My short bio: Thank you so much! After 5+ hours we are officially going to close out the IamA. Brian and Tim may try to answer a few more questions tonight. Thanks everyone for the great questions!

Hi! I'm Brian Parnell, with Tim Wiese, and Hung-Chien Liao we are No Matter Studios. A small 3 man team with over 30+ years game development. We have worked on many titles throughout our career spanning from PC, console, mobile development we're breaking out on our own. Working in a basement, living on our savings to make our labor of love, Prey for the Gods. An action adventure game where you climb bosses and try to survive a never ending winter to restore balance and reclaim the land from the brink. Gameplay is similar to Shadow of the Colossus and we were also inspired by some of our favorite games like Deus Ex, Bloodborne, and DayZ.

We're open to any question, previous games, indie development, setting up a Kickstarter, our favorite color, etc. My Proof:

Comments: 481 • Responses: 41  • Date: 

Itendswithyou129 karma

With only 5 bosses (last I read of the topic), my one main concern is replayability. What is this game relying on to keep us coming back and immersing ourselves in this world?

Second question if possible: are there any plans for future paid or free dlc?

nomatterstudios136 karma

I played Journey recently. It's a linear game and perhaps one of the most inspiring, memorable games I've played in recent times. I make that point because I'm a firm believer in quality over quantity. However, I understand that replay is important too. It's something we've been mindful of as we develop.

With Prey for the Gods we want players to feel their choices matter and that the consequences are just as important. The player steps foot onto a frozen world without anything but the clothes on their back. It's up to you to decide where you go as the start location won't always be the same. Dynamic weather, day/night cycles and enemies that are hunting you keep the moment-to-moment gameplay intense. From there you'll need to find gear, weapons, and make your way through the island to find the giants that reside here. You'll need to explore ruins, caves, and murals that the fallen heroes before you have left to piece together just what is going on here. Boss battles are up to you as they are non-linear you wont' be forced into how and when to take them on. Looking at FTL, and DayZ we found that the emergent game play was what caused us to come back again and again. We really want your play through to be different than your friends. So when you explain how you played the game it is your own unique story.

trv33395 karma

When you first set out making Prey for the Gods and even back during the concept phase, did you draw inspiration from Shadow of the Colossus, or was it a likening that just popped up as the development progressed?

A lot of people are describing PftG as the spiritual successor to Shadow of the Colossus and I'm wondering if the hype has helped or hurt the development and if it's something No Matter Studios is concerned about.

nomatterstudios106 karma

We started Prey for the Gods initially with the idea to have a battle with one boss, one character. So from that SotC quickly became a game we looked at. Having been a character artist for so long it was a dream job to even begin to attempt something like that. As for spiritual successor, Polygon mentioned that when they posted our game play video. It certainly is flattering but also terrifying. We know there's expectations when something like that is mentioned. We hope being transparent as possible, engaging our fans, and listening to feedback will help with that.

phillipjackson74 karma

What has been the toughest thing to implement into the game that you've faced so far?

nomatterstudios124 karma

The climbing tech is by far the toughest. It touches everything, AI, physics, tools, art, animation, game design, you name it. There are so many moving parts with a boss and player all interacting and animating. Chien has put a ton of time into this system and we are excited with what we have accomplished so far. However, we still feel there is a good amount of work to be done. One part of the system that could use more attention is the animations of the climbing, which is a good reason we are really looking into more animation support.

mcandbjuice71 karma

Just want to say that Titan Quest is one of my all time favourite games. Used to play it damn near every night with my neighbour because it was the only game we both had but I fell in love with it.

But anyway my question is what existing game do you wish you could have made?

nomatterstudios29 karma

Brian: Deus Ex Tim: Half Life Chien: (too busy) lol

Captain_Moscow57 karma

Hey folks. Any particular reason you chose the kind of Norse/Inuit hybrid setting and visual style? Were there other's that were considered earlier in development?

nomatterstudios50 karma

As with most game development the process of coming to a visual style is almost never a clear moment but a series of steps that led us in the direction we desired. We started off developing the game with the idea that it would be based in a desert, because desert means less foliage. We got trees looking good and working with some new tech. From there we had some more ideas. We then changed to snow as it was a something we felt we could do more with in the game play.

