Co-Optimus: So what is Wanderlust Adventures? Is it a reboot of the series, a continuation?
Matthew: Wanderlust: Rebirth is to Wanderlust Adventures as Demon Souls is to Dark Souls. Some core Wanderlust elements (combat style, 4 player co-op, combat awards and character classes) have transitioned into WA but overall WA is a fundamentally different game by comparison; Rebirth is a linear arcade action RPG while Adventures is an open-world, action adventure RPG with heavy use of procedural generation.
Co-Optimus: Interesting. So going along with that same line of thinking, what’s changed or been improved with Wanderlust Adventures? Have there been any new additions?
Matthew: There are too many upgrades to detail here but the main differences are that the game is now open-world, non-linear, and has a more traditional skill advancement (level) system. Also, we’ve integrated the Steam Networking API - with help from Bartwe who was a coder for Starbound - which eliminates the need for hosts to port-forward, while also allowing players to drop in and out of games at any time. Layered on top of these changes is procedural generation in terms of the locations you find, if/where you find them, and what you encounter around the world. It’s an extremely robust game filled with mystery, exploration, and epic encounters.
Co-Optimus: You brought on a new composer for the soundtrack as well, right?
Matthew: How could I have failed to mention Chris Christodoulou! We were happy with the musicians we worked with in the past but when I worked on Risk of Rain and heard Chris’s progressive musical influences, I knew I had to get him on board. The guys at Hopoo introduced me to him via email and the rest is history. The results speak for themselves; the Wanderlust Adventures OST is a blend of orchestral, electronica and progressive rock music styles. In fact, one of the tracks even features a guitar solo by yours truly - “Leth’s Axe”.
The Wanderlust Adventures Official Soundtrack is already available (alongside the Risk of Rain Soundtrack and other works by Chris) on his bandcamp page. You can listen to it there or pick it up for a minimum payment of only 4 Euros : chrischristodoulou.bandcamp.com
Co-Optimus: Is there something particular about the world of Valandria that drew you back there? I suppose another way of asking that is “why do a game in the same series, instead of a wholly new IP?”
Matthew: I’m going to give you a somewhat “Producer-Style” answer here:
- The project began as an add-on to Rebirth because I wanted to expand the story to give players an opportunity to kill the Lich who escaped at the end of the game
- We had an engine already built, with online co-op functionality
- It is a lot less risky to spend two years of work on a proven IP than a brand new one