Let’s talk with: The Deer God developer

The Deer God released today as a free game for members of the Xbox Live Gold program. What started as a kickstarter ended in a very unique game.

We took some time to speak to the developer and reveal his plans for the future and things you might not know about the game.

The Deer God has a very unique story where a hunter gets reincarnated as a deer. How did you come up with this idea?
At first I was toying with the idea of having a deer in the forest, as a character that you play.
I’m not sure exactly why, but I thought it could be interesting that as a human you are playing a deer,
like in real life, but also in the game. That brought me to the decision of making the hunter become the deer, because that was the only solution that made any sense of how a human could become a deer and why that might be possible.
Reincarnation plays a big part in the game, giving it a rather religious atmosphere. How will it appeal to people of other beliefs?
I think there are elements of various belief systems that are similar and all came into existence at about the same time in our history – which is odd!
Ancient cultures must have been linked, somehow…
Being kind to others is usually rewarded or thought of as a positive thing. Reincarnation is definitely unique, so for some it won’t make much sense. They’ll have to just go with it – and take it at face value as they would strange gameplay elements in other games.
The visual style of the game is a very unique pixelated style, what games served as examples for you?
Well certainly Sword and Sworcery and I suppose you could even say Minecraft although I’m not really a Minecraft player. I wanted to do something that had unique depth and lighting, but was not standard pixel art. The extruded pixel art and 3d parallax comes in for the 2.5d look of the game, and I think it came out quite unique.
Just like games as Journey, Deer God is about the ‘journey’ to the end, what did you do to give gamers an unforgettable journey?
In order to make the journey unforgettable we had to think about how you experience the world. The way its setup is sort of endless with random pieces that interconnect. Every now and then though, you will see something unique and interesting, which makes you keep wanting to explore further. There are also a lot of hidden things to find.  In the end I think its the story of how your are changed and how it affects you – and what you can become by the end that makes it unforgettable.
The game feels a lot like a runner but on the other hand there are a lot of hidden things to discover. What is the best way to play the game?
There is no best way to play it – people can play it as a runner and just keep going for distance, or they can play it like an rpg and work on balancing the stats of dark and light, collecting items and following the story.
I’m very curious to see what people have to say after playing it – and I’m really interested in getting tons of feedback!
How difficult was it to bring a game as unique as this to consoles?
It was very difficult – apparently each console has its own set of complicated rules – and then factor in the type of game that we’re making here. The game is procedurally generated so the terrain forms as you play it. Figuring out how to make that work without dropping frames on a console is a little tricky!
Will the Wii U version have special GamePad support?
Most likely – we will try to do something interesting there :)
Can you share some of your plans for the future?
We plan on bringing the Deer God to the Wii U next – we’ve got our dev kit and we’re excited about trying Nintendo – especially since I’ve been a big NES fan growing up, this will be like living the dream!


Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.