Wandersong is a deeply spectacular recreation. Usually once we discuss spectacular video games its due to their draw distance, element of their fashions, or different technical wizardry. Wandersong is spectacular due to how dogmatically it pushes positivity and tries to make you are feeling good. We reached out to Greg Lobanov, the designer of Wandersong to speak extra about how 2018’s cheeriest recreation got here to be.
Let’s begin this off proper: Who are you and what’s Wandersong?
I’m Greg Lobanov, an indie recreation designer… I make colourful foolish video games in Game Maker. I’ve made tons in a wide range of genres however I preserve coming again to adventures and storytelling. Wandersong is my most formidable recreation thus far, a musical journey the place you play as a bard and use singing to assist folks.
Wandersong is a recreation the place you sing at your issues, and usually make the world a greater place by means of non-violent means. Why did you need to make a peaceable recreation?
I’ve been on a private journey to be a extra compassionate, empathetic individual and I wished to discover that in my work. Taking a step again, I believe it is actually essential for us as creators to discover these prospects, as a result of we reinforce actually ugly concepts in regards to the world once we inform tales the place solely the strongest folks get what they need ultimately. That’s not the society we dwell in as we speak.
Plus, to be sincere, I discovered it a extremely fascinating problem. It’s so pure to resolve recreation design and storytelling issues with violence… after I blocked myself from that choice, I saved discovering fascinating new methods to go. That friction grew to become very a lot part of the story of the sport.
You launched a Kickstarter marketing campaign to fund the sport again in 2016. How has the sport modified since then?
At its coronary heart, not very a lot. I adopted by means of on the tone, message, feeling and primary plot construction that I had in thoughts after I launched the Kickstarter. But between then and now there have been an uncountable variety of tiny particulars I had to determine and resolve on the way in which. Back in 2016 I’d simply have a observe in my pocket book like “The bard climbs a mountain,” which become an hour’s value of gameplay right here in 2018.
You’ve additionally been fairly open about your improvement cycle. What’s it been like letting the world see your course of?
When I used to be youthful, I obtained a LOT out of seeing others’ course of and studying about how folks made video games. This is a humorous recreation to namedrop in a Wandersong interview, however God of War in  got here with a “making of” documentary that I fondly bear in mind for getting me excited to make video video games. So I see it as an essential duty to provide again, and move my data down and encourage extra folks to get inventive and make issues. I hope that being open about my course of helps that.
You’ve made a number of video games earlier than Wandersong, what did you deliver to the event course of from these previous tasks?
All of that have contributes in tiny little methods, even when the video games are wholly completely different. From a technical perspective, I used to be ready to determine loads of sophisticated methods and stuff in Wandersong comparatively shortly due to all my constructed up data from previous work. But I believe most significantly, my design expertise has lent me a extremely strong understanding of how video games make us really feel, and easy methods to management the sensation of my video games. I believe that may be felt in Wandersong, which shape-shifts between completely different constructions and genres and kinds within the objective of making a extremely particular emotional arc.
Finally, what would you like gamers to take from Wandersong?
My minimal objective is to make somebody’s day higher. My formidable hope is that we’ll enact constructive change in folks’s lives, give them inside energy and instruments to higher perceive themselves and dwell a happier life. I’m actually completely happy to say that it seems like we completed this already, primarily based on a few of the very emotional and grateful reactions we have gotten from gamers 🙂
This interview has been edited for readability.