Interview: Lunar Axe Developers Planning For New Games Set In The Same Universe

Lunar Axe - via Ops Game Studios
Lunar Axe - via Ops Game Studios

Among a myriad of point-and-click games, Ops Game Studio’s Lunar Axe stands out in the crowd by offering in-depth storyline puzzles in a hand-drawn world. Real-life locations inspire the game and focus on attention to detail, enhancing the gameplay experience even further. 

With such a unique world to explore and solve puzzles using a variety of items, we spoke to Kassio Sousa, Producer and Programmer of Lunar Axe, over email to learn more about the development process and the plans of the game. 

World of Lunar Axe
Lunar Axe – via Ops Game Studios

Introduce yourself and tell us a little about your role in Lunar Axe.

Kassio: My name is Kassio Sousa, and I’m the Producer and Programmer for Lunar Axe. I’m also one of the founders of OPS, along with Nuninho Neto and Artur Pinheiro, the studio that produced the game.

What was your approach to balancing the challenge of the puzzles, from logic, problem-solving, or item manipulation?

Kassio: We usually teach and then play with what the player has been taught, challenging them to think of different solutions to an action. However, one approach we also used a lot was balancing, identifying mechanics that were too challenging or too easy for the moment within the game. Finding a balance during development was the biggest approach that we made.

Lunar Axe - via Ops Game Studios
Lunar Axe – via Ops Game Studios

Lunar Axe features beautiful hand-drawn art. Can you tell us about the art style and how it contributes to the atmosphere of the game?

Kassio: All the settings in the game are real locations in our city. We looked for angles and compositions that would contribute to the mystery and dark atmosphere.

The art itself uses a darker palette, playing with shadow and light throughout the game. It was hard work but with an incredible result from our art team.

One of the things the community liked the most was the sound design. How did you manage to achieve this level of sound design to blend the story with the environment?

Kassio: The sound is a work of art that also contributes a lot to the atmosphere. I say this because we looked for musical instruments that are characteristic of our city’s local culture, sounds that are very different from the ordinary.

We searched for local instruments and captured the sound, from which our musician was able to compose a soundtrack and ambiance that conveyed all the essence combined with the art of the city, it’s as if the city were alive with art and music.

Lunar Axe - via Ops Game Studios
Lunar Axe – via Ops Game Studios

The lighting worked very well to provide a deeper experience of the game. But there were some intervals when the lighting was dark, and it was difficult to navigate. Is this part of the challenges involved in the puzzle to allow players to delve deeper into the experience?

Kassio: Yes. We had some challenges with that, but it was a challenge thought up by our creative director, Artur. He wanted to give this feeling of darkness and play with light and shadow at various points in the game.

It was a challenge because many players found it difficult, but I believe we delivered a good experience even in those moments and tried to create mechanisms to help players who felt stuck.

The length of the campaign got mixed feedback. Did the length of the game justify the story, or was there any content cut that wasn't included in the final release?

Kassio: Lunar Axe was an independently produced game; in other words, we had no investment and ended up shortening the experience a little for design reasons.

But we thought carefully about delivering everything we wanted, both in terms of the narrative and the experience as a whole, making a quality product rather than a bigger one.

Level Design
Lunar Axe – via Ops Game Studios

How long was the game in development and how many developers actively worked on Lunar Axe?

Kassio: The game took 2 years to develop, but there were breaks during its production to prioritize other projects. It was an incredible journey to build Lunar Axe, and we’re very happy with the result.

Actively, we had a team of 12 people who worked on the whole project or small parts of it.

Also, what were the main challenges involved in making Lunar Axe highly engaging?

Kassio: For sure, the biggest challenge is the game’s pacing. Building a narrative like Lunar Axe requires a lot of testing so that puzzles don’t become unbalanced, positioning elements so that the narrative doesn’t become unwieldy, and delivering the story in a controlled way so that the game doesn’t become boring. Balancing all this is the biggest challenge in a game like this.

Lunar Axe - via Ops Game Studios
Lunar Axe – via Ops Game Studios

What are your plans for Lunar Axe? Is there any more content planned for release this year?

Kassio: Lunar Axe is being released on consoles and it’s been a great journey to be able to tell this story. It’s something we want to do a lot at the studio: tell good stories.

For Lunar Axe, we don’t have any new content planned, but new stories, perhaps from the same universe, are coming to OPS as the next steps.

Anything else you'd like to share with readers?

Kassio: Yes! Lunar Axe is a game in which we put a lot of ourselves into making it come to life, and it’s a great source of pride to bring this story, visuals, and sound immersion to so many countries and platforms.

Play it as one big experience, because in Lunar Axe, each player is the protagonist and hero of the city.

Lunar Axe is a Point-and-Click Adventure game developed and published by Ops Game Studios. The game was released on July 11, 2022 for PC. 

Was this helpful? 🕹️

Good job! Please give your positive feedback 😏

How could we improve this post? Please Help us. 💡