Paradise Lost: First Contact is an upcoming platformer in the style of Metroid and Castlevania. It features an alien plant that has been captured by an intelligence agency. The player takes control of this plant as they attempt to escape from a secret facility and discover why it was imprisoned in the first place. A specific release date has yet to be given, but the game will be arriving on PC and other platforms when it’s ready.
Developer Enol Martinez kindly agreed to answer some questions about Paradise Lost in an interview. In it, he discusses inspirations for the game, what players can expect to come across when they play it and why they have made a game about an alien plant.
Firstly, why did you choose to make a game about an intelligent alien plant?
When we were deciding what would be the aesthetic and mechanics that we wanted to make (with the metroidvania / stealth genres in mind) Sigrid, our writer, suddenly said “we could make a game where you take the role of an alien escaping from a facility… something different… like a plant” and we loved that bizarre concept. Then we started to work on it and began to give shape to this concept.
You had a lot of success with the project on Kickstarter, far surpassing your initial funding goal. Did you find it a difficult process?
Yeah! We worked hard on the campaign, making an intriguing trailer and giving attention to every aspect and design of the page. The response of the community was far better than we expected, with lot of people supporting us in multiple sites like YouTube or Steam. A lot of videogame editors helped us spreading the word in their pages too… it was amazing.
How important is the wide variety of abilities to the overall experience of the game?
It’s a key factor of the gameplay. We studied a lot of things from the nature, looking for real self-defence abilities of plants that suits with the game mechanics and inspires us to make original stuff. I think that players will have fun using them and finding the best way of take advantage of its different peculiarities.
Have you made Paradise Lost in such a way that it each player can use their own individual skills to play in a way that suits them?
That is one of the basic ideas of the game scheme. The different skills allow players to develop their own strategies to face different situations.
For example you could prefer to take on a more stealthy way of play, using abilities like camouflage and decoys to distract enemies, or be aggressive and face them with gas bombs and control spines.
You can also avoid the use of skills and sneak through the stages, using the environment to go unnoticed.
You’ve also talked about the role-playing elements that are present in the game. How deep are they and how much can the player use them to change the overall gameplay?
The RPG component of the game will be related to a skill tree where you can evolve every family of abilities, adapting to your personal way of play.
Obviously, Paradise Lost instantly takes you back to older games like Metroid and Metal Gear but are there more modern games that have inspired you or influenced development?
Oddworld is another favourite saga of the studio. In Abe’s Oddysee/Exodus you can interact with a lot of things of the scenario and also do a wide variety of things. That was a great influence of the game too, but more free-platform focused.
As the story unfolds, will players be able to find out more about Subject W and the laboratory?
Of course they will. We are making an intriguing story, full of surprises and secrets (and I can’t tell you more about this!)
Although you didn’t reach all of your stretch goals with Kickstarter is there any chance we could still see some of them make their way into the game, such as the secret chapters being added via DLC?
We can’t assure any more content for the game right now… We are very focused in the main adventure and reached the necessary funds to develop a secret chapter showing what happened before Subject W was kidnapped.
Will there be any hidden extras scattered in Paradise Lost as rewards for those who go exploring?
It won’t be a Metroidvania if not.
How much of a challenge are you expecting the game to be to complete?
We are striving to make the game very difficult to the players. Some of them are sick of those experiences that take you by the hand all the time and don’t represent a real challenge.
Hopefully we’ll make them happy.
Did you always have the art style in mind when first designing the game, or did it evolve as development progressed?
I worked as animator for many years and hadn’t made pixel art since I was very young, so I wanted to prove my own skills trying to make fluid and realistic animations with pixels. Besides that, Paradise Lost takes references from the science fiction movies of the 80’s so we loved how that look fitted with the story, enhancing that retro feeling.
Do you still hope to have the game releasing at the end of the year?
You’re giving me a hard one… hahaha. We are suffering to make it on date but we remade practically all the animations of the game (that was one of our stretch goals) and it took a huge amount of hours… so time will tell. Anyway, our top priority is to polish the game in every aspect, giving the best experience that we can make.
For more information on Paradise Lost: First Contact, visit the Kickstarter page.