Hey Everyone! This is Jamie Cheng, Jason Dreger and James Lantz from Klei Entertainment. Over the last 9 years, we have made a lot of video games including Don’t Starve, Mark of the Ninja, Shank, Shank 2 and, as of today, Invisible, Inc.! AMA.

Jamie Cheng, Founder, Biiigfoot

Jason Dreger, Designer & Developer, jasondreger

James Lantz, Designer & Developer, stiknork

Seth Rosen, Designer & Developer, sirrosen

Thank you everyone for all of your questions and support! It has been wonderful hanging out with you. Thanks again -- Jamie


Comments: 810 • Responses: 29  • Date: 

I_DidNaziThatComing156 karma

Hi Klei dudes! Are you considering making a sequel to Mark of the Ninja?

biiigfoot158 karma

Hi! We've certainly considered it, but there are so many games to make, we'd have to be sure that a sequel would bring more than just "more MotN".

apocalypseSampler50 karma

What whould you guys say makes a great game?

biiigfoot32 karma

Yikes! Not sure I can answer such a broad question. For ourselves, we make sure we build games that create a new and meaningful experience for people. Kind of broad, but also helps guide us to make games that haven't been created before.

balr35 karma

I love your games, bought Don't Starve several times at full price back then just because it's brilliant. Thanks for releasing excellent Linux ports of your games.

Q: will Invisible Inc. have a Linux port in the near future?

Q: does Valve/Steam charge you a lot to implement Steam Workshop in your game? Same for Steam Cards? Do you make some money out of it?

Q: would you say your future looks bright? Considering the quality of your games, it sure looks like it from a player point of view...

biiigfoot22 karma

Thank you so much! 1. Yep! Well, depends on your definition of "near" but definitely "before launch". 2. $0! It costs time and opportunity cost to implement these features, and yes, the developer gets a cut. 3. I think people will always purchase great, quality games. At least, that's the theory we're operating on! :D

ParadigmBlender30 karma

Hi Guys. Thanks for taking your time to do this. First of all I am a huge fan of your work. You set my bar way too high for indie games. Here are some questions I had:

  • Do you have a dedicated QA team?
  • Do you use any particular development process such as waterfall vs agile?
  • How many people is the company now and do you expect to keep growing?
  • What do you have in mind for Don't Starve after DST? Do you see further DLCs and updates?

biiigfoot41 karma

  1. Wade is our in-house QA "team" :)
  2. We're definitely more agile than waterfall, but mostly we just trust each other to plan and work effectively
  3. We're ~40 people, with a bunch of games on the go and a whole lot of R&D. I don't really plan on growing.
  4. We're taking it as we go, but I think you'll see updates for some time to come!

cheatisnotdead30 karma

Hey guys,

A few years ago I was really, super broke. I sent you an email apologizing that I pirated your games because I couldn't afford them, but I really enjoyed them and wanted you to know that I appreciated and supported your efforts.

You guys sent me just the BEST response, and from that point on I've been a loyal fan. I've made a point to buy all of your games, including the ones I pirated in the past, not just on the basis that I usually enjoy them, but because I like supporting YOU.

So thanks for everything! You've made me a loyal fan.

My only question is, are you hiring? :)

biiigfoot29 karma

I remember that email, actually. Thank you for writing it!

We're not hiring right now, but thanks for stopping by!

Stoooooooo16 karma

Aside from the creative aspects of the business, what have been your most challenging/daunting hurdles?

biiigfoot36 karma

We've certainly had our fair share of publisher woes, cash-strapness, and past development crunches.

Like that time I borrowed money from the bank on my house to pay salaries... thankfully those days are long past, but they sure make for fun stories!

David-J13 karma

After all the games that you have made, what has been the most important lesson that you've learned (It could be regarding game design, marketing, etc?)? What advice would you give yourselves for when you were starting with your first game?

biiigfoot23 karma

Main advice is simply make a lot of games, and actually have people play them. It's always painful to watch new players play your unfinished, unpolished game -- I still have a pain reflex to this day, but it is so, so important.

nickzazzer9 karma

Have any of you actually beat Don't Starve, or is that even a thing you can do?

biiigfoot16 karma


FrankHaggar9 karma

I am very skeptical about early access but I am aware that Don't Starve did a good job with it. What are your thoughts on being one of the positive examples for early access? Also, loved Mark of the Ninja and Shank 2.

biiigfoot15 karma

We believe the number 1 way to make a game better is to get a lot of people playing it and responding well to the feedback. I think Early Access is a solid way to do this as long as developers respect the players' time and of course money.

We expend a LOT of effort making sure our Early Access is indicative of our quality bar before we release it, and really we can only control what we control.