Cactus_Bot55 karma

How are you going to manage keeping on track with the game and not running into a lot of the same issues previous high profile kickstarters have run into? Example: Mighty number 9, unsung story.

nomatterstudios92 karma

We made sure that before coming to Kickstarter we had a solid vertical slice of the game to play. We needed to prove it to ourselves and others that this is possible. Part of that process was building out the tech that the game is based on and figuring out just how long certain things would take to make. This allowed us to come up with a schedule for development we felt pretty confident we could hit based on actual development time and not assumptions. I think many other projects that come to the table with just an idea and some concept art or sketches are gonig to be risky as they haven't tested their ideas by actually developing them. A lot can change from a planning stage where the sky is the limit to a development stage where there are many hard limits.

absurd_olfaction31 karma

Heyo! The game looks great, and I really look forward to playing it, but I have one quibble.
The grappling hook item seems like it completely circumvents, what seems to me, to be the core of the SotC-like game play.
I imagine this sort of item was very well considered in the overall design, so I'd like to ask if you assuage the fears that myself and a few others have voiced on the youtube videos by explaining this choice in depth?

nomatterstudios45 karma

Grappling hook is something we didn't take lightly. We started looking at the environment of the game. Deep snow is all over, and makes you move slower. Jump didn't seem to make much sense in that environment (trust me trying to jump in deep snow sucks). That's not to say we won't implement a jump but we wanted grapple to give the player an opportunity to traverse the environment quickly. Especially when the weather can wear you down. We have some ideas that the grapple hooks don't simply attach to everything. Previous, heroes like climbers on mountains have set up locations that you could use. You'll see dangling hooks that'll give you clues to where you could grapple too. At least that's our plan.;)

UltiMatrix118 karma

So in terms of mobility compared to both Bloodborne and SoTC, PftG grappling hook replaces the running in Bb, and the horse in SoTC?

nomatterstudios19 karma

You can run normally in some areas. Grapple hook allows you the ability to get to some places that you can't get to at all. We're also thinking of giving it a cool down, or making you have to carry grapple hooks like arrows. We're still looking into other fast travel type methods. Nothing really concrete.

_Wort_Wort_Wort_26 karma

I got to say, I like the amount of information in your kickstarter,

But, If you were given unlimited funds, what type of game would you develop?

nomatterstudios25 karma

Tim and I it would still make Prey for the Gods but with more bosses, multiplayer and orchestral score. Boss battles are a blast to develop. Chien would want more monsters and more Darksouls style gameplay. lol we went back and forth on this. Good question!

Kenstaar19 karma

Could you talk a little about the survival mechanics?

How important are the survival mechanics to the overall game compared to the monster fighting? Do the mechanics help you to stay alive or will there be crafting that helps your defeat the monsters?

Thank you

nomatterstudios25 karma

Survival is important in Prey for the Gods. To drop someone into a frozen world and not have them experience this harsh environment would be a major let down IMO. We have mechanics, items, and outfits in the game that assist you in resisting the effects of the world. We offer a range of different weapons to protect yourself with. These weapons also allow you to approach the bosses differently. The survival doesn't get as granular or complex as something say like Day-Z, ours is more of a "survival lite". You will need to stay warm with fire by burning wood, but you could also use that same wood to craft arrows so you could go against enemies/hunt or take on a boss. So based on your decision on how to use the limited resources you will be faced with different challenges and consequences.

Typhos12318 karma

Any chance of seeing a multiplayer mode being made? Also great work so far guys, $50 backer here. -Brad F.

