Moo Lander, from The Sixth Hammer Studios, is one of the most unique indie games showcased at E3 2021.
Since its first reveal in 2017, the game has taken shape to be truly something unique and beautiful. Moo Lander is a puzzle-platformer set on Mars, where players fight against the flora and fauna of the red planet.
Along with E3 2021, Moo Lander was also highlighted at Steam Next Fest as one of the most anticipated indie games. It has a release window set for Spring 2022, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam (PC).
Nick Gaidov at The Sixth Hammer, offers insight into their latest release, Moo Lander
In an exclusive conversation with Sportskeeda’s Suryadeepto Sengupta, The Sixth Hammer’s Marketing and PR head Nick Gaidov opened up about Moo Lander, his team, future plans, and much more.
With E3 2021 coming to an end, one of the standout games is Moo Lander. And with the Steam demo already released, what can you tell us about the game?
Nick: It is a puzzle-platformer where you fly around in your spaceship, battle the creatures of Mars, both flora and fauna, and ultimately – go up against The Ancient Mighty Cows!
Every artistic asset in the game is hand-crafted, our music is self-recorded and mastered, Moo Lander, is 100% from the ground up! Only the engine, Unity, is not our own.
As the game progresses and you unlock new abilities, skins and moves, you choose your path to discover optional cow bosses. We have a crazy Mooltiplayer for up to 4 players and more than 6 modes of play.
Do tell our readers a bit about The Sixth Hammer Games and the talented team behind Moo Lander.
Nick: Our core team of six people is situated in Plovdiv, the capital of culture in Bulgaria, and our developers are musicians, tour guides, artists, beekeepers, crazy stuff. We also have team members from all around the world – Hong Kong, Canada, and Romania. We are truly a multinational game studio.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, E3 2021 was held digitally. How impactful was the event compared to the physical presence at the Los Angeles Convention Center? Do you think Digital E3 has a larger global reach compared to an in-person event?
Nick: Actually, this was a very good thing for us, as we cannot afford a physical presence at E3, but we can do it in a digital format. And yes, this year a lot of people got to be part of the E3 due to its all-digital nature.
We definitely thought it had a bigger global reach than previous years, and it was more accessible for both smaller indie studios and fans.
Moo Lander Demo is one of the few cherry-picked indie games highlighted in Steam Next Fest. How does it feel? How important and impactful is it for an indie to be highlighted by the platform?
Nick: Steam is, to this day, the most important platform for the digital retail of video games. So yes, it is of crucial importance to be highlighted in any Steam event in any way.
It was very emotional for us, sort of a breaking point where you work hard for so many years and at the end, you see the fruits of your work just sprout all of a sudden. And the best thing about it is that you don’t see it coming, it is the best kind of surprise.
In the competitive world of high-budget AAA games, how does Moo Lander stand itself apart?
Nick: Just one thing – cows and milk! I mean, do you know any other game, triple-A or not, where the central gameplay mechanics revolve around cows and milk? That’s right, there aren’t any. We are goofy, crazy, funny, and witty, and we have the best cow-puns!
From its debut trailer in 2017 to its demo release on Steam, how has Moo Lander changed over the years?
Nick: Oh, it has changed a lot, you wouldn’t believe the process. At first, the graphics were more like a Super Mario Cart style, we had no leveling up system, no abilities, no camouflage modules… We only had several cows, in comparison to more than 20 different Mighty Cows now.
Over the years, the game grew, the team grew, our fans grew, our passion became bigger and bigger!
From building a story to releasing a demo level, Moo Lander has had quite a journey in its development. What are some of the hurdles faced by the team during the development period?
Nick: One of the hardest periods is right before a big event when you need a brand new trailer, several even, some new screenshots, some new articles, you want to be fresh, to show some new cool stuff that fans haven’t seen before.
And you have limited time to do all these things. And the bugs before a demo launch, always the bugs…
Currently, Moo Lander is scheduled to be released during the spring of next year. Do you have a specific month or week in mind?
Nick: We don’t have a specific month yet as we need to completely polish and test out the game. Our goal is to achieve an almost flawless launch if there is such a thing nowadays.
Looking into the future, you have already mentioned plans to port the game to Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Are there any plans for the Xbox Series X|S or PlayStation 5 versions? What are your thoughts on cloud-based game streaming services such as Google Stadia and Amazon Luna?
Nick: So far, we aim to get the last-gen consoles ports out, as well as a well-polished game, and after that, who knows, maybe we will release for next-gen consoles as well. As for the cloud-based streaming services, we haven’t fully explored those yet.
The development timeline mentions the Next Episode. Is that the planned DLC, or is the team looking to the future and planning a sequel, perhaps a Moo Lander 2?
Nick: We do have a planned DLC for after Moo Lander’s full release, yes. And if that goes well, if the game itself is successful, we’ll definitely look into the possibility of making Moo Lander 2! That would be our greatest dream fulfilled. Or, as Thanos puts it – “And this is destiny fulfilled”.