What is Genopanic? A talk with Game Director: Anton Surkov

We spoke with game director Anton Paramonov about this fun platformer in space sequel, Geopanic

After amassing over 1 million downloads on mobile since its original run 10 years ago, Space Expedition was a game that was equal parts fun and interstellar success. A visually compelling platformer executed in the styles of some of your favorite classics of the day, this small-bit scaled adventure series took all the fun of a Metroidvania/Rockman mechanics and then transported that into an interstellar world filled with puzzles, alien monsters, traps, and machinery.

However, that was not the end of this space adventure. In the derelict research station SIMBIRSK, horrific genetic experiments await players curious to venture into its halls.  You see, Mobriate has recently announced a Space Expedition sequel called, Genopanic, which is now available as a demo on Steam.  Now featuring a non-linear story sequel with multiple endings, this hit-bit classic of yesteryear is set to release very soon. We spoke with Genopanic‘s game director, Anton Paramonov about what to expect regarding the upcoming sequel.


Here at The Workprint we’re big fans of Sci-Fi. What sort of Sci-Fi stories inspired the creation of Genopanic?

Science fiction is our everything! We were inspired by moments from different movies and animated series. For example, the scene from Blade Runner where the main character looks at a billboard, which we drew fan art for and turned into our AI Cat VOLGA. Also, a favorite franchise is Borderlands with their humorous robot sidekick, which inspired us to create LAIK. On top of that, elements from The Thing, with its mysterious entity, and the crazy travels of Rick and Morty, with their arsenal of guns, were thrown into our crazy mix. Then there’s that resonator moment at the beginning of Half-life that will never be forgotten. All of these little bits and pieces have been lovingly brought into the world of Genopanic.


AI is a huge concern for us writers now. How do you tackle the concept with Genopanic’s naughty kitty girl program?

It’s a very interesting topic. In Genopanic, we decided to make AI more friendly and even a little bit cute. We believe that AI should help humans and develop better human traits. Our AI Kitty may seem naughty, but to you she will remain a program with a mean temper, a big soul and a cute electronic voice.


Is Genopanic a standalone story? Or is it part of a series?

Genopanic is a separate story, but it exists in the same universe as Space Expedition. We want their storylines to definitely intersect in the future.


What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during development?

There are a lot of things going on in the world right now that are affecting development. But the hardest thing for us right now is piecing together all the elements of the game and, sometimes sadly and painfully, giving up cool ideas to complete the project. We’ve had to suffer a little bit, but it will get us to release.



What helps set Genopanic apart from other platformers?

First of all, Genopanic is a pixel platformer with Metroidvania elements, where the player explores a space station full of secrets and dangers, fights bosses, solves puzzles and uncovers secrets and mysteries. We think that the main difference lies in the atmosphere of the game. To create a unique atmosphere we used different tools — music, sounds, animations, cutscenes, dialogs. We hope that players will appreciate our efforts.


Who is the main character in the game, the droid or the puppy?

The main character is you! You are the control system of a robot named AIMO. For the world of the game, you are a sort of Learning-by-Doing Neural Network that helps the robot get to the bottom of what is happening on the station.


How will the battery powered robot restrict gameplay? Will it open up unexpected options for gamers?

We believe that the robot will provide players with a new experience and will not limit gameplay. Rather the opposite, it will open up new opportunities. For example, the player will be able to recharge at a special station, restore health and save the game in case the hull is damaged. 


Will Genopanic feature a lot of replayability?

Yes, if you like to save cute alien animals, then you will definitely want to go through the station again and find all these little lost ones. Such an opportunity will be available.


If there’s anything you want to say to people who are thinking about buying the game, what would it be?

Be sure to try the DEMO version before you buy it! It will already give you an idea of what awaits you in the full version of our “scary-cute” story.

Christian Angeles
Christian Angeles
Christian Angeles is a screenwriter who likes sharing stories and getting to meet people. He also listens to words on the page via audible and tries to write in ways that make people feel things. All on a laptop. Sometimes from an app on his phone.

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