GunslingerBara134 karma

GameBudget = x
GameWithMultiplayerBudget = x * 2

nomatterstudios50 karma

Up vote that answer plz. GunslingerBara is dead on.

nomatterstudios20 karma

Multiplayer would be sweet! It takes a lot more work to pull that off. If we were to tackle multiplayer we would add it post launch.

Hibernian16 karma

What do you think is the best game each of you ever shipped before joining together to make Prey for the Gods?

bonus: What's the best game you didn't actually end up shipping?

nomatterstudios19 karma

Brian: Titan Quest has a lot of memories for me so did Grim Dawn. Tim: Robot Rising Chien: Robot Rising

Brian: "Black Legion" (unannounced title at Iron Lore) Tim: "The Grinder" Chien: "Project ICE"

WaffleToasterings14 karma

Outside of the games that have inspired your game, what games do you enjoy playing in your down time?

nomatterstudios18 karma

That's funny. For me most of my favorite games have seeped into this project. I really liked Monument Valley, and Lara Croft Go. Freelancer was an all time favorite game for sure. Recently, I've been looking into board games too.

hardyflashier14 karma

Hey guys! Very happy to have supported this great project. Should you not meet your stretch goals, are there any plans to implement further bosses through DLC?

nomatterstudios17 karma

Yea. We hope the game sells well so that we can continue to make more bosses and content post launch. The stretch goals would have allowed us to develop them without pause.

AshrakAiemain14 karma

You mentioned Bloodborne as an inspiration in your Kickstarter. How exactly does that influence make itself known in the game?

Also, what IS your favorite color?

nomatterstudios12 karma

You mentioned Bloodborne as an inspiration in your Kickstarter. How exactly does that influence make itself known in the game? Also, what IS your favorite color?

Chien and Tim were big fans of Bloodborne and Dark Souls style combat and were playing Bloodborne a ton while we were working on our combat systems. We ended up encorporating similar dodge/roll attack style combat with the smaller enemies. This plays into the combat with the boss as well, you need to time your attacks and dodges.

Tim: Blue Chien: Silver Brian: Orange

Nirrith13 karma

Hey guys! Two questions: how familiar are you with PC game development specifically; and will Prey for the Gods be able to run over 120 frames per second?

nomatterstudios13 karma

We are very familiar with PC game development. Many if not most of our games in our careers have been PC based. We can't test for that at this time. In theory it should work.

zeekaran8 karma

Adding to this: Please support ultrawide (21:9) resolution monitors! Indie games on Steam sometimes don't, and it's very disappointing.

nomatterstudios19 karma

21:9 is supported.

mrlima13 karma

When you say "inspired by", do you mean you're incorporating Deus Ex or DayZ like mechanics into PftG? How will that work?

nomatterstudios9 karma

Deus Ex: This is my favorite game of all time. I met Warren Spector last year and it was a pretty big moment for me. That being said I look at Deus Ex in that you had the choice to choose how you want to play. You could invest as a sniper, or go in guns blazing. Ideally, we want to get boss battles and the over all game play to allow people multiple ways to get through battles and have their choices matter.

DayZ: Our inspiration comes from the emergent storytelling and dynamic game play that can change at a moments notice. Tim, Chien and I played DayZ a lot and really enjoyed how varied our time spent playing it was. We're hopeful that people will get very unique game play sessions in our game.

meepmeep22212 karma

Can you tell us anything about those ghost-like entities that pop up in Prey for the Gods? That seems like an interesting element that separates it from Shadow of the Colossus and I was wondering how they tied into the story or lore.

nomatterstudios14 karma

The ghost like creatures definitely fit into the lore. They don't want you there, they want to take you away. That's about as much that I can say about them.

chrislongman12 karma

Who would win in an arm wresting competition: Brian, Tim, or Chien?

Taptronic15 karma

Brian looks pretty swole.

nomatterstudios26 karma

lol We discussed and we're pretty sure Tim would win.

chrislongman12 karma

My money is on Tim as well, but Brian has had years of controller throwing to build up muscle.

nomatterstudios19 karma

That is true. I'm a passionate gamer.

