NeonLore: To read or not to read… in a video game?

Right after finishing all kinds of certification tests and getting excited about the launch of neonlorethe usual wave of anxiety hit me: What if the players don’t understand what we’re trying to accomplish here?

I would classify myself as true indie developers. Please allow me and excuse me to make a bit of a pun here by adding the word “real”. We are not in financial debt to anyone and we are really a studio of less than ten people working all the time. And we have not received any external investment to date, while we have launched a dozen titles in the last three years.

Indie developers like that we have a different kind of anxiety when we release a game: “Will the game sell enough to cover the costs?” is usually replaced by a more convoluted question:

“Will the players understand us”?


Nothing will happen to our independent study if neonlore financial tanks. We will continue to create and launch independent projects. We’ve developed a skin tough enough to ignore most game journalists looking at our $5 priced games with the same scope that they review $60 priced games. What we usually need is a bit of inspiration to move on and keep taking risks and trying something different. Sure, running an indie game studio is a business, and running a sustainable business is as exhausting as a boss fight in an FPS game. However, getting encouragement as independent developers is the real support we need. And this time, the inspiration for this article came to me when I read a recent interview with [email protected]The director of Chris Chat. He indicated how much value he places on indie games by saying, “They don’t have to try to be everything to everyone.”

And yes, in that sense neonlore it’s a little game. But it has some great ideas, maybe it could become a completely different genre, maybe not. We can’t know, we don’t want to know. As independent developers, we did what we were supposed to do, we had to experiment with our limited resources.

inside screenshot

neonlore it will be called just another walking simulator by some. For us, it experiments with incorporating audiobooks into the game, which we think is an interesting way to bring books to different audiences that wouldn’t normally come across that type of medium. Chris Charla continues in the same article: “Indie games are the most exciting content on the planet”, which inspired me to elaborate on neonlore, and what we’re trying to establish as a genre by starting this game: What if you wake up one day and your Xbox app notifies you that the latest audiobook from your favorite author is ready to release on your Xbox system in the form of a adventure game? Who wouldn’t want to listen to the latest Stephen’s King book while walking through locations inspired by that same novel, on the big screen, with glorious 4K textures all around?

I would, as a player.

As a game developer with a background in literature, this would be a dream come true and will open up vast sub-ranges and alternatives in the socio-cultural space of video games. Mothers and teachers complaining that teenagers don’t read books? Are they missing outdated milestones of classic literature? Well, it would be great if they actually read the books, but as forerunners in this medium, we can suggest an alternative: Let’s travel back in time to the early 20th century.the century in New York City and see the world through the eyes of Nick Carraway, and as we stroll through those environments where we don’t have to worry about shooting zombies, we listen to Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby.

screenshot menu

Let’s see if other players would agree with me or not: in neonloreI hope you enjoy listening to four different short novels, written by four different sci-fi authors exclusively for this game, while enjoying cyber-punk themed views and a bit of puzzle solving as well.

Last but not least, another big thank you to the Xbox team for supporting and encouraging independent developers with such risky projects. neonlore is available today on Xbox!

xbox live


interactive playstige



Neon-Lore is a first person free form exploration game. You will meet interesting characters and find out what happened to the human race in the near future. As you wander through the neon drenched streets, you will discover what the world has become, how life goes on in a world of intriguing fusion of chaos and technological advancement. In Neon-Lore, you will solve puzzles and meet various characters and learn about their past lives, dreams and fears… And you will have the opportunity to discover more deeply the social transformations that have impacted human life in the 21st century… Features: *Discover the world at your own pace. * No glitches or quests, you decide how you explore the world. * Beautiful cyber-punk themed environments. *Meet 40 different characters and learn about their origins. *Get access to 4 different audiobooks containing 4 different cyberpunk themed novels written exclusively for this game by science fiction authors. * Relaxing and exciting cyber-punk themed soundtrack.