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Developer Interview: Demimonde

Last month, indie developer Demimonde released their neon-infused, rhythmic platformer Octahedron. As you can see from our review, we found a lot to like about this innovative and unique title. I recently got the chance to do a brief Q&A with Marco Guardia, the designer of the game, to learn a little more about Octahedron and its development.

Ryan Hartmann: Congratulations on the release of Octahedron! Creating a platforming game where the music, visuals and even player inputs are synchronized seems like quite a feat. What were some of the challenges you faced in creating this game?

Marco Guardia: Despite all of the points you mentioned, the biggest challenge was always level design. It was such an important thing for me to get right, and it was just as important for me to introduce new ideas and mechanics up until the very end of the game.

While I did a lot of studying of 2D level design at the beginning of development, putting that into practice was another thing altogether. Also, as I wanted to have virtually no text or obvious tutorials in the game, the biggest challenge was introducing so many ideas without ever having to explicitly explain them. While the level design itself took up more than half the development time, creating the levels in a way so that players would intuitively discover and understand new concepts was by far the biggest challenge and required the most iteration.


Ryan: What was it like to work with Square Enix Collective? Were they active in the development at all, or more of a publishing partner?

Marco: It was essentially a publishing and marketing deal. We met when the game was already 80-90% done. It’s been an incredibly valuable and rewarding relationship. They’ve provided a ton of help with testing, console publishing, marketing etc.

Ryan: The soundtrack in this game, mostly composed by Irish artist Chipzel as I understand it, really is fantastic. Were all the songs original works for the game, and are there any plans to release a Collector’s Edition on PS4 similar to the one available on Steam?

Marco: To clarify, the biggest chunk of the soundtrack is by Andre Sobota. He contributed twelve tracks. Chipzel contributed four, Derek Howell three and I, myself, ten tracks. All of this music was made specifically for the game, but I’ve given all the artists permission to release the music on their own as well. There are also three licensed tracks, all of which were simply important for me to have in the game, for one reason or another.
There are no plans for a Collector’s Edition on PS4, but the soundtrack included in the Collector’s Edition on Steam is available as a standalone download from here. The other part of it, the prototype/alpha builds, only works on Windows and it would not be possible to make these available for consoles.
Ryan: There are some definite rewards in Octahedron for players who choose to master the mechanics and collect all the octahedrons in a given world, but are there any “easter eggs” or other surprises our readers should be on the lookout for?

Marco: The obvious in-game rewards are the medals for the various different types of completion of a level. Then there are the bonus levels and optional upgrades, as well as the unlockable modes after finishing the game. Apart from that there’s nothing that gives a “tangible” reward within the game itself, but there are some mysteries to be found still about the world, its lore and story.

It’s nothing that’s somehow super hidden away anywhere; it’s more about just putting the pieces together and paying close attention to some things. For example, as little text as there is in the game, all of it is there for a reason, and the events that unfold throughout, as well as the conclusion of the story, happen for a reason.

Ryan: What’s next for Demimonde? Can we expect any DLC for Octahedron, or are you already looking toward your next project?

The plan is, I’m going to continue to support Octahedron with updates. I don’t know about DLC; hard to say at this point, as we’ll have to look at how the game gets on. I am currently looking into ports to other platforms as well. I do have ideas for a future project, but I’m not quite ready to start on a new prototype yet.


Octahedron is available now on PlayStation 4 and Steam.

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