JustTerrific11 karma

Were there any other influences from other media you would count, aside than the games you mentioned, that have helped inspire the game? Such as any particular music, art, literature, or film?

nomatterstudios19 karma

Dark Crystal is a movie that inspires me. The creature design and over all ambition of the project is something I feel has held up even after all these years.

zeekaran11 karma

Shadow of the Colossus is my favorite game of all time. I loved the uniqueness of the general game play (all bosses and exploring, not slaughtering hundreds of minions). I loved the atmosphere of the world. I loved the short but effective cut scenes, and the story they tell with so little dialogue and the emotion that came with it. I loved the feeling of accomplishment after felling a giant beast.

How will Prey for the Gods compare? Is it simply taking the idea of "climb a giant thing and kill it" or will there be more similarities?

Regardless, I am sure I'll enjoy this game when it comes out.

nomatterstudios9 karma

I think our method of story telling and world design is also somewhat similar. The player will learn about the events of the world not through voice over or on screen text but in world clues as to the background of the island/world. The camera will also play a role in this story telling providing focus to elements which have significance, allowing the player to peice together the story through the visuals. Our world design borrows some elements from shadow in its minimalism, but not being empty by any means. Being a team of 3 it also makes sense for us to develop the world in this way, making the world with very delibertate visuals and not adding clutter to that.

queen-of-derps11 karma

First of all: The game looks awesome and I'm already a huge fan! (stunning environment and monster/character design!)

So there's only 3 of you guys and you seem to be working very hard for this game all the time. I was wondering if it's more like "a dream come true" or whether you start regretting stuff already (sounds mean, sry). Is there some new and profound advice you can give people now who are considering game design/development you wouldn't have thought of before?

Hyped for the game :)

nomatterstudios8 karma

It's a dream come true. Sure, we're working hard hours. As game developers, we're always busting our ass. I can't remember a game where you don't put in late hours. Thankfully, this time it's really a labor of love. Advice? Scope, scope, scope! It's very easy to become a kid in a candy store and sign up for everything. Prove the fun first before jumping into everything else.

Heartmask1211 karma

My question is: Why Unity3D? Is there something special about it, or just personal Preference?

nomatterstudios25 karma

We started using it around Unity 3.0 (when we all worked at Tencent Boston together), so we have a good amount of experience with it. Because of that it was natural for us to jump in and begin development with it. Plus being a 3 man team we can't afford to make everything from scratch and Unity has a great asset store which helps a ton, allowing us to prototype quickly.

Flymak10 karma

Ever put any easter eggs in a game? And if so, what is your favorite?

nomatterstudios11 karma

I've put a ton of Easter eggs into games over the years. I've forgotten a number of them by now. My favorite would have to be the large "Overlord" based stuff in Titan Quest: Immortal Throne. It was a team effort for sure as many of the developers pitched in. The "Overlord" was a silly inside joke based on an ambient model of a turtle.

shxsy10 karma

Will there be a world map in Prey for the Gods?

nomatterstudios10 karma

We're thinking of letting the player find pieces of the map. Possibly, an entire map of the island could be found too.

Sarpeadon7 karma

How does it feel to be regarded as having made the worse expansion of a game (Dawn of War: Soulstorm)?

Looking back at it now, what would you guys have done differently?

P.S. I loved Titan Quest, great work on that!

nomatterstudios10 karma

Yea Soulstorm I jokingly called Shitstorm while we were in development. It wasn't because we didn't love the game. I love the Dawn of War series, however development on Soulstorm was tough to say the least. We had to make a game with a toolset that no one on the team knew in approx 9 months. It was a hail mary project to keep Iron Lore alive while we searched for funding to get our next game Black Legion signed. We were given the tools to make the project but we were literally learning and fixing the tools as we went. Meanwhile many people were quitting ILE to go to 38 Studios, and we had to hire on a bunch of new people. It was a pretty tough time for Iron Lore, but looking back learned a lot. I'd hardly say it's the "worst expansion of a game" that's a bit much. However, the VO is pretty silly.

