The creator of Vampire Survivors just wanted to play on the weekend

The 2D bullet hell game Vampire Survivors is one of the most exciting comics of the year, although the simple and almost nightly mobile game is popular. Its extremely minimalistic roguelike style captures players looking for something simple, yet always engrossing. Choose some of the words and move them around the screen as they attack. Enemies are released at the player level, changing weapons and gaining power, with the ultimate goal of keeping the ever -growing crowd of enemies at bay. When you die, you unlock new weapons and words by spending the money earned in battle.

While the game remains on Steam with a “popular rating” of about 70k reviews, the gameplay isn’t what solo developer Luca Galante had in mind when he first started working. .

The developer was born near Rome and, after growing up with traditional online platforms such as Ultima Online, always wanted to develop video games. He said he was interested in another aspect of the Ultima team: the continuity of things on earth. Even after a trip, the player can always go back and collect them. The Origin Software game was the first time Galante saw his passion for developing RPG knowledge, but he also said that he had spent many years creating graphics, weapons and ammunition as a prison master during D&D.

“I remember a tenant who walked over and laughed in my face during the interview.”

In the end, it was only natural for him to end a career as a game planner, but that was not something he had in his home country of Italy. So in 2010 he decided to move to London to find work in the sports industry. Unfortunately, it was very difficult. Galante left himself to design online slot machines, but in the process learned how to write code with Javascript and HTML5. It wasn’t until 2020 that he felt he had enough knowledge to try again for a project, but his attempts were carried out with reluctance and contempt. “I remember a tenant who walked over and laughed in my face during an interview,” he recalls. Times have been tough.

Planning a game that will play vampire hunters is his intention to extend the time during illness, while having something to play on the weekends. Galante said he didn’t plan on doing something that could compete with other players, he was just trying to hone his design skills. He wanted the game to be fun for himself, but nothing wasted time – something he could play for a quick season while working out on the gym at home. “I thought of planning the attack in a simple way, so that the player could think of doing something else,” he explains. But from the beginning, Galante has been committed to adding new features and graphics to Vampire Survivors, so that he can keep a small community coming back to play.

In order to get a good taste of the game, Galante analyzed some of his favorite games to see what they enjoyed. He told me about the Dynasty Warriors and Bayonetta, especially because of the way they communicate ideas to the player. But that’s not all, as anyone who has played Vampire Survivors at one time can attest to the addictiveness of the game. In designing that special kind of “one go” loop, Galante’s knowledge played with the gambling industry. “Playing a slot machine is about pressing a button and waiting to see if I have won something. So slots need to make this simple balance between pay and difficulty, so that you don’t have to worry about turning the player around or make it too easy, “he explains.” I was looking for a similar balance for Vampire Survivors. ”

The balance between simple actions and player engagement, Galante said is one title he thinks is a great motivator. “I read a lot of reviews of the game,” he said. “But no one said one title, which to me, is a good motivator for the game: Pac-man.”

As with the Namco arcade title, at the start of the run of Survivors, the player must abandon enemies, and survive while capturing them. Then, after collecting a power-up, it’s time to go out and destroy as many enemies. When the power is gone, the player returns to the movement and most of the time stays in the bad guys. Galante said of his idea of ​​developing a game that could be used as a palate cleaner, “I’ve seen Twitch streams playing to communicate with their viewers, that’s my first experience. no Vampire Survivors! “.

Hell of a bullet in a Vampire Survivors movie.

While Vampire Survivors feels like a game made by the hard -hitting Castlevania game, Galante really is, Igarashi’s inspiring character ended up in the final game in tragedy. Galante used a bunch of simple 8-bit assets that he bought years ago, “I’ve actually used them a few times before in prototypes that don’t see the light of day. ” They became an obvious choice for him to use when he first started designing the game, but now they consider it an important part of the overall design of Vampire Survivors. So while Galante has often thought over the past few months about a new look, this time he hasn’t mustered the courage to improve. “I like the game that doesn’t use the free tileset from RPG Maker and, on the whole, looks graphics and solid, but without any major enhancements,” he says.

Vampire Survivors is a movie trailer.

The Italian names of many of the Vampire creatures may not be of much interest to foreign players, but they are very linguistic. According to Galante, smaller than the fans, the young smiles he plans to unveil as the game nears a public release. For example, the noun “Mortaccio” is a minor variation of “mortacci”, a slang word often used in Rome to describe excitement and resentment, although it can be translated as a direct insult to the ancestors. When the game started, he was too late to go back and change the names to make them more important, so Galante decided to just roll with them. “I think the family of vampire hunters are Belmont’s distant families from a small country in Italy …” he laughs.

Although the game made its debut on Android in May 2021, that power was very slow and very few people played it. Galante soon left him, moving on to PC development. The developer recalls posting movies on the Google Play Store, even though he didn’t believe the game would be very popular, saying “I’m not looking for a game that I can find. money, of course, I’m more interested in what the players think.Galante took the game to Itch a few months after it crashed on Android, and then, on Steam. the game was first seen – until January 2022, when the streamer Splattercat started playing.Since then, the game has grown in popularity.

A photograph of Vampire Survivors shows the player standing on a field surrounded by hundreds of people.

This close -up on the night of Vampire Survivors completely changed Galante’s plans and life. In December of 2021, he got a job in the sports industry, which – after the game’s popularity – ended in immediate retirement. Since then, he has worked full -time at Survivors to add new features and solve balance problems. The game, meanwhile, enrolls a large number of players; Galante said it has about 200k users per day. The developer also said that, at the time of the interview, the game is at about 65% full, but there are some new features coming that will greatly affect how players approach the game. The first to be let in. a couple of weeks. Traditionally, he has always wanted to develop a powerful Nintendo Switch, in comparison to the Steam Deck.

How about Galante’s plans for his upcoming post-Survivors? “Well, while this game has really changed my life, I think the first thing I want to do is create my own studio and start hiring developers to create new titles. ” His plans went slowly, although for the time being he was busy working to get a full -fledged Vampire Survivors power that he was able to leave the first entry. He also said he had some interesting ideas, but he said “since I’m not a professional, I have to be very careful about what I’m doing!” Today, however, Galante is much admired for what he has done and he never fails to admire the players and fans. His game may have been a win at night, of course, but Galante’s main goal is not to let his players down, to give them an entertaining, solid, and even ignorant experience, the Vampire life experience.

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