Old School Gamer Magazine chats with Jason Yeung, who discusses his new game, Neon Abyss, which is now on Steam Early Access.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How was this game born?
Jason Yeung: Roguelike games have been in the form of designs similar to Diablo for years. The procedurally generated map, randomly dropped props and constantly superimposed damage. There are very few roguelike games that use synergy as the core game mechanic. So because of that, we designed this game.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How did you get involved in the industry?
Yeung: I love to play games, but the Chinese game industry has been relatively slow. So I decided to make a game company myself to change this situation.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What was development like?
Yeung: Developing a game is like cooking. Put all kinds of ingredients in the pot, stir fry, and serve.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What makes this game special?
Yeung: The most special thing about this game is evolving dungeon and synergy mechanics.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What games influenced this one the most?
Yeung: The Binding of Isaac.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Any fun stories or wild moments during development?
Yeung: Honestly, the most interesting thing might be when we had to redo our art resources. Of course, I am joking. Developing games is not an easy and fun thing to do. We face enormous challenges and pressures. The only thing that made us happy was that when we released the demo version, we received a lot of feedback and praise from the players.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What were the major lessons learned?
Yeung: Don’t spend a lot of time making art materials before the game mechanics is finalized.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?
Yeung: Very important. Because if the player likes a game, then he will definitely bring two emotions into the game. Familiarity and the unexpected.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How do you want this game to be remembered?
Yeung: I think the features in our game are enough to be remembered.
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the author of the book, “The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Video Game Developers,” from McFarland And Company. Featuring interviews with the creators of 36 popular video games–including Deus Ex, NHLPA 93, Night Trap, Mortal Kombat, Wasteland and NBA Jam–the book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of the most influential and iconic (and sometimes forgotten) games of all time. Recounting endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega-publishers and the uncertainties of public reception, the interviewees reveal the creative processes that produced some of gaming’s classic titles.