Paradise Killer launched earlier this month and we’re floored by the response! This bold murder mystery isn’t afraid to be weird and we’ve been told it deserves to be as confident as it feels 😎
With an outlandish cast of characters, and eccentric setting and lore, we thought the best thing to do was to give you some insight into the minds of the developers, with a Q&A!
Paradise Killer Q&A 🌴
What was the hardest part about making the game?
The hardest thing to make in the game was the trials. They were a nightmare of branching dialogue, logic checks and consistency. They took so long to get right. Literally two weeks before the game was finished I was adding in new branches and dialogue to fix consistency issues and narrative holes.
The hardest thing overall about making the game was doing it by ourselves. We only have two people on the game full time and it’s a very ambitious game for a small team. There is so much pressure that it becomes suffocating. When that is combined with problems, stresses and tragedies in your personal life, it can be very hard to cope. I have a lot more grey hairs now.
Are there any plans for sequel or prequel, or to explore Paradise in other media?
We’ve talked about a sequel or a prequel and I’d like to revisit Paradise. A sequel is difficult because any of the characters could be alive or dead so we’d have to do some mental gymnastics to explain all of that. We have an idea for a prequel about the downfall of Lady Love Dies on Island 13 but I don’t think it’s going to happen in the near future unfortunately. Similarly, we’d love to expand Paradise Killer into other media but boy howdy, does that cost money!
Are all the island sequences pink marble vaporwave nightmares, or do they have different aesthetics? The glimpses of the Way of Blood bar in sequence 25 have a very “Japanese backstreet” feel
They are all influenced by that kind of 90s city pop Japanese street feel but all have slightly different variations on the theme. The marble and crystal of the religious parts developed over the millennia. The first Paradise Island was formed in ancient times and was more directly influenced by Sumerian and Babylonian culture. As the islands progressed, the aesthetics changed to become more dream like.
That image for the Way of Blood bar is actually a photo I took in 2016 in one of the alleys next to Nakano Broadway in Tokyo.
Do islands have an equivalent to our world’s internet? I know they have computers and networks, but do they have social media, video sites, forums, etc? And if we’re streaming the in-game music via Starlight, does that mean Epoch is/was a character in Paradise Killer’s universe?
There is no internet or social media as we know it. There is some kind of Syndicate intranet and some kind of “web” portal for Citizens to receive their work orders. The Syndicate has no desire to let Citizens communicate secretly on any kind of network or social media. That is somewhat short sighted because as we’ve seen in the real world, it is pretty easy to mass manipulate history and a population’s will using social media. Maybe if the Syndicate thought about it for a bit, they could use social media to insidiously persuade Citizens to worship harder rather than just ordering them to.
As for the Epoch question, I like things like this in games. A bit of a meta question that should remain a mystery.
Do the Islands function on the same timeframe as the real world? Have humans remained recognizable as humans for millennia? What is the “real world” like, outside of the pocket of reality that the Islands exist in?
The real world is the world you and I live in right now. Time moves differently in the pockets of reality the Paradise Islands exist in though. In our game, mankind has existed for longer than our actual history records. After humanity overthrew the gods during the Great Betrayal, they reset recorded history and the previous thousands of years was stricken from history. Other than that, the real world is our world.
How does the Syndicate capture Citizens and bring them to the Islands?
One of the functions of the Paradise Gates lets the Syndicate travel to the real world. This is only used to kidnap Citizens or to mount military options to reclaim the gods. Our history is full of unexplained occurrences of entire villages, planes and boat crews disappearing. I wonder if the Syndicate were involved?
Are all citizens dressed like Henry to an extent?
Henry is certainly a unique individual and is one of the most extreme Citizens. The Citizens are all influenced by the bizarre island they suddenly find themselves on and their fashion/aesthetic changes as they settle into their new home.
How did the Syndicate come to worship alien gods in the first place?
The gods came to Earth millennia ago and gifted primitive man civilisation and technology. It didn’t take long for the bored gods to succumb to animosity and press their human followers into a planet spanning war. The majority of mankind rebelled after centuries of war and overthrew the gods. Some still worshipped the gods and formed the Syndicate and fled to their newly created Paradise.
How did you come up with the names for the Syndicate characters? (What does the 14 in Akiko 14’s name stand for?)
Some of them have meanings, some of them don’t. I mostly went for what I thought sounded cool. Often they come from looking round my home office and seeing what catches my attention. Examples:
Carmelina Silence: I heard the name Carmelina somewhere in the past (cannot for the life of me remember where) and it stuck with me. The Silence bit comes from looking at my game collection and seeing Armored Core Silent Line.
Yuri Night: I glanced at my game collection and saw one of my favourite games; Prince of Persia Sands of Time. I have a copy signed by the prince’s voice actor Yuri Lowenthal. Night comes from Persona 4 Dancing All Night.
Akiko 14 is just something I thought was cool. I thought it would be cool to have a character with a number instead of a surname and just happened to pick 14.
How did that one god deceive LLD in the first place to get her exiled? Yuri was given strength and attractiveness. Was LLD given a gift like that?
You’ll have to wait and hope we get to make the sequel we want to make…
What’s some of the fashion inspiration behind the members?
Most of the fashion comes from high end and avant-garde fashion designs. These are then mixed with either cultural or utilitarian aspects of the characters. For example, Witness to the End still carries a lot of cultural links to his home and wears a traditional outfit modified to incorporate elements of high fashion as well as designs worn by Sumerian priests.
Lady Love Dies was always conceived as a driven, straight to the point character. Her outfit drew inspiration from 80s business suits to highlight this aspect of her character.
Does Shinji have a motivation other than what he claims?
Shinji is a very good boy.
Is Witness hot under that mask?
Not sure if you mean hot in temperature or attractiveness. It’s a definite yes to the latter. Maybe the temperature inside that mask is suffocating and it’s a form of self flagellation? Maybe it has aircon? I never thought about it! He’s definitely a looker though. Definitely.
LD made several references to university studies, so do Syndicate members qualify via some kind of education program?
All Syndicate members receive an education in different esoteric disciplines. The older members of the Syndicate gained their positions through personal merit including their qualifications. As the Syndicate has descended into politicking, more often than not, nepotism has a large part to play in promotions.
How was Starlight able to translate the messages from Crying Grudge?
Starlight has many modules installed. One of those is a live translation tool. The Syndicate have been rehabilitating Crying Grudge for many islands and using banks of supercomputers in the Deep Factory and offsite on the moon, they managed to translate his language. Starlight has the translation pack installed.
Did any of the other gods within the game’s universe get such sprites, even as sketches, during development? What made you pick the deity within the pyramid above others?
I did some ref collages for some of the other gods but Crying Grudge was the only one to get an illustration. We chose him because he is pretty different to the other gods aesthetically. A lot of the holy pantheon are animalistic but Crying Grudge has a more human look. I also really liked his lore and how his tears cause lilies to spring from the ground.