Starting a project from scratch can be a huge challenge, but that’s exactly what Farom Studio, developers behind the popular iOS shooter Bad Day did. After rebranding the original FPS concept through a survival lens, spicing up gameplay with crafting, exploration and upgradable skills, Lost Region was born. Gameranx spoke to Farom Studio Co-Founder Konstantine Lisetskiy about the development process, player feedback, and how Lost Region promises survival fans a brand new adventure.
Gameranx: Tell us your story. How did you get into game development and where you are now?
Konstantine Lisetskiy: It was six years ago. I started with Unreal Engine 3 (UDK). I was surfing over the internet reading different developers’ articles, and found that UE3 (UDK) is free for all, you can just download and start. It took me two weeks to complete all the video tutorials provided on UDN. A couple of months later, I met Vladimir Belousov in one of the Developers groups at VK.com (A social network). He already had one project about Chernobyl. We decided to start on mobile platforms, since we thought that would be much easier. So we started Bad Day. It was a successful release, but we found that we had no experience to hold such a project, and also Unreal Engine 4 launched, so we started porting to that. One guy left from us with the rights of the Bad Day game, and we decided to restart development under the new title.
Gameranx: In your own words, what is Lost Region all about?
Lisetskiy: Lost Region is about anarchy. There’s no plague, monsters or aliens in this world; The crisis came to the world because of humans. We are not making a post-apocalyptic game, there are too many games in that genre that have been developed over the last few years. So we’re just going to have a world where anybody can do whatever he wants. You could be a mad raider, hunting all other players and NPCs, or you could be good Samaritan helping everybody, or even an architect so other players without that skill can hire you if they need a custom base.
Gameranx: Lost Region was previously known as the popular iOS game Bad Day. When Unreal Engine 4 came out you wanted to release there but a team member left. Can you tell us a bit about that? What’s it been like porting the game to PC and consoles?
Lisetskiy: We started the whole project from scratch. Bad Day was about the CIS region, but we changed the whole world and decided to start with a North American setting. A fully 3D game is easier for PC and consoles because of technical restrictions; You are free in everything that you want to implement.
Gameranx: Why the name ‘Lost Region’? What were your inspirations for the game?
Lisetskiy: We named the game ‘Lost Region’ because the action takes place in United States, set in a world where civilization is in crisis. We decided to use not to use a real state in our game, so we called it ‘Lost Region’ instead.
Gameranx: How long has the current version of the game been in development for?
Lisetskiy: The current version has been in development for 6 months. That’s because we started this from scratch.
Gameranx: Given the popularity of games like GTA, Spiper Elite, Hitman and Just Cause, the shooter genre is a pretty tough market to crack. How is Lost Region going to be different?
Lisetskiy: We are not making just a shooter game, we are making 100% sandbox as well. You can, craft, trade, build, and heal. One single character cannot be an architect and weapons master, you have to find the right person and ask him to craft you something. We are making a trade system between players where you will be able to set prices in money or in resources for barter.
Gameranx: Can you reveal any details about the single player campaigns?
Lisetskiy: We are focusing more on secondary missions for co-op, so players can explore the world. The single player campaign will be in game, but our focus is co-op with friends.
Gameranx: Lost Region went into alpha last month. What’s the feedback been like? What kind of updates can we expect as development progresses?
Lisetskiy: The game isn’t actually in alpha yet, we just announced it. We found many people in Japan wanting to play the game, and we had tons of requests from Japan about the commencement of the alpha and how to buy the game.
Gameranx: Tell us briefly about the different factions (bandit, mechanic, soldier or adventurer) and which kind of player/s they might be suited to.
Lisetskiy: There are five main factions in game: The Sentinel alliance (Ex-army personnel), Dockers (Control the sea area and build ships), Wolfs (Live in forests around the main city), Miners (Control all mines and subways), and Cobra (Bandits). Players can choose one of these factions or create a custom faction, and is free to declare a war or alliance with each of these factions. This will earn extra territories which will have bonuses.
Gameranx: You currently have an Indiegogo campaign for Lost Region. What are some of the challenges associated with that?
Lisetskiy: We made it for promotion, we are not focused on taking money from this platform. The first priority is to spread the word about us. Currently, we have all resources that we need to complete the alpha edition of the game. It’s not good when your game launches online and there is nobody on the servers. We know some sad stories about that, so this is to avoid empty servers.
Gameranx: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Lisetskiy: We will do our best to deliver something new to you. Many people have amazing ideas for games so feel free to contact us via our social media, website or forum where you will be able to share your ideas for Lost Region’s open world with us.
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Lost Region is expected to release in Q2 of 2017 for PC, Mac and Linux and Q4 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Interested players can purchase the alpha (PC) for $10 USD today. Gameranx thanks Lisetskiy for his time and making the interview possible.