NeonLore: to read or not to read… in a video game?

Just after packing all kinds of certification tests and getting excited for the release of NeonLorethe usual wave of fear hit me: what if gamers don’t understand what we’re trying to achieve here?

I would classify ourselves as true indie developers. Allow me to make a pun here by adding the word “really.” We have no financial debts to anyone and we are really always a studio of less than ten working people. And we haven’t received any outside investment to date, while we’ve released a dozen titles in the last three years.

Indie developers want us to have a different kind of fear when we launch a game: “Will the game sell enough to cover its costs?” is usually replaced by a more confused question:

“Will the gamers understand us”?


Nothing will happen to our indie studio if NeonLore refuel financially. We will continue to create and release indie projects. We have a skin thick enough to ignore most game journalists who look at our $5-priced games with the same scope they use to rate $60-priced games. What we usually need is a little inspiration to move on and keep taking risks and trying something different. Sure, running an indie game studio is a business, and running a sustainable business is just as exhausting as a boss fight in an FPS game. However, getting encouragement as indie developers is the real support we need. And this time, the inspiration for this article came to me when I read a recent interview with [email protected]’s director Chris Charla. He expressed how much he values ​​indie games by saying, “They don’t have to try to be everything to everyone.”

And yes, in that sense NeonLore is a small game. But there are some big ideas in there, maybe it turns into a completely different genre, maybe it doesn’t. We can’t know, we don’t want to know. As indie developers, we did what we had to do, we had to experiment with our limited resources.

interior screenshot

NeonLore will be called just another walking simulator by some. For us, it’s experimenting by including audiobooks in the game, which we think is an interesting way to bring books to different audiences that wouldn’t normally interact with that kind of medium. Chris Charla continues in the same article, “Indie games are the most exciting content in the world”, which inspired me to delve further into NeonLore, and what we’re trying to establish as a genre by starting this game: What if you wake up one day and your Xbox app lets you know that your favorite author’s latest audiobook is ready to play on your Xbox system to launch in the form of an adventure game? Who wouldn’t want to listen to Stephen’s King’s latest book while walking in locations inspired by that same novel, on the big screen, with glorious 4K textures surrounding it?

I would, as a gamer.

As a game developer with a background in literature, this would be a dream come true and open wide sub-ranges and alternatives in the socio-cultural space of video games. Mothers and teachers complaining about teens not reading books? Do they miss outmoded milestones of classical literature? Well, it would be great if they actually read the books, but as forerunners in this medium we can propose an alternative: let’s go back in time to early 20’se century New York City and let’s see the world through the eyes of Nick Carraway, and walking around in such environments where we don’t have to worry about shooting zombies, we listen to Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby


Let’s see if other gamers agree or not: in NeonLoreHopefully you’ll enjoy listening to four different short novels written exclusively for this game by four different sci-fi authors while enjoying cyberpunk themed vistas and solving a bit of puzzles too.

Last but not least, a big thank you to the Xbox team for supporting and encouraging indie developers with such risky projects. NeonLore is available on Xbox today!

Xbox Live


Playstige Interactive



Neon-Lore is a free-form first-person exploration game. You will meet interesting characters and find out what happened to humanity in the near future. As you meander through the neon-drenched streets, discover what the world has become, how life goes on in a world of intriguing fusion of chaos and technological advancement. In Neon-Lore you will solve puzzles and meet different characters and learn about their past lives, dreams and fears… And get the chance to explore more deeply about the social transformations that have influenced human life in the 21st century … Features: *Explore the world at your own pace. *No failures or quests, you decide how you explore the world. * Beautiful cyberpunk themed environments. * Meet 40 different characters and learn about their backgrounds. *Access 4 different audiobooks containing 4 different cyberpunk themed novels written exclusively for this game by sci-fi authors. * Relaxing and exciting cyberpunk themed soundtrack.