May 21st, 2024

15 Devolver Digital Employees Spill the Beans on What Makes a True Devolver Game

By Tena Žigmundovac

It's Devolver's 15th birthday! Do you know what that means? It means we get to say stuff like "time flies when you're having fun" or "maybe we should do a series of listicles centered around the number 15" and you're not allowed to roll your eyes. After all, we just wanted to answer the one question we get asked constantly in a positive and constructive way for once. What IS a Devolver game? We asked 15 Devolvers to explain themselves.

1 - Graeme

I have no idea what makes a game a Devolver game and that’s been the case from day one, that said, like any child faced with vegetables, I can tell you what I don’t like in a heartbeat

2 - Anna

A True Devolver Game is a game that stands out in some way, whether it’s art, gameplay or story (or all combined!). And it should definitely be something I would notice and play in my own time.

3 - Clara

Serious answer: Games we want to play by people we want to work with. Super serious answer: Good games that also say "Surprise, motherfucker."

4 - Nigel

There’s not a good definition to ‘a true Devolver game’ as I think it’s more you know it when you see it but that’s a lousy answer for an article or an interview. If I had to distill it I’d say the recipe includes a clear and singular vision, an interesting take on an established norm, and an experience that leaves the player with a sort of emotional impact they think about well after they’re done playing.

5 - Adoné

True Devolver Digital games are the games our developers want to make. It's our job to help them bring their vision to life, and to give them the support they need along the way.

Devolver Digital Anniversary Art with Logo

6 - Robbie

Personality. We tend to approach our jobs emotionally, and feeling strongly about things is a key tenet of our process. If you're working with people who can't get excited about what you're creating, it only makes things more difficult for everyone. We like to share our enthusiasm with others, and that all starts with the game itself.

Everything that we put out is just an extension of our collective personality.

7 - Kate

A True Devolver Game is a game that Devolver has published.

8 - Danny

I always thought there was a template for what a Devolver Game is. Some time after joining the company, I found out that a true Devolver Game is the one that gets at least one of us excited enough to make us nag others relentlessly until we eventually sign it.

9 - Vieko

A game made by individuals determined to risk it all and unwilling to compromise their vision.

10 - Bridie

It's very clear by this point in the spreadsheet (this was written in a spreadsheet btw) that no one really knows what a Devolver game is. That doesn't mean we don't know what we're doing, I'm confident at least 3 people in the company do. Our vague answers are because knowing something is right for Devolver is an ineffable feeling, based on vibes and years of experience. If I had to put that feeling into words I'd need a much longer word count.

Random Game Screenshots

11 - Tena

I don't really know, I keep asking around and getting different answers.

12 - JM

Quality experience, subversive content, and a kickass soundtrack.

13 - Zach

I think the beauty of a Devolver game is that it can be anything and everything. As long as its something with passion put into it, something with heart, thats what makes a Devolver game. Also it's gotta perform well on TikTok. Clearly thats what's most important right? RIGHT?!

14 - Reese

Sometimes it's a vibe, a look, a sense of humour, sometimes it's a developer that we just have to work with, sometimes it's completely weird. Mainly we all just fall in love with a demo and need to fund it so we can play MORE.

15 - Andy A game is either a Devolver game or it ain't. Any attempt to explain it beyond that is futile. It's a vibe. An essence. Impossible to define, yet somehow clearly defined. If you could easily explain it, it would cease to be interesting. (Translation: I have no idea.)

Now that you learned what a Devolver game is maybe you should go buy some. Yes, seriously.

The Devolver 15th Anniversary Steam Publisher Sale we have going May 16 - May 23 features a ridiculous number of generously discounted hits, like Cult of the Lamb, Inscryption, and The Talos Principle 2. The recently launched Children of the Sun and Pepper Grinder are also on sale, as well as many other Devolver classics.

Go see for yourself.