Developer Q & A: The Minit devs are back with a razor-sharp “disc survival game”

5 mins read

Interview by Matt S.

The talented development team behind Minit really hit onto something special with that low-fi, high-concept little game about iterative progress. Now they’re back, in partnership with Devolver Digital, to announce something very different: Disc Room, a hardcore action game that’s all about surviving brutally sharp, rapidly spinning discs. 
I had the opportunity to quickly chat with Jan Willem Nijman and Kitty Calis about the sources of inspiration for this game, what players can expect from it when it launches later on in 2020.
Matt S: This game is a bit inspired by that classic film, Cube, right? (because otherwise I really have no idea what I’m looking at with this game).
Jan & Kitty: Short answer: yes! Long answer: absolutely yes. Disc Room draws inspiration from a huge amount of science fiction. (Both good and bad). The team loves anything about exploring strange intergalactic architecture, from Alien and 2001: a Space Odyssey, to more high-class like Sphere or Event Horizon… You name it, and we’ve watched it. The game really tries to capture that feeling of 70s and 80s science fiction, and those the big cosmic questions that come with it. Oh, and sawblades.

Matt S: Who are you pitching this game to? Who’s going to enjoy it the most?
Jan & Kitty: There are three kinds of people that wouldn’t surprise us:
1) Fans of oldschool science fiction.
2) Fans of slowly making your way through mysterious labyrinths.
3) Most of all: people who like a good challenge, and aren’t afraid to get sliced to pieces over and over again.

You can play your way through the storyline and have a great space adventure, but we also let you get really into the nitty gritty if you feel like it. Get killed over and over again just because you want to see what’s behind that one door. You know you’ll be able to do it, but also, the sawblades make it a bit difficult.

Matt S: From the trailer, the action certainly looks deadly. Is this going to be one of those games that requires preternatural reflexes, or are more average people like me going to be able to finish it?
Jan & Kitty: Our philosophy comes down to requiring the preternatural reflexes that the player is okay with. The game will come with a host of accessibility options, including letting you slow down the game speed. We want everybody to be able to get their ass kicked in a way that’s comfortable for them. And like Minit, there’ll be a nice playthrough for everyone, and a wealth of hardcore secrets for those ready to dive deep.

Kitty Calis and Jan Willem Nijman

Matt S: Why discs? Why not squares, or triangles or – my favourite shape of all – hexagons?
Jan & Kitty: Great question! There’s already a brilliant representation of deadly hexagons in Super Hexagon, and AAA games are filled with triangles, no way to compete with that. Discs still seem underrepresented in games to this day, we hope to change that.

Matt S: Putting aside the jokes and bemusement of the concept, Disc Room really does look intriguing and like it will be a lot of fun. What are your hopes for the game… beyond that it’s a commercial success, of course?
Jan & Kitty: Thank you so much! In a way, it’s a project made to challenge ourselves. Can we take a very simple concept, and turn it into something more than the sum of its parts? We’re trying to make the Pizza Margaritha of games here. Super simple, but when done well, it’s the best kind of pizza.

– Matt S. 
Find me on Twitter: @mattsainsb

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