Mist Survival is a unique survival game released on Steam for a modest price tag of $10.99, created by a one-man army. I first connected with creator Rati Wattanakorprasit for The Indie Gamer Magazine to show off his development, only now has he had the time and opportunity to talk directly to me about his title. Hear directly from the creator themselves in this one on one interview.
Q.) What were your inspirations behind creating "Mist Survival"?
A.) I like to play survival games. Most of them are the kind with serious survival aspects and difficult obstacles. For me, the game has to be hard and realistic. My favorite FPS survival game is "The Long dark". I’m also a fan of zombie movies and games that are about the end of the world, so the idea of Mist Survival came from those inspirations.
I wanted the game to be scary, so I initially explored gimmicks like sandstorms or eclipses. But, I’m a really big fan of the movie "The Mist", so I found the idea of a mysterious and deadly mist to be a good element to focus on in my game.
Q.) What were the biggest hurdles as a one-man development team, and how did you overcome them?
A.) I would say the lack of passion or the inability to focus and work on a consistent basis. I do everything myself, which is quite tiring and makes development take more time than usual. I have to test the game myself, play it myself, design the UI myself, etc. Everything takes a lot of time and I end up working no less than 12 hours a day. I’m a gamer, too, so I’m also always wanting to play new games that are coming out. For example, when "Monster Hunter World" came out, all my friends were playing it. But, I was too busy working on the game to play alongside them. I end up having very little free time and it’s one of the biggest challenges I have to endure and overcome to achieve my goals with the game.
In my opinion, passion is very important. You need it in order to make any task successful. I honestly never thought I would create a game by myself. Over the course of 7 years I’ tried to put together a team to create it, but failed many times. And, each failure usually boiled down to a single cause – team members don’t have the passion to keep working. If even one person became lazy, or didn’t work hard every day, or gave up halfway through, the entire team failed. So, after numerous attempts at this kind of system, I decided I would try to do it by myself.
It’s a mix of both boring and exciting periods. If you love what you’re doing, you’ll find a way to get through any challenge. Therefore, passion is very important to developing a game like "Mist Survival", in my opinion. I got to where I am because of passion.
Q.) What does it mean to you to be an independent developer?
A.) For me, I think it’s the idea of being able to think and do things freely, while not being controlled by the idea of, say, an employer, or anything else that can block your imagination. It’s the creation of art in the form of a game. It shows your identity to the player who consumes it and you want them to feel a common bond with the developer. Whether they like the game or not, that’s another matter.
Q.) Are the plans for co-op/online modes for friends to play together?
A.) I’ve tossed around those ideas before, but first I want to focus on releasing the full game. Maybe down the road, we could see those kinds of modes available as free DLC, but for now, I’m just making sure I work on the game and get it final. The game, though, really wasn’t designed for multiplayer or co-op, so to integrate that kind of gameplay the core game itself would have to be completely dismantled and rebuilt. That would take a tremendous amount of time.
Q.) "Mist Survival" features an in-depth crafting system, can you take us through the development and how you implemented all the recipes?
A.) Actually, the system isn’t too complicated. The format is pretty similar to other games out there. Items and resources have different tiers with some that are easy to acquire and some that are harder to find. You’ll see this effect in more detail once I released the “big city” environment, which I’m working on for a future update. More valuable and useful items are higher tier, and thus harder to acquire. An example is a cartridge, which you need to house ammunition for firearms. But, the cartridge isn’t complete when you find it, so you have to find other items in order to create bullets to use with it. Crafting time, too, which were based on reality. So if you want to build something large or complicated, like a house, it’s going to take quite a bit of time. All in all, though, these kinds of systems aren’t too complicated.
Q.) What are some of your future plans you can share with us?
A.) Normally, I build my roadmaps for the next upcoming 6 months. But, I do also put together longer-term plans from now all the way out until 2021, focused on things like systems and content, as well as story features and elements. Beyond that, I would just say check out my update posts now and then on Steam to see what I have in the works.
Q.) "Mist Survival" presents a unique and new challenge to the survival genre, what does this mean to you and why was it important for you to add?
A.) As I said above, I like games that are fairly difficult and realistic. That’s the core of what I want to convey to players when they play the game. I really like conveying the idea that while a player may have useful and helpful equipment, they’re after all still human, and are fragile and can be easily hurt and die. It’s a delicate balancing act, one that I thought "The Long Dark" did really well.
The difficulty is very important. I want the game to be a challenge that is unique for survival games. As it relates to "Mist Survival", I want players to feel the pressure and the difficulty as if they were really in the situation they find themselves in while they play the game.
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