Interview: Never Mourn Brings A Unique Meaning To Necromancer
We are all familiar with the traditional role and the tragic story of a Necromancer, plagued by the hopes of resurrecting a beloved, only to be met by the harsh truth of death. Never Mourn brings its own twist to that story and offers players the concept of a “Battle Necromancer,” who is much more aggressive and versatile than its regular counterpart.
Although the concept is new, it makes use of action RPG elements mixed with Rogue-lite mechanics, offering players the same addictive gameplay we all love. We spoke with Enrique Pons Del Rey, Founder of the studio Primal Seed, and Luca Miskic, Writer/Producer of Never Mourn, over email to get more behind-the-scenes details and their plans for the game’s future.
Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your role in the game?
Hey! and thank you for having us. I’m Enrique Pons Del Rey, creator of our studio, Primal Seed, and I take care of the music, sound, and some artwork for our upcoming title, Never Mourn. I am joined by my colleague, Luca Miskic, who is mainly involved with production and writing.
What is the story of Never Mourn, and where did the inspiration come from?
Enrique: Never Mourn is an action RPG with rogue-lite elements that draws inspiration from the game Medievil. If you ever played, then you’ll remember the final boss fight where you could resurrect skeletons to help you, which we thought, at the time, was really unique and cool! That gave Adrien Despujol, our Game Designer, the idea to make a game with this specific mechanic at its core. From these starting points, we created a concept that we can’t wait to share. These elements are reflected in Never Mourn, in which the goal is to survive as long as possible to gain as many permanent resources as you can to outlive your last run. A dual-sided weapon called ‘The Staff of Equilibrium’ that has the power to give and take life is pivotal to success. It gives players the option to switch between skill sets and find creative ways to slay or resurrect enemies to use them in battle.
Was there a particular direction that the team wanted to go about when depicting the aspects of resurrection and death?
Luca: In a lot of stories, the resurrection of a beloved is the ultimate goal of the necromancer. Usually, they never achieve this without paying a huge toll, or the result turns out to be horrific. Irea’s story in Never Mourn is no different. She paid a steep price and acquired the power to revive the body but couldn’t bring back the soul. Death is permanent. Since the Fleshlings she fights are created and controlled by greater beings, she ends up able to resurrect them as they were, keeping their abilities and specificities. This is the middle ground we wanted. Not generic skeletons, but flesh bodies with unique traits being used – without remorse – as literal meatshields.
Expanding on the earlier question, the concepts of death and resurrection are quite the opposite, in the sense of both the character design and abilities; how did the team confront that challenge?
Luca: We had to work with duality and complementarity. Two different skill sets with their own gameplay… They are codependent, they work together but never blend perfectly. You have to slay enemies to raise them, and very quickly, you realise the other way around is true, too. At the end of a run, Irea dies, and you start all over again. It’s an endless loop. Irea’s design is thought of in the same way. What she used to be and what she came to co-exist as. She wears half a death mask, and her two-sided staff symbolises life and death.
How many developers have actively worked on this project?
Enrique: We are a team of 5 friends.
Never Mourn received a demo during the Steam Next Fest. What was the fans' general reception regarding the game?
Luca: The reception has been great! Overall, people enjoyed playing the demo despite it being quite barebones when it comes to features and polish. They gave us a lot of good feedback and were very vocal about their positivity.
One thing I noticed people complaining about was the controller support not being ready at the time. Has there been any progress on that front?
Luca: Oh yes, it has been a hot topic for us, but we are now in a far better place (pun unintended)! Everyone will be able to enjoy Never Mourn with a controller from now on, and players will have options to adapt the controls to match their play style.
What new things can players expect to see in Never Mourn that they didn't see in the demo?
Luca: There will be a lot of new content to explore in the game at its release! One important thing we added is the enchantments; a new type of reward that can really change your gameplay and the way you build your character throughout a run. You can expect to see more of this closer to the launch!
The roguelite genre has been explored extensively, especially in the indie sphere. What does Never Mourn do differently from others, especially compared to other big roguelites?
Enrique: We bring an interesting twist to necromancy with the idea of the ‘battle necromancer.’ Players have to swiftly switch between an aggressive playstyle at short range and a kit focused around “supportive” abilities that are usually found in multiplayer games to help you keep your army in good shape. Properly assessing the situation and deciding whether to slay a dangerous enemy, heal a precious ally or raise a useful new one is rewarding. Moreover, the resurrection mechanic definitely changes the way players approach the action by giving importance to the composition of their army. This also brings an interesting pattern where encountering a difficult enemy also brings excitement at the idea of having it by your side.
How many hours will an average playthrough take? And can we expect to see more content being added post-launch?
Enrique: We expect a playthrough to last around 6 hours, and of course, since we are talking about a roguelite, a lot more can be explored and done after you beat the game. We will do our best to keep the content coming after the release. We have many more exciting ideas to explore with Never Mourn!
Will the game be released on other consoles? And can we expect it to arrive on Game Pass sometime in the future?
Luca: We would love to see this happen, but with that being said, we can’t promise anything! If players want to keep up to date with the news, they are welcome to join our community on Discord.
Is there anything else you want to share that hasn't been discussed?
Luca: We really are enthusiasts to finally share the game we have been working on for a long time, and we hope you will enjoy Never Mourn as much as we do! Enrique: If you want a fresh take on necromancy in action and roguelites, you should definitely check out the game!
Never Mourn is a fast-paced action RPG meets Rogue-lite developed and published by Primal Seed. The game brings a new perspective to the traditional Necromancer and is scheduled to release on January 29, 2024.
Shoaib Rashid is a passionate Gamer and an experienced writer who has been covering the Gaming Industry for over 3 Years. He started his career as a freelance journalist, writing reviews, previews, news, guides, and features for various industries. He joined VA Gaming as a Writer in 2022 and was promoted to Content Editor in 2023, where he oversees the editorial tasks and ensures the quality and accuracy of the content.
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