We're strong believers that we can earn each others trust, so here we are doing it again! :)

the_jouste7 karma

Who's the best Netrunner in the office?

biiigfoot9 karma

Sounds like we need a tourney to find out.

stiknork9 karma

you wouldn't show up

biiigfoot8 karma

harsh :(

kawatan6 karma

How exactly did you "assist" the Crypt of the NecroDancer folks? What was working with them like?

biiigfoot3 karma

Mostly, we helped them out a bit financially and helped get the word out about the game. Ryan and I have been friends since we started our indie studios in 2005ish, and when he started his new thing and showed it to me, I asked if he wanted some help.

I had actually suggested we not be mentioned at all but he gave us that courtesy. So thanks Ryan for putting our name on your awesome game!

klashe5 karma

You guys have quickly become my favorite developer...thank you for the hours of fun.

My question: When will you create a level editor for Mark of the Ninja? I would kill for user generated content for that masterpiece.

biiigfoot8 karma

Thank you! We didn't release an editor for Ninja because it's no fun at all to make levels for Ninja -- it's a hugely labour intensive process. Just the camera work alone takes about a week of full time work!

Muming5 karma


Is it possible that "Sugar Rush" is coming to Steam some day? Or any other way we can play it ?

biiigfoot5 karma

Alas, the game was never completed and has been canceled. It's remembered fondly, and was a huge important step to our new games, though!

zucram4 karma

Hi! can invisible inc be played with a controller?

biiigfoot3 karma

Right now it's mouse / keyboard only, unfortunately. We may add controller support in the future.

wolfflame214 karma

How is your relationship with Sony after releasing Don't Starve on PS4? Did they help you at all? Did they market it for you? Did PS+ help? I also think Invisible Inc. would fit very well on Vita (or even PS4). Thanks!

biiigfoot12 karma

Sony has been super solid to work with! There's no concrete plans yet for Invisible, Inc. on console. We've got our hand full at the moment :)

Tedion4 karma

You missed the opportunity to call this a "Klei-MA"

In all seriousness, knowing that you are a relatively small development team, do you like the size? Would you prefer more people working on big projects to get them done quicker, or a smaller group so you can easily collaborate and share ideas? Thanks for this AMA, I'm a huge fan of Don't Starve and hope to try out Invisible Inc.

biiigfoot4 karma

Smaller groups are WAY more fun, efficient, and effective. A larger team almost never means "get them done quicker"; it usually means "get it done slower, and bigger" :)

Nerfman22274 karma

Hey there! Shank 1/2 are some of my favorite games ever. Would you ever consider making a third one?

biiigfoot8 karma

Thank you! I think we're pretty much done with that series -- there are just so many other games to make!

hermapuma3 karma

How much did the original Xcom influence Invisible, Inc. and will we see it on PS4?

biiigfoot6 karma

Not sure yet about other platforms, but the original X-COM was definitely a huge inspiration.

TheLocehiliosan3 karma

Will Invisible, Inc. eventually feature multi-player?

biiigfoot7 karma

Very unlikely -- it's designed as a very tight, single player game. Not that a turn-based stealth game couldn't be Multiplayer -- I think that would be an awesome game! Just not the one we're making at the moment.

polkmn423 karma

Why the name change from Incognita to Invisible Inc.?

biiigfoot5 karma

Mostly we felt it was just a better name. Of course, that's subjective, and that's fine -- most importantly we let the game speak for itself!

Apozor2 karma

I've been playing Incognita Invisible, Inc since the first alpha and i'm impressed with the updates so far. Just played a bit and I really love the last update (great voices and nicer UI).

But, where's the robot ? I really liked him.

Also, what can we expect in the next updates ? Is there a way to rebind the keys yet, I'm using an azerty keyboard.

Thanks and keep up the good work !

biiigfoot4 karma

We launched with 4 agents to make sure they are mechanically distinct, and we'll be releasing more as we go. I think the robot is getting a bit of a makeover, but he'll return in some form.

Monthly updates! No key-rebindings yet, unfortunately

DancingEngie2 karma

Hey Kiel, I very much like your games, and I'd like to ask: Why the name "Klei"?

biiigfoot4 karma

I really liked the idea of "clay" in that we're molding these games carefully and baking them to perfection. Then we decided to be clever and use the Dutch spelling that is also pronounced "Clay" (well, almost, anyway).

In hindsight, I should've known everyone would pronounce it "CLEE", but hey, that's the story! :)

Phrea2 karma

Klei is clay in Dutch, did you know that?

biiigfoot6 karma

That's where it comes from. I mean, look at all the Dutch in me! http://i.imgur.com/e8kvhzU.jpg

DarkOdeus2 karma

As someone who is studying in school for a CS major and has been making games for a few years now (with no real success with sales etc) what do you guys recommend for getting into the indusrty. Also are you hiring? I can code and I make some mean Nalesniki :)

biiigfoot2 karma

We're not hiring, but the usual recommendation applies: make lots of games and demos!

frakking-anustart2 karma

So if you were stuck in the woods and given the challenge to "don't starve" in real life, how would your game plan be different than in the Don't Starve game?

biiigfoot9 karma

  1. make game(s)
  2. hope that it sells
  3. don't starve