PAX West 2023 Wild Woods Interview

Wild Woods Cover art

Earlier today, we shared with you our impressions of Daedalic Entertainment and Octofox Games’ upcoming game Wild Woods. If you have never heard of the game before, that’s alright because here is the basic premise of the game. Wild Woods is a couch coop game that has players working together to gather resources for their caravan, protect it, and fight off hoards in order to survive. As the caravan moves throughout the level, players will need to strategies on what path to take in order to gather additional resources, avoid powerful monsters, upgrade the cart, and avoid death.

Wild Woods Interview

After previewing Wild Woods, we got to speak with one of Octofox Games developers Erik to discuss the game and how it came into creation.

Erik: Hi I am Erik with Octofox Games and we are making Indie games in Hamburg, Germany.

Matt: Since you are one of the devs on the game. How long has the game been in development?

Erik: We have been actually working on it for two full years now but it has been around a bit longer. This started off as a studies project. After that, we got the opportunity to go to conventions and we polished it and worked around it. Then Covid happened and we had to wait a bit. Then we got the opportunity to basically redo everything and make it online capable for cooperative play. In total, I would say the first steps started four or five years ago.

Matt: Online capable as in cross-platform capable or System to system.

Erik: The last thing we can definitely do. The technology is in theory capable of doing cross-platform but we are not sure if we can handle all of the stuff around it. We are just four people and all of this is really new for us. It is our first game and networking is hard.

Matt: Unless you have an infrastructure manager, that is understandable.

Erik: We are using ready-to-use technology but we still need to hook Wild Woods into specific points there to make everything work.

Matt: Earlier you said it was a studies game. What inspired this game?

Erik: Yes, the first thing was that our professor asked why does nobody make couch co-op games anymore? You are here in a laboratory with other gamers and game makers, so why don’t you do stuff that you can do all together? So after that, Couch Co-op it was. We had a different prototype at the beginning, a completely different game; it didn’t work out that well. The second iteration was basically this.

Matt: With it being a five-year process, have there been any really big hiccups along the way or a point where you need to go back to the drawing board?

Erik: Over and over again. There is a lot of trying out stuff. Seeing if it is working. Is it working for other people as well? What we have here is the core of the game and it is basically not changing anymore. Since it is working, everything we do from now on is more of the same, and adding stuff that is enhancing the experience.

Matt: You said earlier it is supposed to be a couch co-op game, how do you handle that with the PC aspect?

Erik: Our first idea was basically just couch co-op so you had to have four gamepads. Since we needed to find someone to help publish the game, we needed to make the game online as well. We got the opportunity and were funded by the city of Hamburg; they gave us the money to redo everything and make it online capable. This fixed some of the problems that people might not have four controllers or four friends.

Matt: So you stated that there are different bosses in the game, can you elaborate further?

Erik: Let me explain the full game loop first. You are trying to protect your wagon. You are traveling through the forest and trying to make it safe again. In the daytime, you are collecting resources and putting them in the wagon. When night falls, enemies will appear and try to stop you and get your stuff. You need your wood for light. You can use the herbs you find to heal yourself. It has a softcore rouge-lite situation. There are multiple biomes to explore.

Matt: Is there an official release date for the game?

Erik: No there is not. There are only four people working on the game. The goal is to potentially enter early access in the first half of next year (2024).

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Hardcore gaming enthusiast, cosplayer, streamer, Tall Anime lover (6ft 9), and a die-hard competitor. I have been a Pop-Culture Journalist since 2011 specializing in shooters, Pokemon, and RPGs.

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