Interview: Cult of the Lamb will let you “sacrifice naughty followers”

Cult of the Lamb combines cute with spooky and dungeon-crawling with base-building and launches for the Xbox Series X | S and Xbox One later this year. For our latest Xbox Indie Spotlight, we contacted developer Massive Monster and spoke with art director James Pearmain, who was kind enough to answer our questions!

Read on to find out more about Cult of the Lamb …

What is the Cult of the Lamb?

Cult of the Lamb is a strategic rogue-like action-adventure game that combines dungeon crawling with base-building. It is under development from Massive Monster and is published by Devolver Digital.

When will Cult of the Lamb be launched?

We have not yet got a release date for Cult of the Lamb, but it is expected to be launched sometime this year. We keep you updated!

cultivation of the lamb

What is it about?

Well. In Cult of the Lamb, our titular lamb is rescued from a sacrificial death by a stranger, and must work to retaliate against this disgusting stranger by building a cult in the name of the stranger. We want to recruit members, eliminate rival cults and generally spread the word.

How does Cult of the Lamb play?

Cult of the Lamb, it seems, will keep us very busy. We need to gather new followers, look for resources, explore dungeons, build and expand our base, give sermons, perform rituals, and more. “So you embark on a crusade into one of the randomly generated dungeons to find resources and new followers to bring back to your cult,” Pearmain explains. “Along the way you will find various weapons, curses and tarot cards that give different abilities and buffs, and encounter enemy cults, monsters and bosses to fight against. You will also meet different NPCs that give you items, quests and also tell you about new locations you can visit. “

cultivation of the lamb

So, back at our base, we will “indoctrinate all new followers and build structures with resources you found on your crusade. In your temple you can hold daily sermons to draw strength from your followers, become stronger, and unlock new weapons.” and curses to use on your crusades.You determine your doctrine and make decisions about how you want to interact with your followers and how they react to you.You can also perform rituals and do things like sacrifice naughty followers, hold big parties or resurrect the dead … You can even marry a follower! ”

In our TA team’s first impression of the Cult of the Lamb, what surprised us was this mashup of base building and dungeon crawler elements, and we wondered how the developers had implemented this combination so that the change in gameplay pace not felt. jarring. “The goal was that the two sides of the game should always be fed into the other, so you always make progress. For example, in the battle side of the game you can save a new follower, which you bring back to your base,” Pearmain begins “This follower will then work for you and participate in sermons that unlock new weapons and powers that you can use in the combat side of the game. So by getting the two sides of the game to always influence each other, the player is always motivated and does not suffer from the potential whiplash by changing tempo. ”

cultivation of the lamb

Instead of just seeing our followers as yet another resource, it sounds like our relationship with them will be far more profound. “We spend a lot of time and effort making the base fun to be in,” Pearmain says. “It’s not just a fancy upgrade tree, it’s a full-fledged colonial sim. Your followers will have their own personalities and lives, some will help you, some will hurt you, you will have your favorites, and they will all eventually grow old and die. There are a lot of new stories that come out of interacting with your followers, and on top of that they will always have a new search for you. “It also does not sound like we will ever get stuck for something to do next time “Because the trailers and base are constantly being simulated, if you’re waiting for a building to be finished, you can go for a quick dungeon crawl, and when you get back, it’s likely to be finished. So if there is something in one part of the game that slows things down, you are always free to explore other parts. In addition to this, there are places you can discover all over the world that offer new characters to meet and quests to complete. So we always try to let the player have a choice in how they spend their time. “

And our followers need more care and attention than just being brought back to base. “Followers have different needs and will require feeding and a place to sleep,” Pearmain explains. “You’ll have to keep your cult clean, otherwise they can get sick.” Another interesting feature is that your followers can apparently turn against you if you do not take proper care of them. “They also have a level of faith that must be maintained to keep them happy, otherwise they may distance themselves from you and try to convince others that you are a false prophet,” Pearmain warns. “It’s up to you how you handle these moments – you can carefully talk to them and re-educate them in the ways of the lamb, or throw them in jail until they repent. You can sacrifice them to the gods, or just murder them and give their meat to your other followers – they may not be happy about it!

