Co-president and design director, Red Hook Studios
How closely does Darkest Dungeon today resemble your original concept?
It’s surprising, but I guess all the evolutions of the game have been just sort of details within systems that we knew would exist. And maybe some iteration within subsystems, but surprisingly no giant pivots, like getting halfway through and thinking, ‘We’re barking up the wrong tree here.’ It was just the hard work of making the vision a reality. We sort of had a map to begin with, and we never found ourselves off the map, it was just sort of cutting through jungle.
Which enemy was the most fun to design?
I’ve always loved that Skeleton Courtier so much. We were imagining that whatever happened when the Ancestor finally kicked things off, maybe there was a ball going on. And just this concept of the skeleton guy still wandering around with his goblet – Darkest
Dungeon certainly isn’t a slapstick game, but I love that humour can be found in this guy sitting there with his party cup. You think he doesn’t look very threatening, and then he throws this goblet of unspecified liquid on you.
What was the most significant revelation during Early Access?
I don’t think we were prepared for the size of the community we were going to have. It was an amazing surprise, and we had so many great proponents, some very helpful community members, that we were able to survive with just Chris and I handling it for a while. And also it was super-fun – to be able to directly interface with fans is just so neat. But ultimately we had to face up to the fact that we weren’t offering the community a good enough service by being split so much between that and development.