Animal Well creator plans to follow the superb Metroidvania with a game that shares its world but “may not be a direct sequel”

By admin May24,2024

In a year already stacking up plates of delicious indie game dishes so fast they’re toppling over and crashing onto the floor, spilling splattered food over the carpet to be hoovered up by waiting dogs/cats/raccoons/mice, Animal Well is one of the most generous helpings yet. The captivating, combat-free Metroidvania is rich with a delectable buffet of challenges, puzzles and secrets to find even once you’ve seen the credits roll. Still, players have chewed their way through its more-ish platforming and puzzle-solving much faster than its solo developer intended, it turns out. Luckily for us all, creator Billy Basso is already looking ahead to a new game set in the moody zoo-niverse – even if that’s not a complete sequel.

Earlier this week, Basso took to the Nintendo Switch subreddit for an AMA (well spotted, PC Gamer), throwing up some fun tidbits about Animal Well’s development, plans for the future and – of course – a few teases of secrets yet to be fully uncovered.

Though some mysteries remain – with Basso refusing to comment on whether one particular item can be reached without using glitches, while teasing that other supposed secrets might be mere red herrings – the developer admitted that players had torn through the puzzles much quicker than he expected: “They have been solving them way faster then [sic] I was expecting. I am very flattered people care that much.”

In the case of the time capsule – one of the game’s most elaborate and difficult puzzles, which unlocks what some suspect to be its true ‘final’ ending – players were able to crack it in the first week. Basso expressed relief that the solution was found without being reverse-engineered by datamining the game’s files, saying: “I found it extremely impressive! […] They just solved it legitimately way faster than I ever could have imagined.”

Creepy statues of a cat, lizard, ostrich (?), and seahorse from Animal Well.

While Animal Well is likely to keep players busy for a while still – even as some folks are now speedrunning it in under four minutes – Basso is looking ahead to what comes next. In terms of whether that might be a full Animal Well sequel, the developer simply isn’t sure yet – but the aim is for his next game to be set in the same creature-filled world, at least.

“There will never be any DLC for animal well. If I do work on something else related to it, it will be a new game,” Basso confirmed to one comment, clarifying that there might be updates for “minor bug fixes” and the like. He then expanded on the idea of a follow-up to another by revealing “I’m currently planning to make a game that will be in the same “universe” but may not be a direct sequel.” (“cannot say,” Basso replied bluntly to another question about a sequel.)

Whatever comes next might at least build on what lore can be found in the first game, with Basso saying he focused on gameplay and visuals as the “main priority” of the platformer – something that comes through in its minimalist storytelling and world-building – but teased that “there is lore that I had in mind while making the game, including some very specific details that the community hasn’t pieced together yet”. Best get back to solving those puzzles, then!

Oh, if you’re wondering: Basso’s favourite item is the slinky, having found some of the puzzles designed around it among the most satisfying to design. A very fine choice, even if the raising platforms room during the ghost dog chase drove me to the point of needing to go outside, stare at nature and take a very long breath of fresh air before trying again.

By admin

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