Dungeon Souls, originally released by Mike Studios in July of 2015, has recently undergone a change in management that has the game being developed under a new (but former member of the team) lead developer. We caught up with April Poland, the game’s Executive Producer to discuss the studio name change, Dungeon Souls development, and where the game is headed!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZV47S-scws
Dungeon Souls was released in July of 2015 after starting development in April of the same year, and as of April of 2016 has over 37,000 owners on Steam, with a dedicated following in the community discussions contributing help and ideas to the team, which April reads and interacts with as the manager of the Store Page. Black Shell Media reached out to Mike Reñevo around the time of release to discuss being the publisher of what was then “Mike Studios”, and assist in releasing on Early Access for Steam.
Dungeon Souls released on Early Access because they felt that it was the best way to get their game out there, and didn’t buy in too much to the dislike of Early Access itself, instead making the focus on taking care of their purchasers. While the game is progressing at a steady pace, Black Shell wants the game to include the multiplayer aspect before they release the game in full, and based on April’s discussions with Lamina’s Lead Developer - this can be accomplished for the game to leave Early Access in August of this year.
Why the studio name change?
Dungeon Souls originally released under “Mike Studios” named after Mike Reñevo, who was the original lead developer of the project. Recently, April and her team have renamed their studio to “Lamina Studios” and stepped away from working with the original leader of the team.
The reason for this? Complete lack of communication. April told me that Mike’s last update to the Steam Page was back in September of 2015, and that since that she’s been unable to get a hold of him through any method of communication, except for very brief moments of interaction. Mike had been working on controller support back then, which was completed by Diogo and the team and released in the game’s 12th update on March 3, 2016. The tutorial that was added to the game was the final thing that April was able to get from Mike in December of 2015, although it wasn’t really what she was looking for.
In January, April reached out to Mike to discuss the future of Mike Studios and Dungeon Souls, and never received a response. As such, all development has been moved from Mike Reñevo over to Diogo Braga and his team, as they work on adding new content, features and fixes to the game. While Mike technically still retains some ownership of the game, April also retains ownership alongside Black Shell Media (publisher) to move all rights and development from “Mike Studios” over to "Lamina Studios" for the future. While many of the game’s players regularly ask where Mike is, April and her team are confident that they will be able to fulfill everything that is needed of them when it comes to taking care of the community and the game for the future.
Where’s Dungeon Souls Headed?
With the new studio name, April wants to re-introduce the team behind the game and revamp the website to offer more information to potential players or purchasers of the game. The team really enjoys interacting with their community, and they want their website to showcase who they are as a team once they change it to the new design and domain name.
When Mike created Dungeon Souls, the game had no story, the new team at Lamina Studios led by Diogo and April has recently finished the creation of a story to accompany the game. The team has been working with the community, taking feedback on the story, and making changes as they work towards putting the final touches on Dungeon Souls’ story, which will be released with the multiplayer functionality as the game leaves Early Access. After that, the team hasn’t decided on a full sequel or follow up to the game, but they do have plans to release the game on Xbox One and Playstation 4.
What’s Next For Lamina Studios?
With Dungeon Souls' development nearing it’s final versions, April is looking to the future, with the console releases and as she told us - two new future games. While she doesn’t want to make the details public yet, the developer she has tasked with Steam Trading Cards is interested in bringing two new games to be developed under Lamina Studios once the project is complete.
Currently available on Steam and Humble Bundle for purchase and playable on both Windows and Macintosh, Dungeon Souls has a “Very Positive” rating on Steam’s Storefront. With Steam Trading Cards, Multiplayer, and Story Improvements on the Horizon, you can follow all the updates on either the game’s Steam Page, or Lamina Studios’ Twitter Account.