Lereas6 karma

Very excited about this!

What steps are you taking to keep hype, delays, and promises to a minimum? No mans sky is suffering this week in terms of image because they let expectations get too high, and I'm still waiting on Obduction to launch because of delays.

The game looks great so far, but what will keep it grounded in reality for deliverable content?

nomatterstudios5 karma

We're pretty excited to start doing regular Twitch sessions to give the state of the game. Delays are pretty common on games. Typically, delays arise from a lot of little setbacks from each feature. They build up over time and eventually become a a substantial delay. Others, are more obscure. In all cases, being as transparent as you can be and communicating with your fans is what helps with that. There's nothing worse than having bad news dropped with out warning. Giving frequent updates and explaining the state of development can help mitigate that.

aaktor5 karma

Will the stretchgoals continue after the Kickstarter, i.e. will people still be able to pledge (and thus unlock strechgoals) after the Kickstarter is finished?

nomatterstudios6 karma

Yea that's something we're considering!

UltiMatrix114 karma

Was wondering what makes the giant bosses your team has designed different from those in "shadow of the colossus" (Besides the grappling hook since that is a pretty big strategy change)?

nomatterstudios4 karma

One major difference is each boss can be approached in mutliple ways, it's up to you to try to take on the boss with the equipment you have, allowing for many strategies to each boss battle.

nomatterstudios4 karma

Thank you so much! After 5+ hours we are officially going to close out the IamA. Brian and Tim may try to answer a few more questions tonight. Thanks everyone for the great questions!

Rawnblade12143 karma

What is the toughest thing you have encountered during development of Prey for the Gods?

nomatterstudios6 karma

The hardest part so far has been the stress about money and not knowing if we could continue development on a game we've poured our hearts into.

duckduckseduce2 karma

Who are your favourite factions in DoW: Soulstorm? To play and fluff-wise.

nomatterstudios2 karma

I really like the Sisters of Battle look. I mainly played Space Marines in multiplayer, or Chaos. I wished we got some of the newer designs for Dark Eldar but we had to work with the designs that were approved at the time.

CageAndBale2 karma

Would love see your 2 whole set up!

Also how did you organize your production timeline?

Lastly any chance you guys can do some type of documentary like double fine did for broken age? Or even a dev diary or what not?

nomatterstudios2 karma

We intend to document as much of our development through a kind of mini-documentary and Twitch streams.

Remigus2 karma

What happened that DoW:Soulstorm ended up being so bad? Were there internal problems? No checking on the writing? A disinterest in the lore?

nomatterstudios2 karma

I wasn't involved in the design or writing for the game. So I really can't speak to that. I was involved with the art which was also a little tricky as we were learning Relic's style and having to work within their toolsets. It was a VERY short development cycle. We had to learn the tools in a matter of months if not weeks. We all really liked the 40K universe (I'm a huge Dawn of War fan too!) So I think it was more a matter of reaaaally short dev time.

davepergola2 karma

Chiming in to say I loved, loved, loved Titan Quest.

My question: What do you guys think about the state of current Action RPGs like Diablo 3, Path of Exile and the like?

Keep on making great games, Prey to the Gods looks excellent!

nomatterstudios2 karma

I honestly, never played Diablo 3. I was so upset that I missed the chance to buy the collectors edition I didn't get it. I didn't play Path of Exile but I did play (and work on) Grim Dawn. So I'm a little biased!

notnellie2 karma

So I worked with Morgan brown for a few years. Do you guys take Halloween and rocking as seriously as that dude? He's like the wet dream I get when I think about Ron James Dio and Slayer having a one night stand and then keeping that sweet ass metal baby.

nomatterstudios3 karma

FACT: Morgan Brown is a sexy man. I take Halloween very serious. Rocking? no where near his level.

HungryCthulu2 karma

What would each of you do for a Klondike bar?

nomatterstudios3 karma

There is no limit to what we would do.