Acid Wizard Studios : An Interview

If you have been keeping an eye on greenlight at all, you would have seen Darkwood sitting pretty lately. Its an incredibly atmospheric top down survival horror game from a really awesome group of guys! Check out my questions to them and Gustaw answers. 

 Q1. What is your favorite feature that you are implementing in Darkwood?

I think we’re most proud of the atmosphere we managed to achieve. We’re not actually die-hard horror fans and gameplay is the most important factor for us and when designing Darkwood. We originally thought that when taking the top-down approach, we will be able to get a slightly eerie atmosphere.. But the outcome is that the game is sometimes really creepy and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

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Q2. It is noticeably harder to create an immersive world with a top down view. What are you doing to try to achieve, and from what I have heard, successfully achieve, an immersive gameplay experience and world?

We thought that it will be much harder to immerse the player from this kind of perspective, but as a matter of fact we didn’t have any problems with it – the elements kind of nicely connected together and we’re quite happy with the “final” result (there the game is still early in development). I think the most important factor which helps us immerse the player is forcing him to use his imagination and making Darkwood a personal experience. With the top-down perspective and a pixelized art style it’s hard to describe what you actually see on screen. Combine that with a really twisted story and world, and so a lot of people have their own opinion on what they actually experience.

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Q3. What is the hardest roadblock you have run into, during the development process?

Organizing time. We have been developing Darkwood in our spare time, doing contract work to pay the bills. So sometimes it would mean that one member of the team would have to focus all his attention on some other project for a few weeks and since each of us has his own “department” in Darkwood‘s  production.. It can get pretty disruptive. But thanks to our successful Indiegogo campaign we can move into a flat together and work full time without having to communicate online (which is also not very productive) and focus 100% on Darkwood.

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Q4. How does a developer add stretch goals to their funding campaigns? What work is done to find out what you would need to achieve each goal?

It depends on the kind of stretch goals you would want to add. We don’t believe in building the game’s mechanics which would be dependant on how much funds you gather.. So our stretch goals were additional features like a free DLC for all backers, new game mode, multiplayer etc.

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Q5. Has crowd funding effected the way you develop? Do you feel more of an obligation to your community, since they are making this possible?

Well yeah, totally! Thanks to crowdfunding we can really kick off the development process and not be distracted by other stuff. And yeah, we feel that we really need to make Darkwood as good as we can to thank everyone who contributed to it’s cause!

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Q6. How deep is world and event generation? Is it more set piece generation, or full world randomization?

We’re still looking for a balance between randomness and hand-made locations. A more procedural world means more replay value, but also less control which could mean bugs, lack of balance and ugly locations. We will just have to test out how frequently locations get discovered and the player dies so he doesn’t feel like walking into the same place again and again.

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Q7. What is the best thing about being an indie studio, as opposed to a massive outfit?

We never worked in a big game dev company, so we can’t say much about that, but from our experience with working with bigger companies, we REALLY enjoy the creative freedom we have right now and it’s very satisfying when something you worked on with passion is appreciated by so many people. The workflow is also very productive and creative, thanks to working in a atmosphere of friendship and trust.
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I just wanted to that thank Gustaw over at Acid Wizard for answering all the questions. Good luck on the game guys! Make sure to check out their continued work on Darkwood over at

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