Ones to Watch: Ludophoria
31 January 2023
A girl unjustly sent to the underworld, a demonic arm with suspicious motives and an adventurous escape... Welcome to the work of Ludophoria - the game studio behind Arm of Satan.
We sat down with studio directors Emma, Byron and John to discover how the team formed, their unique dynamic and what's next for Ludophoria.
Ludophoria founders discuss how they formed this dynamic games studio while studying in the Games Academy at Falmouth University.
John: Hey, I'm John. I'm producer designer and animator for Ludophoria.
Emma: I'm Emma. I'm the lead artist, writer and researcher for Ludophoria.
Byron: And I'm Byron. I'm programmer, writer, director and coffee addict for Ludophoria.
Byron: So we came up through the undergrad together. I joined with John in our second year at university.
John: Yeah, we worked in a third year team together.
Emma: And I was like off to the side but I'd worked with John in first year and then after third year was done, I was pulled into the whirlpool.
John: The game is about a girl who's been unjustly sent to hell and her demonic oversized arm which is trying to help her escape.
Emma: "Help" being in quotation marks because there is an underlying story there as well which I don't know how much we want to get into...
John: In terms of the experience of the game, imagine the old Super Mario games such as, you know, those that were inspired from the kind of old Nintendo era, except you've slapped another player onto that character so both players are controlling one character but you've both got a completely different set of abilities and so it's about trying to navigate through loads of challenges and defeating different enemies and solving puzzles all whilst trying to get to the seed of Hell to escape it.
John: Yeah, this institution, the Games Academy kind of put on a pedestal, in a good way, what has been, you know, a quite downtrodden personality or type of person like the 'gamer'. You know, the kind of people that enjoy games.
The Games Academy feels weirdly separate to the University because it has its own warehouse but the beauty of that is all of the Games Academy students get to join together and feel like a part of this big community and that, you know, it kind of enables you to just get really stuck into the creative medium of video games and just trying to be experimental and learn from everyone around you.
Byron: So I think building up that culture of fail faster is really nice and I was super scared of failure before I came to University and then I came to University and like I'm really proud of all of my mistakes.
John: The staff at the Games Academy and the way the course is designed allows the lecturers to tailor everything you're doing towards what your aspirations are, so like for us we were just given support from fairly early on.
If you want to go into the Indie space and start your own company lecturers support you doing that in whatever way they can. We've been, you know, signposted on to incredible kinds of people and resources that have helped us to get to where we are.
Emma: Sometimes people that have just come out of the Games Academy as well.
John: Launchpad was completely integral to our current position because we finished our undergrad and continued to work through the masters as a group of individuals that knew how to make games.
Being partnered up with Launchpad was incredibly vital for us because they showed us exactly how to develop a product, essentially, and how you pitch that and how you make that interesting and viable but, yeah, Launchpad allows us to take our ability to just make a game to go, right, now you can tailor that and you can actually try and sell this thing.