Dev Spotlight | Hidden Deep Q&A with Łukasz Kałuski

Hidden Deep is described as a 2D action and exploration horror game, taking heavy inspiration from 80’s and 90’s games.

“The events shown in the game started thousands of years ago and are not limited only to Earth.”

Hidden Deep went into early access on Steam a few days ago, and we got the chance to speak with its creator Łukasz Kałuski to get a personal perspective on this exciting release and some more info about what we can expect in the future!

Hidden Deep is described as a 2D action and exploration horror game, taking heavy inspiration from 80’s and 90’s games and classic movies including Aliens and The Thing. In the game, you’ll explore an underground mining facility that’s lost contact with the outside world, the game’s official description reads; ‘A group of researchers detected strange anomalies of unknown nature and organised an expedition to examine the mysterious phenomenon. Suddenly, after 681 days, contact with the researchers breaks off. You are the leader of the second team: Go down there, find out what happened, rescue anybody who is alive.’

The game features a single-player campaign and a co-op challenge mode, and whilst neither of which are currently finished at time of writing, a recent press release states that ‘Hidden Deep will continuously receive new content and improvements during the Early Access phase.’ This press release also emphasises how popular the game already is; with a beta in December 2021 attracting 50,000 players through Steam, while current wishlists have climbed to roughly 200,000.

Dev Spotlight | Hidden Deep Q&A Indie Game Fans Article

The games’ creator Łukasz Kałuski talks about what it’s been like going into early access and what the future holds for Hidden Deep.

Josh: “With the game going into early access, how are you feeling? Are you confident, curious, maybe a little nervous, how do you think the game is going to be received from here?”

Łukasz: “Life has taught me many times that overconfidence can end badly, so I just watch what the future holds. I am excited and nervous at the same time. Too little time has passed for me to draw any specific conclusions about EA”

It seems like things are still very much up in the air, which is understandable, the game is still right at the start of its life cycle. We wanted to know more about how the previous alpha and beta tests went; how they were received by players:

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Josh: “And perhaps to inform that, I believe the game previously had Alpha and Beta tests, how was the game received at that time? How much did you learn from that experience?”

Łukasz: “Alpha and beta went very well – people liked it. Unfortunately, as it turned out, there is a difference if you have something for free and you pay for it, so the buyers were a bit less polite. Of course, this is fully understandable, so I sweat my brow to fix the bugs they find.”

Dev Spotlight | Hidden Deep Q&A Indie Game Fans Article

Game development is rarely straightforward and an understanding mind and a drive to realise your vision is always important, and that’s clearly in play here. Next up, we wanted to just get a feel for the game as it is now, what it is to the developer and what it means on a personal level:

Josh: “If you could sum up the game in one sentence, what would it be?”

Łukasz: “A tribute to my teenage life and to my beloved works, that is Aliens, The Thing, Half-Life and few others.”

And what horror fan can’t relate to that? The classics are made even more terrifying by putting us right into the middle of the action. I wanted to dig a little deeper on those inspirations, so I focused in on that, wanting to learn a little more about the inspirations that made the game what it is, and the taste of the developer:

Josh: “The game seems heavily inspired by movies like Alien and John Carpenter’s The Thing, on a personal note, what’s your favourite horror movie? Also, have you played the PS2 The Thing video game? And what’s your favourite Alien/Aliens game?”

Łukasz: “I stopped watching typical non-sci-fi horror movies for a long time. From those sci-fi, I think The Thing (I would not call Aliens a horror, rather a strong thriller). The only game from the world of Aliens that I have played was Alien Isolation and for me it’s 10/10 – I did it all 4 times and there will be more. I tried others but that never was it.”

I couldn’t have picked better myself. With that in mind, I wanted to dig deeper on what the campaign has to offer, what the story will be, and where it’s going to go:

Josh: “Can you give us any info on what the campaign is going to be about, what can we expect from the single-player campaign?”

Łukasz: “Haha, I can’t say too much so as not to spoil the fun. I will tell you that the events shown in the game started thousands of years ago and are not limited only to Earth.”

Dev Spotlight | Hidden Deep Q&A Indie Game Fans Article

Exciting! Could this point to flashbacks? Visions? A non-linear narrative, and other planets? I can’t wait. Looking to the future, though, I wanted to know what Łukasz was excited for players to discover and experience for the first time as the game grows:

Josh: “What are you most excited for players to see as people begin to dive into the game?”

Łukasz: “As history unfolds and the atmosphere gets denser. Maybe it’s not in the current version yet, but weird things will start to happen soon.”

Very mysterious, we’re pm tenterhooks to see what emerges as development progresses. Sadly, it was getting to the time where I needed to wrap up the interview, I just had a couple more important questions to ask:

Josh: “Before we finish; is there anything you wanted to talk about here that you’d love to let people know?”

Łukasz: “Well, this game is my life’s work and my great passion at the same time, so you can expect a lot of good in the upcoming updates.”

A strong statement! I know I’m going to be keeping a close eye on this title, and I suggest anyone reading should do the same. Hidden Deep is an exciting indie title that is only just beginning its life, it’s available now on Steam, and when we asked Łukasz what the best place to keep up with updates on the game’s development is we were told ‘Short answer: Discord.’ So, anyone interested should join the official discord to keep up with the community and chat with other fans.

It was a pleasure to get this time to speak with the developer of an exciting new title, and we at IGF wish Hidden Deep and Łukasz good luck. For more content like this, be sure to check out our other content to find out the latest news in the world of Indie Video Games.