One of the things about indie games is that they often take longer to get discovered. More often than not they don’t have the budget to promote a big release.
That’s why when you come across an FPS gem like Shark Attack Deathmatch 2, you need to take a moment (or several hours!) to indulge yourself in something truly refreshing.
“We are only a 2-man team, but it’s incredible how much you can get done with great motivation from an excited player base.” -Neil Jones, LGS
This week we managed to catch up with the dynamic duo that is Lighthouse Games Studio. We wanted to learn more about the beauty behind the horror, and the thrill that players seek in this underwater escapade.
“I think it’s a combination of factors,” says Neil Jones, the studio’s project manager. “I think players really enjoy the intensity of hunting each other down while at the same time there is that constant threat of sharks joining in on the bloodshed. It allows for some pretty spectacular moments when you are in a knife fight and a Great White comes through and rips the other player apart unexpectedly.”
Shark Attack Deathmatch 2 has received some serious acclaim about the game environment from its fans. The oceanic arenas are varied, finely-detailed, and fun to just explore. Neil explains:
“Another big appeal is the attention to detail of the creatures and how they behave and move realistically. The shark AI is incredible; watching them move through the environment hunting other players is spectacular and terrifying to watch. We also get a lot of love for the varied game environments. We wanted to make sure that every map was breathtaking and gave a player a sense of wonder.”
If you, like us, have been wondering where a two-man team drew the inspiration for such an immersive ocean experience, there’s a very simple explanation for that:
“We actually live right on the east coast of South Africa in a place called Durban. Our small offices have great views of the ocean so inspiration is always one quick glance out of a window away.”
A short while after the initial release of the game, hundreds of fans requested a new feature that took the team at Lighthouse Games Studio a little off-guard.
“Ed (the co-developer) and I are split with this,” explains Neil. “Ed really enjoy’s playing as the diver. We really tried hard to make sure that battles with other players were slightly longer and engaging, you have to lead the player with your speargun and it requires a lot of skill but the satisfaction of pulling off a shot is amazing.”
It seems scuba-diving into combat to the death, armed with knives and spear-guns, left the adrenaline rush wanting some. Players wanted to take on an even more predatory role.
“My big appeal with Predator Mode (playing as a shark) is the sense of power you have when you are thrashing through the water hunting the other divers. The feeling when you charge up your bite and your teeth come crunching down on a player’s head is fantastic… The blood and sound is brutal.”
Lighthouse Games Studio have a lot more in store for Shark Attack Deathmatch 2. According to Neil, we can expect big weapon updates with exciting gear that lots of players have been asking for. The team also hopes to expand the co-op areas of the game with some great objective play as well as “a whole bunch more sharks and maps!”
Lighthouse Games Studio also juggles their time handling one of their top mobile games, Greed City (currently on IOS and Windows Phone). In Neil’s own words: “Time is our biggest challenge but we just do our best to prioritize things and give players what they most want.”
If you’d like to support these relentless indie game developers, pick up their game at IndieGala!