Slime Rancher 2 devs hoping to inspire “more genre-defying” games
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Check out our latest Slime Rancher 2 interview, where we had the chance to talk to Monomi Park CEO and Slime Rancher series director Nick Popovich about the sequel’s success, current development, and future.
Slime Rancher 2, the vibrantly colourful Slime Rancher sequel, is now well over half a year on from its Early Access release. We were able to chat with developer Monomi Park CEO and Slime Rancher series director Nick Popovich, who was kind enough to answer all our questions about Slime Rancher 2’s success, current development, and future.
Slime Rancher 2 quickly smashed Popovich’s “pipe dream” for sales, and we asked how the team felt on seeing such a positive response to the sequel. “We’re all very grateful for the incredibly positive reception Slime Rancher 2 received after release. To be honest, it’s a lot to live up to after the success of the first Slime Rancher so we’re working hard to develop new things that are as good as what we’ve already shipped,” Popovich explains. “But I think overall I’m just happy that everyone still loves Slime Rancher and that there’s an audience for this kind of game out there in the world. I hope our success inspires other developers to make things that are a little more genre-defying.”
Most recently, Slime Rancher 2 saw the release of its first big update: Song of the Sabers. The update added a whole wave of new content to Slime Rancher 2, but as Popovich explains, it’s always onwards and upwards for the team. “There’s a quality to developing a game where you never really appreciate the now and are always focused on delivering the next thing, picturing the next version of the game in your mind all the time instead of what’s live. So while I’m happy with the state of the game now, I am always thinking about and excited for what’s to come.”
Player feedback, it seems, has played a big part in Monomi Park’s development plans. “While the overall direction for the game has remained unchanged, some plans we had in the works have been scrapped, and we’re starting to explore expanding parts of the game that we want more engagement with, based on the analytics we’ve seen so far,” Popovich says. “So even if you’re not providing direct feedback, just playing the game the way you like provides our team with a lot of valuable insights that help shape the game.”
Monomi Park is keeping details on what’s to come to Slime Rancher 2 close to its chest, but Popovich does tell us, “what we’re trying to do is retain the Slime Rancher gameplay everyone seems to love while opening up some of the possibility space of what’s already there. So we’re looking at areas like how exploring the world could provide a more dynamic experience, or how we could give more interesting choices to players when it comes to ranching slimes and running your Conservatory. But since it’s Slime Rancher, we’re also looking into how it could all be a lot sillier too!” After a second major content update, we know Beatrix will be heading to the Grey Labyrinth, which Popovich hints “is the answer to why Rainbow Island looks unlike any other place on the Far, Far Range.”
Slime Rancher 2 launched into Game Preview without Xbox achievements, a decision which Popovich explained in a previous Slime Rancher 2 interview. We were given another hint as to what to expect, however: “I am always personally a fan of at least having a few achievements in the mix that require the player to try something silly or dangerous, or the ones that pop up after you just did something silly or dangerous and it’s sort of a wink from the developers that they were watching. So I’d like to see a few of those in the game at some point,” Popovich says.
It sounds as though there’s a whole lot of Slime Rancher 2 still to come — so what are Monomi Park’s hopes for the sequel’s future? “I hope we can continue to deliver quality updates over time that grow the game in ways that players expect, but also in ways that surprise them. Just like with the original, I want someone to play it years from now and feel like it’s a total bargain that it has this big world, and all these weird and wonderful things for you to experience in it,” Popovich concludes. “As a studio, I always want Monomi Park to punch up in its weight class. So I hope when people play it they say ‘how the heck did they pull this off?'”
And, lastly: “I also hope that the Ringtail Slime statues trick lots of new players into losing all their chickens and they can’t figure out why, because I think that’s pretty funny,” Popovich says.
Have you been loving Slime Rancher 2? What are your hopes for the game in the future? Let us know in the comments!
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