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Environment is the main focus in the Quarterly Update for ‘Diablo IV.

Environment is the main focus in the Quarterly Update for ‘Diablo IV.

Environment the Focus in New 'Diablo IV' Quarterly Dev Update

Lone SurvivorThis weekend marked ten years since, the 2D psychological horror game by Jasper Byrne turned ten. Byrne gave us the opportunity to interview him for part one of a two-part interview series in celebration of the anniversary. Part 1: We discussed the origins of the original and the challenges that it faced. Lone Survivor.In part two, we will look at his plans for Super Lone Survivor as well as the new side story Lone Warrior.

Lone SurvivorThe narrative is so focused on a deadly pandemic that has taken on a new meaning as the world has been suffering from the effects of Covid-19 for two years. Byrne claims that the pandemic played an important role in his decision not to work. Super Lone Survivor, an update to the original game.

I had been working for eight and a quarter years on a game when the pandemic hit. It was almost impossible to take anymore. I felt stressed by the pandemic knowing that I would be stuck indoors with nothing to see but this game. I was like, I need something else. I started working on this racing game, which I am now using as a promo to an album that I’m about release. It is a racing game in space called Galaxy Racer. I wanted to do something positive and cheery that would help people in the midst of the pandemic. My optimism waned as the pandemic progressed. I began to believe that Lone Survivor might have some words of wisdom.

Another factor that was important in the decision to remake it was its Flash-based origins. Byrne believed porting it to a modern engine would be a great way to work on a project that he could finish quickly and create a version that could be enjoyed by a new audience.

I decided to go through the Lone Survivor stuff and see if there is a way to remaster it. It’s coming up on its tenth anniversary. It won’t last long, so it’s time to update.

Byrne did not want to do a straight remake. He had many ideas that he didn’t want to lose during the production of the original in order for it to be completed in a timely fashion. Super Lone SurvivorHe has the opportunity to add some of that back in but he wants it to be in a way that doesn’t disrupt the original.

With all the new stuff, I thought about how I could adopt new things along the way. It wouldn’t just be one area that feels extra. I wanted it to be integrated all the way and make it optional. All the content I’ve added was original. I just picked out things that I didn’t have the time or had to cut. I am not trying to add any exposition, backstory or lore that will change the canon or explain to much. But, I do want to enrich the emotions that were there. How can I reinforce the themes that are already there?

He tried to change the visual style of the game early on but quickly realized that it was an integral part.

To get an idea of how it would look, I started by drawing the guy in double the resolution. It’s not what Lone Survivor stands for, it’s a specific look. The pixels are so large they make a mosaic. I love that you can’t tell the exact location of certain objects. It allows for creativity. I love to hide things and allow you to fill in the gaps.

At first, Byrne wanted to include a new scenario in the Super Lone Survivorpackage, but quickly it became evident that this new story was now called Lone WarriorIt would need to be its very own thing.

What actually happened was that I was going to create a new scenario over the original game. It was similar to Silent Hill 2’s Born from a Wish scenario. Lone Warrior was born from the realization that the new scenario was becoming too much. It won’t be as big as Super Lone Survivor, but it will be a quick and intense game. It is something I am very excited about. Very different from Lone Survivor. More thrilling, let’s say. It is related, but not the same protagonist.

Lone SurvivorIt is prophetic in some aspects, with its views on the importance of self-care during a deadly pandemic. Lone WarriorCovid-19 was the era in which it was born. Its tone and content are directly influenced.

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It is an action horror, not a survival horror. I wanted it to be fun and visceral, so that it could be used as a form of catharsis during the pandemic. Lone Warrior is a more specific story about the pandemic, as it was coming at its peak.

While the world has changed a lot since Lone Survivor’s release ten years ago, Byrne still finds inspiration in classic games. Lone Warrior.

Super Metroid was my first SNES game. It blew me away. I had not been this hooked on a game since Souls 2. It was the fluidity and flow of the game, it felt like it was moving. Lone Survivor is a clunky game. The guys are not meant to be able handle a gun. Lone Warrior’s character is very different so I wanted to take a look at the action games that are located on a 2D plane.

What’s next for Byrne once he’s finished with his work on the new? Lone Survivor games? He’s looking to get back to that secret project he’s been working on for eighteen years.

I was determined not to promote. I’m running a 10-year alternative reality game, which you can find out if it’s there. When Lone Warrior is closer, I will announce this game. Although I have not publicly stated that I was working on it yet, I like to give hints that I am. This is because I want to attract a following to it. I play a role in the game. Marketing is part of the story I’m trying to tell. I’ve owned a website that I own for 10 years. It only contains one image, but that is part of the marketing.

Byrne is excited to get back to that project and hopes that people will start to pick up the breadcrumbs he’s been laying to build excitement for his next project.

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