We interview Nightmargin, Director of upcoming game Margin of the Strange

Recently, GamingTrend had the chance to interview Nightmargin, Director/Studio Lead on the upcoming Margin of the Strange, now on Kickstarter. If you’re not familiar, Margin of the Strange comes from the same folks who brought us OneShot. This is a mystery-exploration game themed around gardening, and takes place in the world of human dreams. Over the course of 6 weeks, Ling will try to solve the mysteries surrounding his own life… and death.

GamingTrend: If you had to describe your new game in one word, what word would you use?

Nightmargin: Strange (it’s in the title!)

GT: What’s the most recent book you’ve read?

Nightmargin: Do comic books count? If so, I finally caught up on Houseki no Kuni/Land of the Lustrous! (the final chapter came out last month). As for physical books… uh, I think I flipped through a plant identification guide at the thrift store last week, and some recipe books.

GT: OneShot: World Machine Edition took a lot of work and creativity to port to non-PC formats. Without spoiling anything, will Margin of the Strange include any of these meta-mechanics? If so, how would you translate that to a hypothetical console port?

Nightmargin: If we can find a place for one! But it definitely won’t be the focus, I feel like as a developer, you only get “one shot” at making a gimmick-driven game, heh….

GT: How did Margin of the Strange change as it went from Webcomic to video game?

Nightmargin: Biggest visual difference is that now it’s in full color! The webcomic version was mostly monochromatic in order to save time. But, because you can reuse assets for games, there’s incentive to make them more polished. 

There are also many changes to the story’s pacing in order to make the game feel more natural to play (rather than read). Player agency adds a whole dimension to the story that’s really cool to think about.

GT: Do you like to listen to music while you work on the game? If so, what songs are you currently listening to?

Nightmargin: Been really into the Houseki no Kuni soundtrack again lately! I love their battle theme a lot. I also really like the rather loosely-defined dreamcore genre, with my favorite song from the genre being Comfort Chain by Instupendo (I have a whole playlist dedicated to playing it at different speeds) I don’t always listen to music while working,  though, sometimes I also listen to science channels talking about how big the universe is, which puts a healthy sense of existential dread in me that I directly channel into my work.

GT: What inspired the focus on Liminal Spaces, and how do you intend to capture that feeling in the game?

Nightmargin: Because they’re cool! I’ve been fascinated with them ever since I was a kid (although they didn’t have a name at the time). As for capturing that feeling in the game… I think liminal spaces work best in an immersive 3D space, but since Margin is birds-eye view, I would need to lean much more heavily into establishing mood using lighting and shadow, as well as with audio.

GT: How has development changed going from RPG Maker to other tools?

Nightmargin: We can make good-looking UI now, which is very exciting! Having a lot more options for shaders and visual effects is also a huge plus as well.
…Although I won’t lie, I do miss the simplicity of RPGmaker a lot! Gamemaker file systems still scare me….

GT: Will the dreaming and waking worlds affect one another?

Nightmargin: They’re not disconnected by any means! 

You can argue that this happens on earth as well, since some of the locations in Margin, as well as part of the overworld artstyle, were inspired by some dreams I had in the past. I have games about playing and making games unsurprisingly often, as I do with dreams about exploring weird unsettling landscapes, both of which make it into my art in some form.

GT: Will there be pancakes?

Nightmargin: Your breakfast options are vast and varied… maybe you’ll find pancakes, maybe you’ll find burnt toast, maybe you’ll find the secrets of the universe… although you probably can’t eat that.

Margin of the Strange has been fully funded on Kickstarter, but you can still support the project with the link at the top of this article. Personally, I’m extremely excited to see anything from Nightmargin and the team, though if it’s anything like OneShot I want to know as little as possible before jumping in. Even if it’s not, I’m already captivated by what little I do know about the game, and can’t wait to see more. Thanks to Nightmargin for answering our questions! For more on Margin of the Strange, stay tuned to GamingTrend

David is the kind of person to wear his heart on his sleeve. He can find positives in anything, like this is a person who loved Star Fox Zero to death. You’ll see him playing all kinds of games: AAAs, Indies, game jam games, games of all genres, and writing about them! Here. On this website. When not writing or playing games, you can find David making music, games, or enjoying a good book.
David’s favorite games include NieR: Automata, Mother 3, and Gravity Rush.

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