cultivation of the lamb

Followers will also have their own lives in your cult. Followers have different traits that make them unique and respond differently to your actions and other followers around them. You can read their thoughts to see what makes them happy or unhappy, or what they really think about their fellow animals. They can become enemies of each other, they can fall in love. ” They also have a variety of roles within your cult. “Your cult members will also help you around your base,” Pearmain says. “They can pray at the Lamb Shrine to unlock new buildings and then help build them once they are located. They can look after your farms or become janitors and clean up the mess. You can send them as missionaries to bring new resources or followers left, or you can convert them into demons to help you on your crusades! ”

And when it comes to building balance – Pearmain says the Cult of the Lamb “leans more towards limited power levels” (like the Nuclear Throne), “but there are definitely combinations of weapons and tarot cards that will give some fun results! You can find yourself by becoming quite strong at points in the game. We are planning more weapons, curses and cards, which will also be added later in free updates. “

cultivating the first impression of the lamb

How is the world?

Cult of the Lamb sends us out into the world to gather followers and destroy rival cults, and in doing so we will explore four mysterious regions. “Darkwood is a deep and frightening worm-infested forest. Anura is a warm and overgrown fungal grassland, ruled by frogs,” Pearmain begins. “Anchordeep is a swampy seabed full of corals, shipwrecks and jellyfish. The Silk Cradle is a fearsome nesting site for spiders, deep underground. “Interestingly, Pearmain adds that” each of the regions is ruled by one of the four bishops of the ancient faith and connected through a network of ancient temples. “

One of the first things you notice about Cult of the Lamb is the stark contrast between its cute, cartoon-like art style and its dark, horrible content. “We’ve always had a pretty cute, cartoon-like art style in all our games. With Cult of the Lamb, we wanted to keep the cartoon style we’re known for, while bringing in some darker themes and visual elements to give a more striking aesthetics, “says Pearmain.” Once we had decided on the theme of cults, the religious and occult imagery came naturally and helped give the game its juxtaposition of sweet and scary, light and dark. “

cultivating the first impression of the lamb

This contrast between light and dark themes is also repeated in the game’s choice of music. “We are working with Melbourne-based Narayana Johnson AKA River Boy, who has brought her unique electronic beats and production to the game,” Pearmain explains. “He has really given COTL its own identity through the music and also helped channel the light and dark themes that run through the game into the music. We wanted the outside world to feel like a dark and scary place full of horrors, and then the time spent on your cult feels more like a relaxing getaway. Narayana has really helped to emphasize the two opposing feelings! “

We also wondered if the pseudo-satanic themes of the Cult of the Lambs could make developers worry about its reception. “I can understand why some of the pictures may not be for everyone, and that’s ok,” Pearmain replies. “The religious and satanic themes are just something that came naturally when we explored the core mechanics of starting a cult, and the themes of light and dark, good and evil. We are not going to insult or make a huge statement for or against religion with the game, we just wanted a strong aesthetic around the player’s fantasy of being a cult leader. We want the game to feel like a playground with many different options, and then let the players make their own choices in how they act as a leader. Will they be good or bad? ”

cultivation of the lamb

Any news on Lammekulten’s results?

We have not received Cult of the Lamb achievements yet, but we will update you as soon as we do! Meanwhile, Pearmain gives us an idea of ​​the team’s design process when it comes to performance. “Performance is a great way to encourage people to play games in ways that are different than they normally would, and helps provide clues and motivation to seek out the deepest corners of the game,” Pearmain says. “We always like to have a good selection of short-term and long-term, as well as a few secrets thrown in. We tried to create variety so that relaxed players can feel rewarded and completionists can know that we appreciate them – because we do !”

Cult of the Lamb seems to be a fantastic mashup of dungeon crawling and base-building, all wrapped up in a striking living art style and an intriguing dark story. What out of all this does Pearmain most look forward to gaining player experience? “I think the marriage between combative dungeon crawling and character-driven base building feels pretty unique and brings something new to both of these genres, so I think people will enjoy the power of the two sides of the game working together,” Pearmain answers. “I’m excited to see how players interact with their followers and the stories they make together – you see some fun moments around your base while the different systems work together. I also think we’ve created a unique world with lots to discover, I’m excited for people to meet all the characters and find all the secrets! ”

cultivating the first impression of the lamb

So what do you think? Cult of the Lamb is definitely on our radar – what about you? Do you want to establish The Cult of the Lamb when the game launches later this year? Tell us in the comments!