For Summer Game Fest 2022, one live-steam on June 9 celebrated an event’s 10th anniversary: Day of the Devs. Curated by Double Fine and iam8bit, Day of the Devs largely focuses on indie games, showcasing them to garner support for lower-cost productions still in development. This year, Day of the Devs showcased 16 games total, tonally and gameplay ranging from “cute management sims to viral train-horror game.” One game stood out as an interesting, modern take on classic, retro “labyrinth” games like Metroid or Castlevania: Animal Well.
Solo-developer for Shared Memory, Billy Basso, hosted a live-stream breaking down and explaining his new game that is still currently in development, Animal Well. As previously stated, Basso describes Animal Well as a “trippy” labyrinth game, designed to make players constantly inquire about items and abilities to solve puzzles they know and don’t know because the game is “filled with secrets.” Basso states that there are 3 levels of design to Animal Well: the first level is what the average player will complete to finish the game, the second is for what Basso describes as “100% completionists”, and the last level contains secrets that could take a community of players years to discover. In fact, Basso asserts that there is even a secret within the trailer, and for the first ten people to find it, they will receive free copies of the game. Hopefully, the first ten people that find the secret within the trailer have a PC or PS5 because the game is being developed for those respective platforms.
As for Animal Well‘s graphics, Basso proclaims that the retro, pixelated design is more complex than the games it draws inspiration from. Basso declares that the pixel art is not a means of “pandering for nostalgia”, but in fact, he views the pixel art as a unique “technical opportunity”. Since most television sets have 144 times the processing power for each pixel, it allows Basso to use that exceeding amount of processing power for revolutionary designs. According to Basso, Animal Well will have fluid sims and dynamic light effects, which haven’t “really been used in a pixel art game before.” The release date for Animal Well has yet to be determined, but people can decide to add the game to their wishlist today.