Some of you might already have seen my “InSomnia” video. Well, for those who haven´t done that yet. I really enjoyed Studio Mono´s tech demo of their upcoming retro-futuristic/dieselpunk RPG “InSomnia”. And thus I decided to do an interview with Studio Mono, so I got a chance to talk to Anatoliy Guyduk about their plans for “InSomnia“. And with that said, please enjoy my interview =)

Robin TGG
Could you perhaps tell us how Studio Mono and “InSomnia” came about?


Guyduk Studio Mono
Hi! It all started quite long time ago when few of my other friends and I started to discuss the possibility of developing of an RPG. At first this was more like joke, but by the end we asked ourselves: why the hell not? This made me write first design document of the project, which took about two weeks to complete. After that I started looking for programmers who could implement all these ideas in form of working code. I searched for all information online I could find about game development, asked friends of my friends to join the cause etc. So, step by step, month after month the vision of the project grew stronger, we had new people to help us and add some personal input. We tried things and learnt stuff. My home was like a focal point at first, but then we were able to find a small office, moved a few old PCs there. This is when we decided to create a studio and called it Mono.

insomnia the crazy cult

I have a feeling that this religious cult will become a problem sooner, or later.

Robin TGG
What can you tell us about “InSomnia´s” story and its main characters? And how big do you think the world of “InSomnia” will be in the final version? (hours of gameplay and the actual km size of the world).

Guyduk Studio Mono
The story takes place onboard a gigantic space metropolis, which started its journey through the universe over 400 years ago. This ship is inhabited by descendants of a once great civilization who were forced to leave its dying planet in search of a new home. The last hope for these people is to reach the Evacuation Point, which is a distant planet where they plan to start the history of humanity once again. This is exactly when the player enters the scene – to find out the real reasons for what remains of humankind to proceed with this dangerous trip, and face a new threat that might easily kill everyone who’s left.

Regarding the size of the world, I certainly can’t tell how many KMs are there. InSomnia consists of a number of locations of differing sizes, all of which are connected with the help of global map, with occasional random encounters with generic content happening in between. However, it will take up to 33-50 hours to complete the main storyline. So the game is pretty expansive!.

fallout 2

I felt a lot of “Fallout 2” vibes while playing “InSomnia”.

Robin TGG
I´ve played the “Insomnia” tech demo for about eight hours straight now. And in my opinion, the game made me think about a mix of “Fallout 2” (the inventory, perks, skills, etc.), Max Payne” (the movement part), “Bioshock” (the robots and building of things) and “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.” (the apocalyptic environment). So I´m somewhat curious to know which games, movies and books that have inspired you while developing “InSomina”?

Guyduk Studio Mono
The initial inspiration came from classic Fallout games and Planescape: Torment. However, our goal is to create our own unique universe in which we will be able to build and expand in the future. If we are talking movies, then I should mention Akira, Blade Runner, Metropolis and a Man and his Dog. Actually it’s safe to say that movies had even more impact on us than the games.

Robin TGG
I have seen quite a few Unreal Engine 4 games as of lately, but even so. I still have to say that “InSomnia” is one of the most impressive action/rpg/dieselpunk co-op games that I´ve seen so far. So my question to you would be this, how has it been like working with Unreal Engine 4? (pros Vs cons). And what are your own hopes, goals and expectations for “InSomnia”?

Guyduk Studio Mono
We started out with our own engine, which was loosely based on Ogre 3D. After some struggling with it, we decided to switch to UE4 and all I can say we are really happy we did that. This was so that we can 100% focus on developing the game itself and take advantage of all the features UE4 offers. I honestly have no idea what would we do right now if we continued to work with our old engine. Our expectations for InSomnia include making an original and quality RPG which would be interesting to play. We are just gamers who decided to create their own game, so InSomnia is an exam of some sort. Will we be able to pass it? We believe that we will, after all we wouldn’t start this project at all if we didn’t and we want to deliver an RPG experience like no other.

unreal engine 4 logo

“InSomnia” looks really great thanks to Unreal Engine 4. However, that graphical greatness comes at a price (you need a really good Gaming rig in-order to play on the highest settings without suffering from any lag problems).

Robin TGG
Do you have any idea at all what the final recommended and minimum requirements will be for “InSomnia”?

Guyduk Studio Mono
We are talking standard recommendations for games based on U4 here, so everyone can easily find this info on official U4 website. Obviously, as it stands the Prologue is kind of heavy for spec requirements, as it’s not been polished and optimized.

Robin TGG
Both Brian Fargo (“Wasteland”, “The Bard´s Tale”, Fallout) and Chris Avellone (“Fallout 2”, “Pillars of Eternity”) has praised “InSomina” for it´s awesome, beautiful and rich world and atmosphere. So how much time have you been putting into making the world of “InSomnia” a live and interesting one?

Guyduk Studio Mono
We still have much to do in terms of game design, balance tuning and gameplay, hundreds of hours to be spent on testing, bug fixing and optimization. Currently I feel like we have 100% completed the visual aspect of the game, although we will have to put some additional effort into improving the existing locations etc. We are very happy with what we have right now generally, as this was something we were working on very hard lately. It took about a year to create the world that you see right now, and we will continue to make it even better. It’s a very exciting and interesting process.

insomnia items

There are plenty of different items, weapons and armors to be found in “InSomnia”.

