Cyberpunk adventure Neofeud is inspired by Game of Thrones and Blade Runner, explains developer Silver Spook Games. Described as “dystopic,” the game puts players in a futurstic world where humans strive for perfection by altering their DNA, resulting in terrifying inequality amongst the people.
In a new interview, Silver Spook Games how the real-life inequality and ‘slum’ area of paradise in Hawaii influenced the game.
How Neofeud Borrows From Real-World Inequality and Games of Thrones
Neofeud‘s world sees human beings genetically engineer themselves, with the powerful and the privileged using human and animal DNA to improve their children. Those who undergo engineering unsuccessfully are cast off into a landfill, called “The Pile” which is also where the unwanted, sentient robots are sent. Players assume the role of ‘Karl Carbon,” an ex-cop who is also flung onto The Pile and counsels foster-child robots, before he winds up wrapped up in a conspiracy.
Neofeud shares a lot of similarities with the Deus Ex series, particularly the recent Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. And Silver Spook Games (the one-person development team of Christian Kealoha Miller) confirms that the original Deus Ex from 1999 is his favourite game and is also a huge inspiration.
But the game takes pointers from other places too, including Game of Thrones and Blade Runner. In an email, Miller tells me that “At its core, Blade Runner asked the question, “What would it be like to have conscious machines?” and “What makes us human?”
Meanwhile, Game of Thrones is “a world of extreme inequality, and at the top, a lot of the super-powerful/rich ‘feuding’ over more power.” Its nobles “spend much of their time conspiring and trying to stab each other in the back to ‘increase their dynasties’ and get on the Iron Throne,” says Miller.
The developer also points out that “if you were born into [Game of Thrones‘] feudal world as a commoner, you would likely live a relatively short life of doing back-breaking work for someone else and had a good chance of dying in a war for some rich noble.” Neofeud features “a race of supermen concerned only with their own status, their prestige, their success” and so it’s easy to see where Miller has taken notes.
But the game doesn’t just borrow from existing media, as Miller explains that his own life experiences as a native Hawaiian living in “a slum area of paradise” are also reflected in the game. Hawaii may seem like a “postcard paradise” but for Miller, being less-privileged, “it was like living in two worlds, having inequality shoved in your face every day. I felt kind of powerless.”
Teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to underprivileged children who were homeless or didn’t see their parents because they were incarcerated or working further cemented the idea for Miller that “cyberpunk dystopia is already here. It’s just human society is very good at papering over the more dystopic parts.”
Addressing classism, racism, and eugenics, Neofeud is Miller’s way of “giving voice to these stories, these areas of dystopia that so often get swept under the rug of ‘modern advanced society’.”
Neofeud is out now on Windows PC. There is currently a 20% launch week discount on Steam.
Like this post? Like J Station X on Facebook.