Hauntii Interview – Moonloop Hopes To Work On Post-Launch Content Next

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Hauntii Has Launched To Very Positive Steam Reviews!

Story Highlight
  • Moonloop Studios has just made its gaming debut with Hauntii.
  • We recently spoke to the founder of this studio and discussed various elements of Hauntii, including its wonderful aesthetic and mysterious main character.
  • The game is now available across various platforms, and reception has been very positive so far.

Hauntii marks developer Moonloop Studios’ debut project on Steam. It promises to offer a thrilling journey through a beautiful world, its environments brought to life by an intricate hand-drawn aesthetic.

Ahead of this game’s release, we had the chance to discuss Hauntii’s gameplay, its inspirations, and more with Moonloop Studios founder Leo Dasso. During our email interview, we discussed various elements of this exciting adventure game.

Hauntii’s Beautiful Aesthetic Defines Its World
Hauntii’s art style is very captivating! What inspired the unique monochromatic and single-line aesthetic? Was it purely artistic, or did it serve a development purpose?

Leo Dasso: The style was one of a few that I tried, but it was chosen for this game because it fit the limited time I had to create art assets for Hauntii. There’s also a lot of 2D animation, and simple line weight with one color simplified the production of animations.

The game blends genres with its twin-stick shooter and puzzle elements. How did you come up with this unique combination, and how do you think it will keep players engaged?

Leo Dasso: I’ve always liked twin-stick shooters, and from the very beginning of the game, I wanted to make something that took the twin-stick mechanics and used them in unconventional ways.

The game was showcased at IndieLand 2022. What kind of feedback did you receive from the event, and did it influence the final product?

Leo Dasso: If I remember, we got a lot of good feedback from IndieLand 2022. Generally, I’ve been happy to see that when we showed the game publicly at these kinds of events, people found the game intriguing and easy to pick up and play.

It doesn’t influence the final product directly, but we do tend to see snags when people who know nothing about the game playtest, and that helps us even a few things out.

You gave players a chance to try the game during the Steam Next Fest. How did audiences react to the experience? Personally, the trailers alone have captured our interest.

Leo Dasso: We got a lot of really positive responses from Next Fest! A lot of players mentioned that the gameplay was deeper than they were expecting, which is great for me to hear. People often see the art style and assume it may be a more ‘walking simulator’ type of indie experience, but it’s not.

How long has the game been in development?

Leo Dasso: The project started in late 2018, but it was on the shelf for about 2 years, and then just a hobby thing until late 2022.

You’ve mentioned before that Super Mario Odyssey’s Cappy was a major inspiration for the haunting mechanic. Were there any other specific mechanics that were inspired by other games?

Leo Dasso: The way simple enemy behaviors in Geometry Wars come together to form complex, intricate challenges. I don’t think I’ve quite captured it here to the degree they did, but it was an inspiration for enemy behavior design.

Can you tell us more about the playable character? How does Hauntii fit into this mysterious rendition of the afterlife?

Leo Dasso: I actually don’t know all that much about the playable character other than the name “Hauntii”. You’ll have to play the game to get a bit more backstory. 🙂

The game’s animations look stellar in every way. How challenging was it to nail these finer details from idle character animations to the various attacks?

Leo Dasso: The animation you see in-game is a combination of 2D animation, effects, and 3D movement. Getting the 2D frame-by-frame animations to line up with 3D-space objects was challenging at times, but we have some tools to help out with that.

Our 2D animator, Lucie Juric, is a master of putting character and emotion into the movement of the characters, so I was very pleased when she took over the animations.

Hauntii offers locations like a carnival, the Tangled City, and a cafe. Were these inspired by real-world architecture and places?

Leo Dasso: Every game environment is in some way inspired by real-world locations. For the locations in Hauntii, we started with the story and then fleshed the environments out from there.

The game looks like a very polished and well-crafted indie project, so we’re not surprised it got picked up for Game Pass. How did the deal come about?

Leo Dasso: I don’t make the deals!

Would you say launching on Game Pass positively impacted the development? Are you willing to work with Microsoft on a future project after this experience?

Leo Dasso: I don’t think it changed the nature of the game. However, it does put a bit more pressure on the development schedule.

Do you see Hauntii receiving a sequel? Any plans for post-launch support with DLC?

Leo Dasso: There’s plenty more to the lore of Hauntii! If we’re able to, I’d like to bring some more post-launch content to players.

As a final question, do you have any particular hopes or aims for launch day?

Leo Dasso: I hope I’m able to sleep the night before.

Hauntii Makes Sparing Use of Colors To Set The Tone For Its Mysterious World

Hauntii has now been available on various platforms for several days. Critically, the game has been doing great on platforms like Steam, marking a success for everyone at Moonloop Games.

As the team considers its options for the future, we wish them all the best. We would also like to thank Moonloop Games founder Leo Dasso for conducting this interview.

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