"Papers, Please’s cuter, cozier cousin"
Lil’ Guardsman is a narrative deduction game that takes place in a cute fantasy world, coming to Switch later this year. In a new dev diary, Hilltop Studios’ Italo Capasso writes about the experience of developing the game, and exactly how it came to be.
The post explains how Capasso got involved with Hilltop Studios, meeting with the company’s original founders who were in need of some extra help. Capasso was able to take a vertical slice they’d put together, capitalize on what made it special, and expand it into a full game.
Before I started working on Lil’ Guardsman as its lead developer, I had been working non-stop in gaming for 15 years. It seemed like it might finally be time to slow down and take a break! But no. My last job had been at Unity supporting teams using the engine, and I was missing making games myself. I wanted to go one more round in the ring!
I stumbled upon a job posting for a lead/solo dev on Work With Indies from a brand new studio in Toronto, Canada called Hilltop. Its founders Artiom and Scott had a strong vision, but desperately needed someone like me. Their posting linked to a vertical slice they had made with a different developer, so there was something I could play and try to understand what they were hoping to make. I immediately recognized that the prototype had a lot of potential, and even before I was offered the role I started working on how to design and construct a codebase that would support their vision.
He goes on to describe the core “technical pillars” of the game, and how he incorporated them into his work. Click here to read the full blog post. Look for Lil’ Guardsman on Switch later in 2023.