Interview: Creator Of Astlibra Revision Considers Sequel To Be Unlikely

Astlibra Revision
Astlibra Revision

Astlibra Revision is a 2D RPG side-scroller created by the solo developer KEIZO. The game was originally released in 2011 as Astlibra: Proof of Life, but after receiving numerous updates and content, the support for the game ended in 2021 when KEIZO partnered with WhisperGames to release Astlibra Revision.

As the name suggests, it is a full-length version of the original game with even more content and new mechanics to keep the players engaged. The game always had a big community, but it was taken to the next level thanks to Astlibra Revision, which has garnered over 19,500 “overwhelmingly positive” reviews on Steam.

We spoke with KEIZO to discuss his long journey, the game’s recent reception and his future plans. Read ahead for the full interview.

Astlibra Revision
Astlibra Revision – via WhisperGames.
Astlibra Revision had been in development for over 15 years, much longer than most of the biggest titles. Why did it take so long, and did you feel like abandoning the project at any point?
KEIZO: The main reason it took so long is that there were no authoring tools available at the time, so I had to create everything, including the tools, in C++. And I was working while developing the game, so I only had about two hours each day to work on it after returning from my day job. There were many times when I almost gave up, but at the end of the day, the thought that it would be a waste to let go of what I had already done so far always kept me going.
Has the reception from fans been able to meet your expectations? Is there anything you wish you could change about the game?
KEIZO: The response has been unexpectedly overwhelming, so I’m truly surprised and grateful. There are many parts of the game I would like to change. However, I would prefer to spend that time on creating something new.
Astlibra Revision
Astlibra Revision – via WhisperGames.
Can we expect the Astlibra IP to be expanded even further with potential sequels, or are you planning to move onto a different game soon enough?
KEIZO: I might want to make a sequel someday. However, given that a game of this scale took me 15 years, even if I decide to make a sequel, it will probably take more than 10 years to complete. To be honest, it feels difficult, especially when taking into account my age. Right now, I want to work on maybe smaller games.
Do you have any concepts or ideas on what the next project might look like?
KEIZO: I feel a bit insecure about not being able to create my own game assets, so I’m thinking of making something small while challenging myself to create assets. Or, I might work on a provisional version and then outsource some parts. I’m still figuring things out.
Is there any other genre you would like to explore in potential future titles?
KEIZO: It’s a niche genre, but I would like to try making a shooting game someday.
Were there any unique ideas or tropes you wanted to implement in the game that were used by another title during Astlibra's development?
KEIZO: The system of Astlibra, including its enhancement elements, was already in place from the beginning. And they were quite complex and cluttered, leaving little room for me to add additional features. The decision to add new enhancement elements in additional chapters was more out of necessity than desire. The work cost of preparing rotating images and detailed descriptions for equipment was high, so I had no choice but to look for other methods.
Astlibra Revision
Astlibra Revision – via WhisperGames.
Would the game have taken off as well as it has now if it had been released a decade ago?
KEIZO: It’s really hard to say. I sometimes think that even the game’s current popularity might just be a stroke of luck.
How has the progress been on the Baker's Daughter DLC? Can you give us a potential release window for the expansion?
KEIZO: The game itself is complete, and we’re currently testing. The release is planned for Q1 2024.
Do you want to explore anything else after releasing the Baker's Daughter DLC? Could you tell us what that might be?
KEIZO: I’m looking forward to experimenting with various authoring tools and finding the right fit for me.
Anything else you would like to share with your fans?
KEIZO: I’m deeply thankful to everyone who discovered and played this game. Your support means the world to me.

Astlibra Revision was made by the solo developer KEIZO over 16 years and continues to receive frequent updates. It was released on PC via Steam on October 13, 2022, and Nintendo Switch on November 16, 2023.

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