Excellent surprise for the end of 2022, the shoot-em-up with roguelite elements vampire survivors has been talked about a lot in recent months. Its success obviously surprised the players, but the most surprised remains Luca “poncle” Galante, the creator of the game.
Luca Galante taken aback by this sudden success
Arrived on November 10 in the Xbox Game Pass – which was a major vector of its explosion – Vampire Survivors was however released in early access a year ago. It was in 2020 that Luca Galante embarked on this solo adventure by exploiting his experience in developing flashy graphics for slot machines.
It is without great ambition that he develops this game for fun before releasing it in early access in December 2021, then you know the rest. The game came out completely, was entitled to a first DLC and was even nominated for The Game Awards 2022 in the “best first independent game” category. Luca “poncle” Galante has since founded a company and hired developers to help him run Vampire Survivors and consider other projects.
It is with our colleagues from IGN that Luca Galante spoke about this year full of surprises.
“It was really amazing to be nominated for The Game Awards alongside all the other real developers. Last year, every time I thought we had reached the height of absurdity, there was something new that came to surpass the previous thing.
While I find it very hard to believe that Vampire Survivors deserves all this attention, I’m glad it’s getting it, especially because it shows that anyone can do it and it will hopefully encourage , other independent developers to continue their projects. I don’t say this out of a “good heart”, but out of selfishness: I want to see more and more Celestes, Undertales, Powerwash Simulators, Wandersongs and Short Hikes take the place they deserve!”
A nice message sent to independent developers who would find it hard to believe in the quality of a project they would consider too original, niche. Current platforms indeed allow developers to benefit from a larger showcase than ever, but Luca Galante still does not understand how his game has had such success.
“I have no idea, which makes it really scary!” Since launch I’ve tried not to look at the numbers or what’s happening online specifically so as not to get too carried away, I’ve kept my head down and continued to work on the game and the game. business, focusing almost entirely on player feedback on Discord and the Steam forums. The one thing that I’m sure has made the difference is our community managers who have done and are doing an amazing job of maintaining communication with players! »
Galante therefore wants to be very modest and highlights in particular the communication work of its community. According to him, the Steam Deck has also had a very positive impact given that Vampire Survivors is a game well suited to Valve’s console format.
A unique model in the current DLC landscape
While the first paid DLC for Vampire Survivors – called Legacy of the Moonspell – has just been released, Galante also spoke about his vision of DLCs and his desire to offer this extension at 2€. As a reminder, this DLC released on December 15 adds new characters, new weapons and a new world. Galante had the idea for DLC by remembering the levels that could be purchased for a few euros on Final Fantasy Tactics or Valkyrie Profile.
“So as a gamer, I’m absolutely into the idea of being able to continue to get content for the games that I love, but very often these days I feel like DLC is designed around monetization rather than good player service. Having a negative preconception about DLCs, I was very hesitant to try to make one, but I also couldn’t keep adding things to Vampire Survivors for fun when you have to think about a business. And so, here is the DLC! My biggest hope is that we’ve managed to make it a fair deal for gamers and that they like it, it’s something that I as a gamer would be happy to see in stores. »
Now that the game has been released on Xbox, PC and mobiles, it is legitimate to wonder if a release on Switch and PlayStation is considered. Luca Galante is advancing at his own pace, however, and will see how the Vampire Survivors situation evolves.
“The advantage of being independent is that you can do just about anything, as long as everyone on the team agrees. Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to speak specifically about other platforms, because our marketing team might talk me out of it… Actually, who cares, let me tell you that one day, I will hope to launch the game on Vita! »
As for the future projects of poncle and his team, Luca Galante was just as timid while still taking the situation with humor.
“Our marketing team said we couldn’t answer that question, but who cares… The problem is, our legal team said the same thing; moreover, what is a vampire? »
Luca Galante’s temperament vis-à-vis the dazzling and deserved success of Vampire Survivors is a pleasure to see. Whether you like this singular game or not, it is clear that simple and mastered concepts like this have their place in the current video game landscape. The community is invested, the economic model is healthy for players and creators alike and we can only wish the best to Luca “poncle” Galante and his team for the future.