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Sean Krankel; "If the stakes aren't really high from the jump, I think that players will not be as connected"

We spoke with Night School Studios founder and creative director about bringing an aura of novelty to new titles.

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Recently, as part of the Fun and Serious event, we sat down and chatted with Night School Studios' founder and creative director Sean Krankel, where we got down to the nitty-gritty of some of the developer's more notable titles. We spoke with Krankel about Oxenfree and Afterparty, and how they changed the dynamic at the studio with people expecting novelty each time around.

"One thing that has been a gift and a curse is that Oxenfree, because of the story and the world and the mechanics that we did were quite new at that time. I think that our fanbase, from that game, we've got folks that attach themselves to all sorts of components of it. There are some people who just loved that world, so when we went to the Afterparty 3D art style that was more expensive, it was actually sort of off-putting for some people as they just wanted to see flat paintings."

I think for us, the tough thing for parsing through all of this feedback is like, how much of this feedback is based on the things we're doing not being as novel as Oxenfree felt the first time. So, we have to go, how do we continue to be novel and change that?

The other thing is like, and this kind of goes to the scary thing I was saying: If the stakes aren't really high from the jump, I think that players will not be as connected, and the stakes at least on the surface of our follow-up two games don't seem that high. Even though Milo and Lola are literally dead in hell, it's always like, how much worse can it get."

You can check out the interview in full above, where we discuss more with Krankel about Night School Studios and their upcoming titles.


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