Exclusive Eville interview: Chatting with game developer VestGames

by MaddOx
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There is a new multiplayer social deduction game in our midst, Eville. A game where you can live out your evil side and commit stealthy murders, or, as a villager, unmask the conspirators before you get an axe to your face! And we’ve been lucky enough to pose a few questions to the developers behind the title, VestGames.

So, without further delay, here’s how we got on when we fired our questions across:

To get things started, we like to learn a little bit about the people behind the games. So please introduce yourselves to our site visitors. Who are you, what do you do, and what’s something interesting that not many people know about you?

Hi, thanks for having me! I’m Hendrik and the founder of VestGames. We’re a small team (mostly) from Germany and we’re currently working on a social deduction game called “Eville”. What many people don’t know – the name VestGames is not related to clothing items, but a territory from the middle-ages in Germany, where our office is located.

Everyone loves an origin story, so where did VestGames begin? Were you bitten by a radioactive spider? Fall into a vat of radioactive gunk? Maybe you just decided “let’s make some games”?

Even though VestGames has only existed since 2020, the journey began at the beginning of 2019. It pretty much boils down to “let’s make a game”, only that it was a solo project at the time with a lot of passion funnelled into this new Eville project which was called “Mystery Village” back then. Reception of the first prototype had been overwhelming and kicked off the full development of Eville.

Now that we know a little more about the folk behind the scenes, let’s move onto your new game Eville. What can our readers expect?

Eville is a multiplayer murder mystery game where you take on one of many unique roles to unveil murdering conspirators and execute them by voting for their execution. You may also play as a murderer yourself and – with the help of other conspirators – take over the village of Eville by “getting rid” of all innocent villagers. There are a lot of features that spice things up and give the game a lot of depth, but that’s the core of it.

Eville Keyart Sunset QHD

What was your inspiration behind creating the game? Did you watch a lot of classic TV like Columbo and Murder She Wrote to get you in a good frame of mind?

The main inspiration for Eville definitely is the murder-mystery party game called “Werewolves of Millers Hollow”. It’s a very popular board game – if you want to call it that – here in Germany. You might also know a very similar game called “Mafia”. I’ve played it since I was a teenager and there just is no game out there in this genre that does it justice and realizes that concept properly and takes all the aspects you expect from a modern video game with it.

Social deduction games have become quite popular, especially over the last couple of years. So how does Eville stand out from the likes of AmongUs and First Class Trouble?

Eville certainly shares the hidden identity aspects and murders that most games in this genre have. We’ve taken some inspiration from Werewolves and made our own take on it. Essentially we are folding in RPG characters and tropes that add a nice flavour and setting to the genre which we think really help it stand out since it allows people to roleplay in a different way in a role play set inside a social deduction mechanic.

You have a Day/Night cycle with the evildoers being able to kill people actively at night, while the innocent villagers are at their mercy and can’t defend themselves. During the day everyone is able to use unique role abilities, that set’s every player apart and keeps each match setup new and interesting.

There are lots of other elements on top of it, such as an economy – you can buy items to support yourselves or others, potions to poison or protect players, questing, events that help your team, proximity voice chat and many others.

All that packaged in a cosy and pretty magical medieval world up for the players to explore.

Now we sadly missed out on playing the Beta with some of the team, but we’ll be sure to check it out at the next opportunity. What did you learn from the closed testing you did, and how crucial of a stage is this in game development?

We learned a lot about what mechanics work as intended and which need some tweaking still. Also, the community helped us a lot with reporting bugs and posting feedback on our Discord.

To be honest the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We will change many of the current roles until we’re 100% satisfied with them and fix the reported bugs, but we’re on a good track with the game and everyone had a lot of fun with the demo.

Eville screenshot in-game barrel quest

Is there anything that we can expect to see added or removed from Eville following the closed beta tests?

Following the beta, we will make adjustments to the current voice chat with the introduction of proximity chat which would make it clearer who is talking to you and allow players to make adjustments for each player in the game. This was one of the most requested changes. We won’t be removing any of the current features, but you can see what is being added in our current roadmap on our Steam page (https://store.steampowered.com/app/1220170/Eville/).

Right now, we know the game will be available to play on Steam. But are there any plans to bring it to other platforms at a later date? Or will it remain a PC only title?

We are not discussing any consoles at the moment and focusing on the PC version. Suffice to say, Eville is going to be fun to play on many different platforms and we are excited about those opportunities.

And so our site visitors can put something on their calendars, is there an approximate date for when the full release will go live besides just 2022?

All we can say for now is that Eville will be launching later this year. I know that is not what you want to hear, but we feel good about where we are and are in the final polishing stages.  However, we want to get this right, and that means more feedback from our community, more public playtests, fun digital things to add and more.  We will adjust the Steam page for more info when we start locking that down.

Eville screenshot cinematic ability montage

We’ve noticed that Eville has a number of awards already. How much do these awards mean to teams such as VestGames?

The awards mean a lot to us. They’re the first ones we ever received. We actually have one prominently displayed in the office.

You’ve also been a recipient of an Epic MegaGrant. How vital are avenues of funding such as this for developers such as yourselves?

The Epic MegaGrant came at a very critical time for us and we’re very thankful for Epic helping us out. Developers need to apply early however and shouldn’t rely on it solely. We searched for other funding avenues while the application process took place and the largest parts of the funding came from ourselves or other parties.

To close up the questions on the game, sum up for our site visitors in 10 words or less, why should they check out Eville?

Eville combines a modern take on deception with cosy fantasy worlds.

Damn it, that’s 11 words.

Eville screenshot scenery marketplace

Now, a couple of different questions. Having spent time developing your own game, what advice would you offer knowing what you know now, to an aspiring young game developer?

Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that not all your games features will be perfect the first time around, utilize your community to help define and give feedback, as a developer you are naturally sensitive to criticism but constructive feedback can really help you look more closely at certain aspects of your game that you might not have considered. I think getting into the mindset of developing for others rather than just yourself is a good approach.

If you had the chance to work on any game in history, besides Eville, what game would you have loved to have been a part of the development team for?

Probably Diablo II, Thief or the Gothic Series. Having developed stealth gameplay for a VR prototype myself – I’m astonished how they came up with it back in 1998. It must have been interesting working on one of the first stealth titles.

And one final question for fun. You walk into a sandwich shop to get some lunch, what are you getting on your sandwich?

A Dagwood.   A multi-tiered, three slice, sandwich stacked with ham, turkey, pepperoni, genoa salami, cheddar cheese, provolone, lettuce, tomato, roasted bell peppers banana peppers, red onion, deli mustard, coleslaw or thousand island dressing… or both, or all of it.

Damn, now I have to eat one of these tomorrow.

That concludes our chat with Hendrik from VestGames about Eville. Is it just us who got hungry reading the last answer? Damn.

We’d like to take this moment to thank Hendrik for answering our questions and hope you’ve learned a fair bit about the studios’ upcoming game as we have. Be sure to go and show them some love by checking out their site, wishlist the game on Steam, and also joining them in their Discord server. Links for all can be found below:

Keep your eyes peeled for more interviews in the future, or check out some of our older ones by clicking HERE.

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