KeokeN Interactive on launching its new game following the Moon landing anniversary and more
"That's one small step for a man... one giant leap for mankind." - the immortal words of American astronaut Neil Armstrong as he stepped onto the Moon just over 50 years ago.
This first manned mission by Apollo 11 has and will always live long in the memory, and no doubt as technology advances we will see more brave adventurers enter space to make the same landing, or even on other unexplored planets.
For millions, if not billions of us who will probably never take those steps into space, at least we have the comfort of venturing into the unknown and living out our spaceman fantasies through video games. Deliver Us The Moon, an action-adventure game from KeokeN Interactive, is one of the latest titles to take us on a journey to the Moon - telling a unique story of a lone astronaut battling for survival.
Speaking exclusively to Fanatical, KeokeN Interactive's CEO & co-founder Koen Deetman talked about releasing Deliver Us The Moon during a monumental milestone for space history, inspirations for the project and tackling a compelling story in zero gravity.
"Deliver Us The Moon is the ultimate spaceman experience in video games," says Koen. "We were heavily inspired by films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Moon and Gravity, and thought that video games were the perfect way to expand this type of experience.
"In terms of gameplay, we’ve tried to give you the full 'astronaut experience'; you can expect to launch a rocket, drive a lunar buggy, float around in zero gravity and so much more."
This year seemed like the perfect time for KeokeN Interactive to bring Deliver Us The Moon to the masses, what with the significance of the moon landing anniversary. Koen had fond memories growing up and learning about the space launches, the ever-famous moon landing and his family's fondness of astronomy.
We asked Koen whether it was always the plan to launch the game this year, and how long had the game been in development.
"Deliver Us The Moon has been in development a long time and to be finally launching in 2019 while people are reflecting on the Apollo missions is a real privilege for us," he said. "Real-life space exploration was always a big thing in our lives – my grandfather was a telescope engineer – so to be able to talk about Deliver Us The Moon in the context of the moon landings has been awesome.
"We didn’t make it as spacemen so we made Deliver Us The Moon instead."
Deliver Us The Moon has already picked up several accolades from the likes of Gamescom, PAX and E3, and pre-release reviews on Steam have seen the game rated ‘Very Positive’ already. With the game not far from release and so many people already enjoying what they’ve experienced so far, surely the dev team are high spirits as the release date draws nearer.
"The community and their support has been huge with Deliver Us The Moon," says Koen. "Seeing the game come through a successful Kickstarter campaign and the great support from partners and media has really kept us striving to make the game better.
"To know that people have loved previewing the early chapters is hugely encouraging and we’re confident that the full game will deliver on our vision for the game."
With a virtual galaxy of so many space and sci-fi genre games already on the market, we asked Koen if the development team took inspiration from particular titles in when making Deliver Us The Moon, or if any personal passions and hobbies leaned a helping hand.
"Our inspirations are from all kinds of media," says Koen. "But if we had to pick a few of our favorites in games, we’d have to shout out to the Mass Effect series for really setting the bar in narrative space adventures. ADR1FT for that realistic space exploration and space station vibe and Dead Space for the way in which they envisioned their third-person gameplay and the suit UI – they’ve all been big influences for us."
Just as many real-life astronauts have faced challenges in zero gravity and adjusting to somewhat unnatural surroundings, we asked Koen what were the big challenges that the developer faced when working on the project, such as the zero gravity element of the game.
"The biggest challenge and investment we faced when creating Deliver Us The Moon was perfecting the animations that make the game feel real, " says Koen. "Introducing third-person sequences to the game was massively important for us but it brings a whole bunch of hurdles.
"Fortunately, we managed to put an incredible team together including an animator who worked on Horizon Zero Dawn – we’re really happy with the results and we hope gamers will feel the same."
Deliver Us The Moon's core gameplay is very much based around the struggles of a lone astronaut battling for survival, but was a multiplayer option considered during the developing process - and could we see something like this included later down the line?
"We never really considered multiplayer for this project as we wanted it to be all about you and your journey to save the Earth," admits Koen. "It’s something we are considering for future projects but not something we have planned for Deliver Us The Moon."
Space is meant to be explored, there are vast corners of this dark and mysterious unknown that many have never seen, and may never will in their lifetime. Fortunately, it seems like more space-age exploration is on the cards as Koen confirmed that the team is open to expanding upon Deliver Us The Moon in the future.
"We’re already working hard on some great post-launch updates for Deliver Us The Moon," he said. "With a big focus on the launch of GeForce RTX support which is coming in full at the end of October – this adds a great layer of visual depth to the game which we hope gamers will really love as much as we do.
"In terms of expanding the story, we’d love to create more games in the Deliver Us The Moon universe and there are definitely areas we could explore."
Ready for your own moon landing? Grab your official Deliver Us The Moon Steam PC key right now from Fanatical.