Nira is a survival game where players can craft, build, farm and explore during the day and fight hordes of enemies at night. It’s full of procedurally generated worlds to explore with almost limitless possibilities.
The game is being created by the one man team at Baseline Games and will be hitting Steam Early Access in April.
We decided to ask the developer a few questions about his upcoming title.
Here’s what he had to say.
Tell us about your upcoming title, Nira.
Nira is a fast-paced exploration, survival game inspired by games like Terraria and Minecraft.
It features a procedurally generated open world in which you’re totally free to do whatever you want. But at night, creatures come out, so players better prepare themselves before night falls.
Why did you decide to create a survival game?
I would lie if I told you the current game is exactly what I envisioned when I started developing.
I’ve made dozens of small games that never saw light of day before I started working on a procedurally generated world system.
Even when I made that, tons of different projects came in between. But, I always saw myself coming back to this one. Eventually, one thing lead to another and Nira was born. I’ve been working on it for a couple of years now.
What was the inspiration behind the game’s graphics?
I love pixel art games like Terraria and minimalistic games like Mini Metro.
I think I kind of combined a couple of art styles into something that is also relatively easy for me to do. Art is not my strongest side, but I think I can pull off this art style pretty well.
Tell us about the difference in gameplay when it’s daytime versus night.
This is a very important aspect of Nira.
During the day, you’re pretty much free to do whatever you want. Whether it’s exploring, building a base, fishing or cooking, it’s all up to you.
When night falls, creatures spawn all over the place, so players better prepare themselves during the day to survive. They can do this by building a base for defenses, or crafting weapons to attack creatures.
Daytime is relaxing and chill, while nighttime is intense and full of action.
The game includes the very fun aspect of being able to tame and ride animals. What types of animals will players be able to ride around on?
Currently the game features:
All animals can be ridden, and I’m planning to add a lot more. The colors of their fur is also randomized, so you won’t run into identical animals anytime soon.
What types of vehicles will players be able to build and use for travel?
At the moment, Nira features a boat and a plane. I would love to expand the game with more vehicles during Early Access though.
Can you tell us about the process / challenges of creating a game with procedurally generated worlds?
I learned the hard way there’s a lot more challenges that come with this than what you might imagine.
To start, it’s incredibly complicated to create an interesting map generator for a blocky world like Nira. Not just the terrain itself, but also the assets on top need to be well balanced and make the world feel vibrant and rich.
Secondly, saving and loading is a huge pain. Because the world is infinitely generated, you can never load the entire map at once.
This requires you to constantly load what’s within the camera view, and unload what’s outside of the camera view, as you move around in the map.
This constant loading and unloading gets especially complicated if you start modifying the terrain, by, for example building a base or lowering / raising terrain. (Imagine the amount of blocks being loaded and unloaded while flying a plane)!
You were recently looking for beta testers on twitter. Will you be using beta testers again before the game’s release?
Yes, a new beta round starts Tuesday, March 10th! Keep an eye on my social media for more information.
Nira is planned for an Early Access release on Steam on April 24th. What are your main goals for Early Access? How long will Nira be in Early Access?
– Building a community
– Adding content
– Fixing bugs
For Nira there’s currently a lot of base systems in place, like crafting, vehicles, animals, & enemies.
Everything is built modular and is ready for expansion, which is what I want to focus on once the community confirms for me the base game is stable enough to build upon.
From there, I hope the community helps me define the future direction of the game.
As for how long the Early Access will last, I’d rather leave it up to the community to tell me when the game is finished.
It looks like you have a ton of exciting features in the works to add to Nira while it’s in Early Access. Do you know how often you’ll be releasing new content?
Hopefully at least weekly.
Pushing patches to Steam only takes a couple minutes so, at the moment, I push a new patch almost every day.
Obviously, when the game is released, I’ll need to test more carefully. But, I hope to push something new at least once a week.
Do you have any plans to release Nira on platforms other than Steam?
If I can find the right partner to take care of other platforms, I would definitely be open to exploring this. However, at the moment, Steam is my top priority.
What’s your best piece of advice to fellow indie developers who are, like you, single-handedly attempting to develop their own game?
Keep your development cycle short and ask for as much feedback as you can.
There’s nothing more valuable than player feedback.
They see things you will never see and will come up with ideas you haven’t thought about.
I see so many games coming out where players unanimously call out the same issues, which is such a shame.
Obviously, you can never please everyone, but you can’t always trust your own opinion on things you’ve been staring yourself blind on for months.
Thanks so much for your time. We’ll look forward to Nira’s release later this year.
Thank you for interviewing me!
Nira will hit Steam Early Access on April 24th. (You can wishlist it right now).