combat system.

Object 6
Object 6

You’ve said in the Kickstarters that Object 6, the setting, is an open world, in which you mean it’s various areas are freely traversable. Will we venture outside of the object?

You know too much :). Yes, the main story is going to happen onboard the semi-abandoned space metropolis. However, as you assumed, from time to time player will find himself wondering through continental landscapes. The circumstances, and the locations themselves, are kept top secret right now. Unless you want me to spoil the game?  

Aside from the various factions around the game world, you’ve also mentioned a virus which is capable of mutating people into twisted forms – how big a role does the Somnia virus play in the game?

The gameplay itself won’t be affected by the virus, but you can certainly die because of it :). However, the story of the game is tightly connected with this strange disease, there’s even a faction of mutated Deformants – some of them are intelligent, while others are feral. Some of them are going to be 100% aggressive, while others won’t mind to chat a bit. Player will have to face this disease, learn it’s nature, find a cure, or accept it and live with it… or even die. 

The Noma Republic & the SORG Regime were described as ancient rivals in a previous Kickstarter. In this interview I asked about the wrong faction.
The Noma Republic & the SORG Regime were described as ancient rivals in a previous Kickstarter. In this interview I asked about the wrong faction.

There’s been several mention of the Noma, as well as eventually discovering the reasons behind the great journey. Is there any chance we’ll be meeting the Noma in the core game when it launches?

Nomah is once a great civilisation that was forced to leave its own planet in search of a new home. So, basically the time of their civilisation has passed, and you’re playing as someone mingling with the descendants of them. Object 6 was built during the golden age of Nomah, so exploring the station will give you an opportunity to find many artifacts and find out the history of the world and forefathers (through equipment, weapons, books and other stuff). You will be able to find out what made them leave their home planet. So, no, you won’t be able to face the ancient Nomahs themselves, only the shadow of their existence.

I’ve seen a date on the Kickstarter for later this year, is there a targeted release date in mind?

If we cam solve all the existing problems related to funding then we are planning to have a finished game, ready for play, by the end of this year. It can hardly be called a release date as we will still have to deal with different aspects related to publishing the game on Steam and GoG. So, yes, as I mentioned before – the end of 2016 seems like a real time frame for us.

You’ve previously mentioned additional story chapters following the game’s launch – in the initial Kickstarter there was mention of around 20 extra free chapters, each 3-6 hours long, over a period of 4-5 years. In the current Kickstarter there’s rewards which include additional ‘Seasons’. Would you mind clarifying your post-launch story plans?

Even during that first Kickstarter we had a talk with the community about this, which made us realize that pushing out small portions of the game is not the way to go. So we decided to work on bigger chunks of the game and publish them less frequently. We have lots of stories to tell and things to show, but now we are simply focused on the main release. Addons, along with seasons, is something we will have to come back to in the future. Main content comes first.   

The detail and mood of the setting ebb and throb throughout every area of the game we've seen so far.
The detail and mood of the setting ebb and throb throughout every area of the game we’ve seen so far.

The game is looking a lot more stylish, embodying the retro-futuristic genre, on the new engine. Were there any other major benefits that have come from moving from Ogre, to Unreal?

I can’t even imagine at what stage of development we would be now if we had stayed with Ogre 3D. Now we have an almost finished gameplay and storyline thanks to the transfer to U4. It made it possible for us to concentrate on the development of the game itself as opposed to arranging the tools to do so. As you’ve mentioned already the graphics were dramatically improved with the help of U4 and it also saved us lots of time and resources.

The 400 years that Object-6 has been journeying through space have not been kind to it, and there’s clearly now several major factions battling over control of the station. Do the companions which can join #KZ0012 reflect the various factions and morals of the station?

In some ways potential companions are more occupied with their own problems, however there will still be some characters whose alliance to the player will be decided by the actions against, or for, certain factions. It’s more of exception, though. The choices the player will have to make are more of a moral nature, than of social one, and the character’s reflect that. Making one of the factions win is not a goal of the game (although conflicts between those are an important part of the plot), it’s the future of the whole station that is for player to determine.

With so many items, both crafting components, and loot, to be found throughout the game world – will there be player housing, and will it be customisable?

Player will have his own base, and regarding the items – mostly those are going to be resources for crafting of other items. We don’t currently plan to give the opportunity to customize your base, although this sounds like an interesting way to expand in the future :).

The game has been touted as massively co-operative, how many players can the game accommodate in one lobby, and does this affect the companion system?

Co-op content is optional and not mandatory. Now co-op is more like a set of additional hardcore scenarios for 3 players without any companions, but with the concept of PvP. Later we plan to publish a few updates dedicated to co-op only play.

A map of one of Object 6's many sectors.
A map of one of Object 6’s many sectors.

On top of a deep RPG system you’ve added crafting and survival elements. What have you done to ensure there is balance in regards to the hunger and thirst systems in the game – will we be able to hunt for food or will this simply be done through scavenging, and trading?

Survival is more like add on as well, as we are mostly focused on the deep RPG elements like bartering, scavenging. Sure, you will be able to turn dead creatures into food, but if the player will largely have control over the amount of time they invest into crafting and survival. Obviously if they do relax too much in that department then they face a lack of ammo, health, stamina etc.

Still there’s plenty of work we have to perform in terms of balancing the game, just as I mentioned in the pitch video for Kickstarter. Balancing and testing day after day, week after week. Hundreds of hours :)!

Will Marta be back for the launch of the game?

Maybe, maybe :). This manikin is a reference to “The Last Battle” movie by Luc Besson, and a certain nod to our melancholy caused by the lack of female characters in the current build of the game. We are almost there, though! So it’s quite possible Marta is going to be alive when the game is out :).

Thank you for your time, we look forward to seeing the finished game when it launches.
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