One Last Breath Interview – Moonatic Studios Planning Game Pass Launch

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We went over Moonatic Studios' One Last Breath in our latest interview, discussing the balanced themes of the story, the team's future ambitions, and more.

Story Highlight
  • One Last Breath is the first release from indie developer Moonatic Studios.
  • The game has been out for nearly two months, and first impressions have been quite positive.
  • We interviewed the team after this release and shed light upon the decision to use minimal UI elements, games that inspired One Last Breath, and more.

One Last Breath presents a stunning post-apocalyptic narrative of decay and hope. The protagonist, Gaia, symbolizes Earth’s remaining life, allowing players to learn more about the world as they explore the planet’s remains.

Moonatic Studios utilizes environmental storytelling and puzzle-solving to draw players in, with the former uplifted by an incredible art style. These elements ensure a memorable journey from start to finish.

Having made its debut recently, One Last Breath is now available on Steam. Following the launch, we had the opportunity to discuss the game with Moonatic Studios, diving into the feedback from players, the pros of relying on Unreal Engine 5, and more.

One Last Breath
One Last Breath’s Environments Have Their Own Stories To Tell
Congratulations on the launch. One Last Breath has been out for nearly one month. What type of feedback have you received since then? How have players reacted to the game?

Moonatic: Overall, the feedback has been warmly positive, which delighted us as it was our primary objective. Also, some people provided very interesting insights on how to improve our product, and that’s something we will take into account for future developments.

We are happy the public appreciates our first game and finds it interesting, even though it’s a niche product.

You gained recognition for your work at Gamescom 2022. Did you consider approaching Microsoft or Sony for a subscription deal after this recognition?

Moonatic: Yes, we are already in talks with Microsoft about adding One Last Breath to the Game Pass. Nevertheless, it takes time, and our main focus was delivering the best possible experience, which delayed other topics like this one, but we are confident we could soon see One Last Breath in some of the biggest subscription catalogs, which will be an honor for us.

The gaming industry was quite challenging last year due to layoffs post-pandemic. Did these changes impact your team as a new studio?

Moonatic: Every company and individual in the gaming industry is affected by this fact, although we had some bad moments, we were able to finish the game without any issues. That’s something we are grateful for as some other very interesting projects have been delayed or even stopped by this fact.

You’ve mentioned before that a major goal for this game was the lack of text and using minimalistic UI elements. What was the inspiration behind this approach?

Moonatic: There were a lot of references that helped come to this idea, mainly Limbo and Inside, Planet of Lana also was a big reference. 

We wanted to tell our history without any UI element that could distract the user from the immersive experience we wanted to provide. It implies more work and effort, and you never know 100% if everything will be understood by all the users, but we did our best to achieve this, and for the user’s feedback, it seems we got there.

Your art direction is stellar. Did this part take up the most time during development?

Moonatic: The art direction took a big part in the pre and production times; we always had a clear idea we wanted to create, but we gave it a One Last Breath twist to help tell Gaia’s story.

What is the story behind the mutants that haunt One Last Breath’s world?

Moonatic: Without any major story spoilers, we can say the mutants are the result of the greed of a big company. We suggest everyone interested in playing One Last Breath pay close attention to their surroundings, and they will understand why the mutants are there and how they are not the true danger more than the consequence of the present danger.

The game tackles various themes at once, including horror and hope. How do you ensure these elements are balanced alongside each other?

Moonatic: It wasn’t easy to find the right balance between representing horror, human malice, etc., on one side and hope and brightness on the other. We found the correct balance by representing the positivity and hope in Gaia and the gameplay mechanics and the opposite feelings in the environments, buildings, and enemies.

You moved to Unreal Engine 5 later on in development. What was the motivation behind this upgrade?

Moonatic: The game started in Unreal Engine 4, and we decided that it would help to achieve our art style, which was a really important part of the vision of the game we wanted.

We achieved our objective in this game engine and decided to upgrade to the latest version to take advantage of the newest tools and make the most of the options it provides. It took time, but the reward merits the effort.

Considering that even the biggest AAA teams are shifting to Unreal Engine 5, did you find this engine as appealing as everyone else?

Moonatic: Indeed, the power, tools, and results you can achieve are great. It’s also an easy engine to start with, and you can easily prototype with it.

In the end, each studio should find what is better for them and the game they want to achieve, taking into account their knowledge and strengths. Deciding on a game engine or another is an important decision that should be given time to consider.

So, your first game has been a big deal. What’s next for Maniac Panda Games?

Moonatic: We expect this to be the first of a long list of successful games; with this release, we are more than ever motivated to continue delivering new gaming experiences and different products to the public interested in our way of explaining stories.

We are still celebrating the release of One Last Breath but are thinking about our next project and how we can surprise the audience.

What are the major lessons that will be carried over from One Last Breath?

Moonatic: The biggest lesson we’ve learned from this amazing journey is that creating games is a really difficult adventure with a lot of ups and downs. Nevertheless, when you have a team of people you can consider your friends or even family, you can achieve whatever you think.

With a team formed by professionals and even better people, the impossible starts to be possible. And that’s what the gaming industry is always about: the people.

Would you like to share some closing thoughts?

Moonatic: First of all, I wanted to express our gratitude to our dedicated team, partners, and the community. Without these three pillars, we wouldn’t have been able to release One Last Breath. We’re incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together, and that’s the spark to continue working more and more on delivering interesting and immersive gaming experiences in the future. 

Thanks to all the people involved in this project, the users enjoying One Last Breath, and those who have supported us during these years of development. We are extremely thankful for everything and more motivated than ever to keep going where we think we can make a difference in this industry. You will hear from us soon!

One Last Breath
Gaia Is The Heart and Soul of One Last Breath

Moonatic Studios has earned much praise for its work on One Last Breath, and the Steam reviews indicate a similar reception from the audience. For those who enjoy exploring indie games, Moonatic Studios’ latest release certainly deserves your attention.

To conclude, we thank them for conducting this interview and wish them the best of luck for what the future holds.

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