Prey's "Mooncrash" add-on is almost unique in that it provides a AAA take on the roguelike, a genre that, despite its popularity, is almost entirely made up of indie titles. Well, in the free Rogue Moon update for the add-on, developer Arkane is celebrating some of those great roguelikes with some Operator skins based on Spelunky, Rogue Legacy, Risk of Rain, Darkest Dungeon, Don't Starve and last but certainly not least, recent gem Dead Cells.
Not content to just acknowledge them in game — a rarity for AAA games in and of itself — some of the folks at Arkane took some time to say what exactly those games mean to them, as well as how some of them influenced "Mooncrash".
SPELUNKY“Spelunky is an incredibly hard game and super fun to play co-op. I’m pretty terrible at it, however, which is why I usually end up seeing the Ghost – a great pressuring mechanic to keep players moving forward. This, and similar ideas, like Risk of Rain’s escalating threat meter, were inspirations for the controversial ‘Corruption Meter’ in Mooncrash – though we decided to give the player a way to manage the increasing threat levels in the form of Delay_Loops, items you can scavenge or purchase which put more time on the clock. Essential for players who appreciate the more exploration-driven aspects of Prey.” – Ricardo Bare, Creative Director
ROGUE LEGACY“It was interesting looking at the nested game loops of Rogue Legacy when considering the design of Mooncrash. Rogue Legacy's meta-progression works as this sort of negative feedback loop that pushes you up a hill. As your skill levels increase they're augmented by not only numerical increases, but this broader range of tools you can learn and master. This was definitely inspiration for how we wanted to reward and engage players across multiple visits to the moon base simulation.” – Rich Wilson, Lead Level Designer
DARKEST DUNGEON“I freaking love Darkest Dungeon. It’s kind of become the only thing I play recently. I’d always heard Darkest Dungeon was pretty hard, so I went in prepared to lose a bunch of my adventurers. But in-game week after in-game week passed and my adventurers kept coming back, a little worse for the wear but still alive and sane. I started getting attached to them, making up little backstories about them based on their quirks. And finally, the time came for me to enter the Darkest Dungeon. Let’s just say I quickly learned why people told me not to get too attached to my adventurers.” – Ricky Llamas, Systems Designer
“Darkest Dungeon was my first real introduction to roguelike games, because I always assumed I’d get frustrated by them. Glancing at my Steam library, the 100+ hours of playtime showing for Darkest Dungeon says I was very wrong.” – Susan Kath, Executive Producer
“Darkest Dungeon’s sexy yet gritty aesthetics underscored an experience that made me feel heroic yet vulnerable at the same time. Things could change for the worse in an instant… or the better. The game is simply beautiful. Certainly makes my list of all-time best.” – Anthony Huso, Level Designer
RISK OF RAIN“Our lead level designer, Rich Wilson, gifted me a copy Risk of Rain after we were talking about cool and different games during the development of Prey. It quickly became one of my favorite games. The art is cool and weird (in the best way possible) and the music is so good. But for me the best part was the timer that constantly made the game more and more difficult over time, forcing you to weigh chasing that next upgrade or moving on to the next zone. Forty-plus hours later, I’ve since gifted several copies of the game to other friends!” – Eric Beyl, Art Outsource Manager
DEAD CELLS“My Steam account is a wasteland of roguelikes that accumulated as I searched for a game like Dead Cells. It dodges the common design pitfalls — OD’ing on procedural systems, abandoning style for function — and achieves a brilliantly handcrafted experience with all the replayability and surprise a great roguelike can deliver.” -Ben Horne, Producer
DON'T STARVE“Don’t Starve offered such a brilliant sense of discovery and mystery. Finding new biomes, coming across rare and useful resources, experimenting with recipes, learning tricks that allowed you to survive an encounter that had previously led to your untimely demise (not today, tentacle!), all of this kept me playing death after death after death. The fact that I came back armed with knowledge was compelling. Every time I woke up I was ready to push further than I did before.” – Albert Meranda, Level Designer
“I’ve played a lot of Don’t Starve (specifically “Don’t Starve Together”). I played for hours. I think I vaguely started to understand it once(?)... then I went mad. I think my group was doing well… once?... We weren’t sure. But we were laughing and having a blast and I was a werebeaver holding a whirly fan, so all was good.” – Christian Baekkelund, AI/System DesignerThis free tribute is available in Prey's "Mooncrash" add-on now.
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