Will survivors of vampires ever have a real vampire? We asked the Creator

The success of the 2022 roguelike shoot-em-up Vampire Survivors took everyone by surprise, but no one more than its creator, Luca ‘poncle’ Galante.

Galante began development on Vampire Survivors while unemployed in 2020, drawing inspiration from the Magic Survival mobile game and Galante’s past experience developing flashy graphics for slots. He never wanted Vampire Survivors to become big – he just wanted to do something fun and run a small community around him.

Vampire Survivors launched in early access in December 2021. Now, almost exactly one year later, it has seen a huge simultaneous takeover of Steam playersa full version, DLC, a mobile version which brought him over a million downloads in one week, critical praiseand a Game Awards nomination for Best Debut Indie Game.

Galante has previously been interviewed about the unexpected success of Vampire Survivors at launch, and months later told IGN that its continued success is “just as unexpected throughout these months as it was when it started.” His sales allowed him to start a business and hire others to help him work on Vampire Survivors as well as other potential future projects. And together, they achieved his personal goals for Vampire Survivors much faster than he originally planned, including bringing it to more platforms and adding more content. In fact, version 1.0 – launched in October – contains more than double the content originally planned by Galante.

Award nominations and victory are the most recent of Galante’s successes. He’s delighted, of course, if he seems a little puzzled that his project has ended up on the same stage as games like Elden Ring and God of War.

“It was just amazing to be nominated for The Game Adverts [sic] alongside all other appropriate developers. Over the past year, every time I’ve thought we’ve peaked in absurdity, there’s been something new to top off the previous one.

“While for me it’s very hard to believe that [Vampire Survivors] deserves all this attention, I’m glad it gets it mainly because it shows that literally anyone can do it, and so hopefully it will encourage more indie developers to keep pushing their projects. I don’t say this ‘heartily’, I say this out of selfishness: I want to see more and more Celestes, Undertales, Powerwash Simulators, Wandersongs and Short Hikes get the spotlight they deserve!”

I want to see more Celestes, Undertales, Powerwash Simulators, Wandersongs and Short Hikes get the spotlight they deserve.

But amidst all this success, Galante is still unable to explain exactly Why people love Vampire Survivors as much as they do.

“I have no idea, which makes it really scary!” he says. “Since launch I’ve tried not to look at the numbers or what’s happening online specifically so I don’t get too excited, I’ve kept my head down and continued to work on the game and on company, focusing almost entirely on player feedback on Discord and the Steam forums. The one thing that I’m sure has made a difference is our community managers who have done and are doing a job amazing for keeping communications open with players!”

He later adds that he thinks the growing audience playing on the Steam Deck has contributed to the success of Vampire Survivors – though that’s far from the only factor – due to its “pick and play” nature… and it doesn’t hurt that it fits Steam’s Aspect Ratio deck perfectly.

Vampire Survivors just received their first paid DLC, Legacy of the Moonspell, adding thirteen new weapons, eight characters, and a new stage. Galante says that while he didn’t initially plan any DLC, the early access success of Vampire Survivors made him want to give something back to gamers. His idea for the DLC then arose from his memories of playing Final Fantasy Tactics and Valkyrie Profile years ago and wanting to pay a small amount of money for more stages or characters, perhaps getting a demo disc with a magazine subscription.

“So as a gamer, I’m absolutely into the idea of ​​being able to continue to get content for the games that I love, but very often these days I feel like DLC is designed around monetization rather than good player service,” he said. said. “Having a negative preconceived idea of ​​DLCs, I was very hesitant to try to make one, but I also couldn’t keep adding things to [Vampire Survivors] to have fun while there is a business to think about. And so, here is the DLC! My biggest hope is that we’ve managed to make this a fair deal for players and that they’ll like it, that’s something I as a player would be happy to see in stores.

I spoke with Galante right after Vampire Survivors released on Xbox and mobile, so I was understandably curious to hear more about other platforms, like Switch (which he’s already said might be in preparation) and PlayStation. However, he was coy about whether or not we’ll see either of these releases in the future.

“We always think ahead and usually go where the flow takes us, the beauty of being independent is that we can do just about anything as long as everyone on the team is on board,” he said. “Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to speak specifically about other platforms because our marketing team might tell me…actually who cares about them, let me tell you that one day I hope get started on Vita!”

Galante was also coy about plans for future games – right now the focus is entirely on Vampire Survivors which, despite the name and updates and DLC, still doesn’t include a single vampire yet.

Will it ever be?

“Our marketing team said we couldn’t answer that, but who cares about them…” Galante said, later adding that he liked the game’s marketing team. legal said the same thing; also, what is a vampire?

Rebekah Valentine is a reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.

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