The Story behind the Survival Horror game Reading in the Dark

The Story behind the Survival Horror game Reading in the Dark

The Story behind the Survival Horror game Reading in the Dark

Find it on Steam

Leonardo Delafiori

Leonardo Delafiori

Founder

Reading in the Dark / Aspects of Change

Story-driven Survival Horror with unique visuals

🇧🇷 Based in São Paulo, Brazil

📅 Founded February 2019

🏆 1 Founders

💵 Monthly Revenue = NA

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Who are you and what game did you create?

My name is Leonardo Delafiori and I am a college student from Brazil. I have lived around video games ever since I can remember and my dream was always to create and work in the industry. Now I finally released a commercial product on steam and started development on a much bigger project.

At the start of this year, I started working on a strategy casual game called Aspects of change after my teacher asked my class to create a game based on the word “Horoscope”. This game helped me understand the basics of the Unreal engine, as well as 3D modeling. Now I am feeling comfortable on solo developing my dream game,  a survival horror game with a heavy focus on item management called “Reading in the Dark”.

In my day to day workflow, I generally spend way too much time developing and planning what i’m going to do. Now with the addition of my youtube channel that I just created, I seek to not only build hype around my game, but to also build a community of people to talk about game design and study what the great games of our generation did right.

Walk us through the process of creating the game.

When I first started developing Aspects of Change, i had no idea how the Unreal engine or 3D modeling worked, but I had some experience with Unity and Godot. I ended up studying Unreal as i went, learning more and more how to create the game mechanics. Blender was hard to learn at the beginning but now I’m feeling very comfortable with both of the platforms, thanks to the development of Aspects of Change.

A really valuable thing that I learned is that organization is key to having a big project. Now, with Reading in the Dark, i have a big and growing game design document that details all of the features. Also, i have google sheets for: Chronogram on activities that i will do in the month, budget spent and control, sound design checklist and 3D model creation checklist. Trello is also a must have for day to day work.

Where did you get the word out about your new game?

Aspects of Change was launched around September, on Steam. The launch process was a bit overwhelming, with contracts and a lot of bureaucracy, but it was definitely worth it.  At the time, I had nowhere to promote my game to a larger audience, so I sent it to friends and family. The launch was surprisingly smooth. I had about 12 friends play it and none of them reported any glitches or crashes.

What are some of the most effective ways that you attract people to your game?

For Aspects of change, I’d say that the game has a different concept and is put together well. You can experience a fun strategy game for about 2 dollars.

With Reading in the Dark, I hope to bring a bone chilling experience with unique visuals and story. Gameplay-wise,  the game takes inspiration from a lot of the big horror games of our generation with my spin on it.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Currently, my main sources of inspiration are horror games like Amnesia: the dark descent, Outlast, Resident Evil and Silent Hill. These games were incredible horror experiences that I lived through growing up, and I am doing my best to dissect what made these games great and bring that essence over to Reading in the Dark. The level design and item management from Resident evil, the storytelling from Outlast, the fluid gameplay and good pacing from Amnesia and the terrifying creatures from Silent Hill.

Movies also help me out in terms of pacing and storytelling. Films like Jeepers creepers and Sinister. They help me to build the world and characters in a more convincing and creepy way, adding a lot to the experience of the final user. 

When it comes down to producing and enduring anxiety and fear of being bombarded with dislikes, my dad is my biggest inspiration. He is a man of focus, commitment and sheer will, like John Wick. He helps me keep going after the euphoria is gone.

Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs or game creators?

This might be the most important tip that I learned. 

Never stop being organized, this can save a big project from failing. Keep track of chronograms, deadlines and checklists. Never hesitate to spend extra time in the planning phases.

Another important one is that you must find ways to keep yourself excited for your project. Since we only get paid after investing hours of hard work, we can easily lose ourselves and give up on projects that could take years. Being excited about a project when you just started it is easy, but after a while it starts to get increasingly hard. That is why you need to know yourself and what you can do to not lose this grip.

How are things today and what are your plans for the future?

Things are looking very bright. Right now I am working hard on developing Reading in the Dark, managing my Youtube channel and studying sculpting in Zbrush. In the future I am planning on creating more character models using my new found knowledge of sculpting, combined with the knowledge I have from rigging and animation in blender.

Where can we learn more?

You can find me on my Youtube channel: Krimson Koala, here’s a link:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY9q7Cr9g9hcdrWLLrVFQ0A?

There, I show what I am working on for Reading in the Dark, as well as discuss game development and study good game design from the big successes of the industry.

Also, here is a link for the Aspects of Change steam store page:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1136470/Aspects_of_change/

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