Robin TGG
I don´t know if it´s a bug or not, but in the tech demo, you can actually commit suicide by removing the “feathers of consequence” device from your character (the device explodes if you try to remove it). And that makes me wonder if it´s something that you will remove from the final version, or if it´s something which you plan to use in the complete edition of “InSomnia”? And what´s the idea behind the suicide feature?

Guyduk Studio Mono
It’s a temporary feature that requires some additional improvements :). If you visit the Traits tab inside the game, you will see that Typer has some very interesting details inside his backstory log. This guy is one of your possible future companions, and one of the quests will give you an opportunity to free Typer from these nasty “feathers”. So what happened is that at some point of his life, Typer became a debtor of Opherod, who is a leader of local religious fanatic cult. It was this guy put that chin bomb on Typer’s face to make sure he will return his debt. Now, if you try to remove it, Typer will die, but in the future we will introduce some changes to make Typer comment on this and refuse to perform this action. It’s not only Typer who can become a victim of such measures, as depending on the player, their character can say good-bye to one of their hands, for example. Play safe and don’t mess with people :)!

Robin TGG
Do you have a roughly idea about how many weapons, items, armors and such will the full version of “InSomnia” offer?

Guyduk Studio Mono
It’s hard to say as this number changes now and then, as some of our backers are allowed to add their own unique items into the game, based on their description etc. However, if we’re speaking about something that is already there, we have about 150-200 types of weapons and 100+ types of equipment. We will be able to voice more exact numbers closer to the release, of course.

insomnia stats

You got traits, skills and a whole bunch of different attributes at your disposal. Spend your points wisely though.

Robin TGG
I could be wrong now, but isn´t there a karma and consequence system in “InSomnia”? As in if you´re good to people, then you get a good reputation among the people. While being evil (killing innocent people, stealing, etc.), people start to hate and avoid you. If so, will you get denied jobs, alternative endings, NPC dialogs and so on depending on what you do in the game?

Guyduk Studio Mono
Karma system, let me think. There will be no direct and obvious karma system, however there will be certain hidden ”counters” which will have their own effect on how people treat you. This attitude will be based upon your actions and will impact the outcome of the game. So you won’t get away with shooting helpless dwellers here and there. However, playing the role of 100% good or bad guy won’t be easy. Most of the decisions will lead to unexpected consequences. We don’t have any stealing implemented right now, but we may add it in the future.

Robin TGG
Will the players be able to create and customize unique characters in “InSomnia”?

Guyduk Studio Mono
Sure, within the final game you will be given an opportunity to create your own character, develop his skills, traits and perks. However throughout the game you will earn so-called ”scars” which can be both positive and negative. They will be the result of your actions. So by the end of the game you will have all kinds of things happen to you, and some of those things will visualize on the player himself. “Feathers of Consequences” is a good example of that.

insomnia craft system

Yes, you can craft your own weapons and items in “InSomnia”.

Robin TGG
How will the Co-Op mode work? (how many people will you be able to play with together?). And will there be a lot of NPC companions in the final version of “InSomnia”?

Guyduk Studio Mono
The Co-op is a number of separate of hardcore scenarios which are implemented in-game world. It gives you an opportunity to complete some specific challenges with your friends. You are not allowed to bring your companions along while performing that. Co-op works for up to 3 players who can be involved at once. We may introduce some tournament-type PvP scenarios in the future, with more simultaneous players involved. We will update everyone with our thoughts on co-op later, as we are too occupied with RPG aspects of the game right now.

insomnia m rated

As I´ve seen pinup posters and such in the tech demo of “InSomnia”. I take it that the game will be a “M-Rated” title on release.

Robin TGG
Will “InSomnia” be an M-rated game? Or will you cut down on violence, drugs, sex, nudity and such in the final version of the game?

Guyduk Studio Mono
It’s an open question right now and we can’t answer. Some of those elements you’ve mentioned are in the game, some are not.  I think the rating will come once we’ve actually finished. Let’s just say, it will be quite an adult experience.

Robin TGG
How has the feedback been from the Gaming community and your backers so far? (based on your Kickstarter campaign, the alpha demo and the Prologue game).

Guyduk Studio Mono
We received enormous feedback and are working on introducing the corrections into the gameplay based on this feedback. Combat, interface, leveling up, just simple bug reports and many other things. This is very important to us, as this way we can do our game even better.

Robin TGG
“If” your current £55,000 Kickstarter campaign becomes a success. Then is there a possibility for the game to be released to other formats than just Windows, MAC and Linux as well? (PS4 and Xbox One).

Guyduk Studio Mono
Currently we plan only Windows, Mac and Linux. Everything else requires additional resources and time, and we can’t afford that right now. Our primary focus are the PC RPG players out there and we don’t want to let them down.  In the future? Who knows, we could port to Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but it all costs additional time, money and needs more equipment.

Robin TGG
What´s your plans for 2016? And will you visit and show case “InSomnia” at E3 and other Gaming events this year?

Guyduk Studio Mono
Now that would be really awesome, although we just can’t afford that right now. We spend every penny on the development itself, so the only way to take part in the events like this is virtually. Thank you for your questions! It was a real pleasure to answer them! Cheers!

tgg author avatar robin ek
Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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