When SteamWorld Dig saw release, it ended up being a huge hit both critically and financially for Image & Form. You'd think that would make SteamWorld Dig 2 the next big project the dev would tackle, right? As you know by now, Image & Form decided to take a detour and create SteamWorld Heist. In an interview with GamesIndustry, Image & Form's Brjánn Sigurgeirsson explains that decision.
"The thought was to make SteamWorld Dig 2 right after this, but having done all these kids games for so many years [we thought] what happens after that? Are we going to do SteamWorld Dig 3? But then -- even though we own the IP -- we're back to just doing exactly the same thing that made us want to quit making games so many years back."
The team decided to change gears and work on Heist, which was a fresh idea for the same universe. The thing is, that game also provided a bunch of challenges as well. Working on Heist is what actually paved the way for SteamWorld Dig 2.
"We were so tired after Heist... You have to invent so many new systems and tackle so many new problems with this approach that we were just very, very tired, and when we knew we were three months out from completing it, we needed to come up with a plan for the next game after this, and everyone was just slumped and said, 'Can't we just take a breather and make SteamWorld Dig 2?'
And I said, 'Sure, we can do that, but it has to be massively better than SteamWorld Dig but be produced in the same time as the first one or it doesn't work'. We actually spent less time on Dig 2 than we did on Heist because we had a forerunner, we understood the core mechanics and how they were going to work. So when Heist was done, we just went to Dig 2 -- people we asking for a sequel, we knew we were going to be fine. People aren't going to hate us for doing it. Also, it sort of beat all of those worries we had about going to a sequel immediately after a game where we worried that we were going to grow tired."
It seems Image & Form is continuing on with their previous pattern after Dig 2. The company is now working on SteamWorld Quest, another departure for the series.
"We wanted to make something that you can play on a very simple level, but also something that the die-hards can go in and calculate all kinds of things to maximise their decks. I'd say it's an RPG with card battle mechanics, but the innovation is also in that you can pick it up immediately and understand it. There is nothing right there that you won't understand."