Meet the Makers: Lunar Software Answers Questions About Routine
I had the wonderful fortune to stumble upon Lunar Software recently, a budding game developer studio of only three people over in the United Kingdom. Artist and designer Aaron Foster was kind enough to answer some questions I had about their studio and their current game project, Routine.
Lunar Software consists of Aaron, Jemma Hughes, who is also an artist/designer, and Pete Dissler, their programmer. Aaron and Jemma met at university and found Pete afterward on Moddb.com; when they began successfully collaborating on projects, they all decided to get together and Lunar Software was born, roughly a year go according to Aaron. Now they share a flat and use their living room “as [their] own little office.”
The Brain Child
Their work in progress is Routine, a first-person survival horror game with a focus on exploration set on an abandoned moon base. The initiative is to discover what happened to everyone stationed on the base. Aaron says that they draw “mostly from 70s and 80s cinema [like] 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien (oh, be still my heart!), Andromeda Strain, and even Space 1999.” In the teaser trailer you'll notice a floppy disk and either be confused or nod back to the good ol' days when USB flash drives didn't exist—those floppies actually upgrade your weapons indirectly so learn to love them again!
Routine intends for you to be thoroughly immersed in the environment and atmosphere. It also includes randomized environmental hazards, AI locations, and useful aids. Another element they intend to implement will definitely increase the horror and realistic aspects, which is their “Perma Death” system—no health packs or extra lives, so the in-game coddling ends here.
From the trailer and the few screenshots available, the graphics are topnotch, detailed and smooth. Potential basically oozes from Routine and we can probably expect something special, especially from just three people.
Finally I asked if they had any words of wisdom for aspiring game developers and here's Aaron's reply:
“Don't be the 'ideas guy,' make sure you have a skill set and can contribute directly to the development process, then just get your hands dirty and make things! Also find a game dev community or a forum specific to the field you are interested in, then contribute and learn!”
So far there is no release date but Routine is definitely progressing well. Aaron admitted that it's difficult to gauge when progress will hit specific dates and “quality will always be our focus.” So we can expect some great updates with stunning content because they won't be publicly defining deadlines, which definitely takes some of the pressure off and means they can focus on cranking out the best game they can. I'll certainly be keeping up with these creatives to see where Routine leads.