"Lost Paradise" is a visually stunning game made by a small team in Italy, and it's starting to make waves in the Indy scene. The game is a hack and slash set in a surreal artistic world shrouded in mystery and beautiful visuals. Currently, Lost Paradise looks better than most titles you see coming from larger studios. It is also by far one of the most visually interesting game to come out of Italy, a country often associated with racing games, and outsourcing from larger European studios.
I sat down with Antonino Truisi to discuss Lost Paradise, and to get a better insight into the Italian game developer experience. He was a bit cryptic when it came to what to expect from the game's narrative (which is pretty cryptic to begin with), but I wouldn't want it any other way! I went ahead and split this interview into two articles, one focusing on his game, and the other on Italy's Indy game scene. Stayed tuned!
Who are you? How did you get into game development? What is your Story?
My name is Antonino Truisi, my story is similar of many other independent developers, i am a player! At some point in my life, about 4/5 years ago (or so), I began to watch and play videogames with totally different eyes, this took me a desire to try to achieve something on my own, they begin to create my own games through beautiful rpg maker up to now with Lost Paradise in Unreal Engine 4.
What is the Story Behind the development of Lost Paradise? How big is your team and how did you all meet?
This is a simple question how complex, and i like it! To get to the actual result Lost Paradise has undergone a lot of evolution. Initially, about 3 years ago, the name of the game was After the Life: Lost Paradise and was developed on the Unity 3D first-person, and I was just me in the development. Towards the end of 2014 I put the concept of steam greenlight and shared my work in several Italian groups, and to my astonishment he received a lot of positive feedback and aroused the interest of many other people, this has allowed me to create during 2015 a small but talented team.
The game was approved on greenlight in less than 11 days! Thanks to the new skills of the team I decided to make towards the end of 2015 a total reboot of the game turning it into what is now Lost Pradise, this is allowing me to evolve and create what I really always wanted to do, but before I was's able to carry alone! The team is composed of about 10 people, but is working actively about 5, many of us go to college or have a part time job, currently I only I can work continuously on the project!
From my understanding this is a work in progress. How long did it take for you to get what you are showing up and running? When can we expect the game to be launched?
That's right, now everything shown is a work in progress, we can say that we are in an advanced stage / final concept of the game and we are starting the actual development, but at the moment many ways I can change based on adaptations of gameplay.
We started working on this totally reboot from "nothing" at the beginning of 2016, starting with concept on paper, what we currently see today was made in about 3/4 months of work. Hard to say when we launched the game, we do not want to run but we do not want fossilize much now that we have an almost complete team, so it's hard to say when it's over, I can tell you that I'd complete it by the end of 2017.
The game have an interesting art style both aesthetically and technically. What are some of the inspirations you had when developing games visuals?
I made directly the art direction of Lost Paradise, what I try to offer is a silent narration by the aesthetics, it is static but speaks. Let's take a great deal of weight in all the visual arts and sound in the Lost Paradise as they are closely linked to the concept we have in mind.
We are inspired to a lot of things, but not in a direct way, the idea that they express, I could make a long list of games, places, movies and TV shows, books where the small elements which we take inspiration and we shape it to our liking, but it would be useless ! Let's say that the Lost Paradise artistic direction is given by our very existence, experience, culture and creativity accumulated so far, and is constantly evolving.
What is Lost Paradise about? What can we expect from the story and gameplay?
This is one of those questions that are difficult to answer, not because there is nothing to say but on the contrary, there is too much to say! I can not actually say much in detail about the story, all are very connected and reveal something wrong could be a spoiler and ruin the experience, I can say that it is something unconventional and never seen. The Stigma is something realy important and you need to become one with it but you can choise to destroy it.
I look with the player/outsider looking at pictures and videos of Lost Paradise published until now I'd do an idea of a oniric / fantasy game ... but let's say that's what we want to show, there is a secret behind Lost Paradise that will leave you speechless. In terms of gameplay, even here we can not really say it all, what we can say is that the game will have fast and slow play sessions, what we want to do is take some of the game concepts and hybrid each other trying to create something unique and well balanced.
but not only, we have different gameplay ideas, some of them connected to the VR and online connections, nothing conventional, but on this I can not say much now, because even now we do not know if we have the knowledge to actually implement some of the mechanical unconventional we have in mind!