Creature in the Well Didn’t Start as a Pinball Inspired Game
The developers of Creature in the Well revealed that their game that interestingly mixes Zelda and pinball gameplay didn't start that way.
One of the most unique titles to come out of the Nindies Spring Showcase was Flight School Studios’ Creature in the Well, described by its developers as a “top-down, pinball-inspired hack-and-slash dungeon crawler.” Whereas Yoku’s Island Express took the pinball formula and applied to the Metroidvania, Creature in the Well looks to do the same but with a style more akin to games like The Legend of Zelda. Interestingly, the game’s developers revealed in a recent interview with PCGamesN that Creature in the Well actually didn’t start development as a game centered around pinball mechanics.
According to Flight School Studio’s Bohdon Sayre, the original idea actually stemmed from air hockey and games like Rocket League. “Ironically pinball wasn’t really one of the first references we used. I was playing a lot of Ballz and Rocket League at the time, and I think the very first pitch of the idea was ‘a top-down game with simple Zelda-like controls, except you’re playing air hockey,” Sayre revealed.
After some trail and error, the game’s developers had the basic concept of a ball bouncing around. Bohdon Sayre then revealed the genesis of the final idea that became Creature in the Well. “We ended up making some very plinko-like rooms. And then started leaning into the pinball bumper-esque nature of the objects you were hitting. We appreciated the fact that the core of the game is non-violent, so we stayed away from any living ‘enemies’ or things you attack directly. But at the same time we still really wanted that awesome feeling you get from great characters with fun attack animations.”
While they did eventually find a great idea for their game, Creature in the Well developer Adam Volker was sure to highlight the fact that “It took us a long time to zero in on what kinds of puzzles players enjoyed returning to.” That being said, the entire time the developers were happy that games like Breakout and Rocket League existed to be “used as touch points for how games centered around a ball could be fun.”
We will ultimately see how this combination of pinball and The Legend of Zelda gameplay works out when Creature in the Well releases for PC and Nintendo Switch sometime this Summer. DualShockers’ Chris Compendio had the chance to try out the game at PAX East, so you can check out their thoughts on the game in their preview.