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Surviving the nine-year development of Owlboy

We talked to the team at D-Pad Studio to learn about how they grappled with the emotional and technical challenges of finishing Owlboy.

The recent release of Owlboy has been something of a beacon of hope for developers struggling to work on games that are taking an unexpectedly long time. Its creators set out to make the game so long ago it’s still using the XNA toolset originally meant to support Xbox Live indie development, and that some of the inspirations for its game design have fallen out of common parlance.

But in spite of all that, the folks at D-Pad Studio were able to release Owlboy into the wild, and today they joined the Gamasutra editorial staff on Twitch to talk about the long process of bringing the game to life. 

It was an illuminating chat—not just because of some of the technical details that help Owlboy’s vibrant art style shine, but because it proved to be a long, thoughtful conversation about how game developers can handle their emotional low points when working on creative work. 

And even further in, we were able to discuss about how speedrunners are discovering leftover bits of code as they try to exploit the game that are revinenting the mythos and lore of Owlboy. Be sure to watch the whole video (seen above) for these stories and more. 

And while you’re at it, if you want more regular developer interviews and gameplay commentary in your inbox, be sure to subscribe to our Twitch channel, and also check out our recent analysis of the Titanfall 2’ levelCause and Effect. 

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