#FlashbackFriday Interview: One Night Stand’s Lucy Blundell

One Night Stand thrusts you into a “morning after” scenario where you decide how things play out. After a night of fun, passion, and one too many drinks, you awake to discover a complete stranger lying naked beside you in bed. With only hazy memories of what happened last night, explore a stranger’s bedroom in search of clues and try and piece together the truth. You may resort to some unusual methods to find your answers, but take care not to prod and pry too much though – a nosy guest quickly becomes an unwanted one.

The game has a number of features, including:

  • An interactive story where your choices affect the outcome
  • 12 unique endings that reveal new insights into what really happened
  • Find items and seek out clues in point and click investigations
  • Distinctive rotoscope animations and hand drawn artwork
  • An original soundtrack

One Night Stand is Lucy Blundell/Kinmoku’s first ever released game. The original version of One Night Stand was developed in just 24 days and released in March 2016 for the NaNoRenO game jam. All of the acting for the main character’s rotoscoped animations was filmed and acted by Kinmoku herself! Since launch, the original version of One Night Stand has been one of the top games on itch.io. One Night Stand was greenlit on Steam Greenlight in just eight days and has received over 18,000,000 views from Let’s Plays including videos from PewDiePie, Markiplier, jacksepticeye and many other prominent YouTubers. On October 20th, the full version of One Night Stand was released exclusively on itch.io. I sat down with Blundell/Kinmoku in order to talk about the game.

One Night Stand went through Steam Greenlight not too long ago. What kind of reaction did the game get, and how helpful was the feedback you got?

Steam Greenlight was not a pleasant experience for me. You send your game, something that you’ve spent so much time, energy, heart and soul on, to potentially get torn apart. It was quite a stressful time. However, people were excited for the game and it got greenlit in just 8 days. For my first Steam submission, this was a dream come true, and the people who played the game jam version on itch.io loved it so much they supported me fully. I didn’t really receive any feedback during greenlight, just various comments from players about the game jam version. Since it was rushed out in 3 and a half weeks, I was already aware of most of its faults, so I continued to develop what I thought best for the game.

The game features Rotoscape Animations and a Hand Drawn art style. Obviously, the game looks amazing. What made you decide to go that route instead of a more animated look?

Thanks! I’d recently played Hotel Dusk and was super inspired by the rotoscope animations in that. I practiced the rotoscoping technique at University, where I got my degree in animation, so I wanted to finally put my skills to use and rotoscope for a game. It was tricky to colour these animations in the time frame and meant I’d have to create something less detailed. Luckily, this simple, blurry style worked perfectly for the setting of a hazy, hungover morning after. The colour scheme also helps compliment this and adds to the real human emotion found in the game.

One Night Stand is the first project you’ve released as a solo developer. Development tends to take a while, even if it’s a team working on a title. When did you first start working on the game? Was it difficult working on it by yourself?

I began working on One Night Stand at the beginning of March for Nanoreno game jam. During this time, I actually worked with a friend of mine, Dan Clements, who helped me write the story and music. However, he didn’t have much time to commit, so after the game jam version released, I worked solo on developing the full game.

I’d been working on and off it most of the Summer, and by September, the game was nearly finished. At this point, I sent it out to play-testers who gave me some valuable feedback and insight into how people want to act within the game. I also watched a few Let’s Play videos to understand player interaction. Many people were getting the same couple of endings, so I tried to balance the game and threw in the opportunity to annoy the strange woman, which, if you succeed enough times, she throws you out immediately.

I’ve been a solo game developer since January 2015, though, working on my feature length visual novel: LoveIRL (working title), so I’m quite used to working by myself. It certainly had its difficulties at first, and was a contrast from the open office I used to work in, but after a few months I settled right in to it!

You acted in the game as the main character. Was it difficult to act out the script yourself and then Rotoscape it? Were there many challenges to it?

Acting is certainly not something I’m good at, in fact, I don’t think I’ve acted since primary school! Because of this, the woman tends to have many of the same mannerisms I do, and she ended up being more like me than originally planned. However, this worked out well for the story. Since she’s not really the kind of woman you imagine when hearing the words “one night stand”, it resulted in a character who was more interesting to watch and converse with. When I was drawing over myself, I never once thought it was me – it was weird! I saw the footage as the character, not me. However, friends and family – people who know me in real life – said she just reminded them of me! I guess they’re used to seeing me than I am myself.

One Night Stand has 12 different endings, depending on players’ choices etc in the game. Was it difficult to come up with all of the endings, or did they just come naturally to you as you were making the game?

All 12 endings came very naturally to me. It was never my intention to have so many outcomes, but idea after idea kept popping in my head “What if the player does this?” “Why shouldn’t that happen?” “If you do this at a certain point, how would things change?” etc. There are tons of possibilites and ways an awkward, tense situation like this could play out, so I kept adding them. I drew the line at the idea “Why couldn’t he jump out of the window and escape?” It could have been a possibility, but it seemed a little too far-fetched and dramatic for a slice-of-life game. Also, as a solo indie developer, it’s important to keep scope in mind and not get too carried away!

Obviously, the game is inspired by a one night stand – said one night stand is the whole premise of the game. Not many games explore sexuality so overtly. Did you hesitate at all before making the game, or was it a case of saying ‘Screw it, people have one night stands, so I’ll make a game about it?’

It was definitely the latter. [Laughs.] I assumed that some people might not like seeing a game about a one night stand, but I see sex as a natural part of our lives, yet it’s often terribly depicted in games. I think there needs to be more, realistic stories about sexual relationships in entertainment as a whole, because I think a lot of people around the world feel pressures to act certain ways, or are clueless about the opposite sex, when really we’re all silly, awkward humans in this together.

Creating a dialogue about everyday things that rarely get spoken about is something I’m trying to do. I’m very inspired by life’s weird, little moments, and often feel bored seeing the same stories or character portrayals in games, TV and film. I made One Night Stand because nothing like it really exists, and I thought it should.

The full version of One Night Stand has been out a short while already. Did you have expectations for how successful the game would be? Has the game been more successful that you thought it’d be, or is it still too early to tell?

The game jam version got played by Markiplier, PewDiePie and Jacksepticeye, to name a few, so I had high hopes for the Steam version! It’s doing okay on Steam, but I think my expectations ran away with me a little, which isn’t too surprising considering the reception the earlier version had. It’s been difficult to release the full, paid game after the free, jam version performed so well – It still sometimes feels like the full version is living in the game jam’s shadow, but things are quickly turning around. The full version of One Night Stand has had many features and articles written about it, and the reception has been very positive. I just hope players will experience the full version of One Night Stand as I had always envisioned it to be.


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