A Q&A with Stolen Couch Games – An AbsoluteXbox Exclusive

We spoke with Stolen Couch Games regarding Castaway Paradise and more

We were very lucky to get our hands on an exclusive interview with Stolen Couch Games, who were the team behind Castaway Paradise, which launched a few weeks back – You can see our review of that HERE . But what did they say? Read below for our Q&A regarding Castaway Paradise, and more.

A bit about yourselves, who are Stolen Couch Games?
We first formed a studio back in the distant past of 2010, and we’re based in Hilversum, the Netherlands – it’s lovely here! We have a team of five contributors, some permanent and other more informal colleagues we have worked with many times over the years when we have a need for their skills.

Where did the initial idea come from?
In short, you find yourself washed up on a pleasant tropical island, and decide to start a new life there. Meet some quirky characters, rebuild the island, and decorate everything how you like it! Along the way you earn XP from tasks, which unlocks new decorative items, tools, and clothing. You can spend your time on a variety of things, from fishing and farming to shell collecting and bug hunting. As for where the idea came from, your next question answers that 😉

What inspirations did you have? Were there other games that inspired you?
We were inspired by Animal Crossing, as well as similar games like Harvest Moon. In Castaway Paradise we focused the island activities on quests and doing fun tasks, alongside the satisfaction of decorating and dressing up.

How long did it take to get from the initial idea to now, and what was the hardest challenge you faced?
It took us about one and a half years to get to the first release of Castaway Paradise. One of the biggest challenges was creating all the clothing and decoration options, not to mention the plants and flowers. We had to come up with ideas and concepts for so many different things, while trying to make sure they all offered something different visually.

Lots of achievements in the game offer odd scores – what was the reasoning behind that?
We wanted Castaway Paradise to include some chaos and unpredictability. It’s a game after all! Some games do well with meticulously balanced, predictable and consistent rewards – we thought it suited Castaway Paradise to have a variety of flavors!

What`s your favorite in game feature?
We enjoy everything of course, but the decoration (of your own house and the island itself) just offers so many possibilities! It’s great to decorate according to a theme, but things can get really wild once you start to mix and match. There have been some very cool screenshots from players who have made amazing scenes!

Was there anything you had to remove from the final build you wanted to include?
When developing a game, you have to be careful to keep your plan under control. There are so many cool features we could have added, but either they wouldn’t have fit in smoothly, might not have been as fun as we hoped, or we simply didn’t have time. I don’t think there was anything we needed to remove at the last moment, because we had been careful not to overextend ourselves.

Are there any developers names that appear within the game in anyway, say as characters?
No, the character names were generally inspired by little jokes we thought up or what seemed to suit the characters. But although our names might not be in the game, our personalities shine through in the details like the descriptive text for various objects, and some of the quest dialogs!

What`s next for Castaway Paradise?

There will be many free seasonal content updates throughout the year. We also have a companion app called Castaway Home Designer, which shares characters and themes, but offers a completely new experience. Right now we’re very focused on getting Castaway Paradise optimized on the consoles, and beyond that we don’t have any definitive plans just yet.

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