Toxicant Interview with Cosmocat developer Adam McLellan

Toxicant Interview with Cosmocat developer Adam McLellan


Here at Hyped Pixels we love indie games! Not only do we love play indie games, but we also love to know more about the development of such games. That’s why we are starting a Steam Early Acess column in which each week we talk with developers who are publishing their games on the platform and growing a community around their “babies”.

We have recently released our preview of Toxicant, a new indie game that is being developed and getting support as time goes by. It was developed and published by Cosmocat on Steam. At the moment it’s in early access and it’s an action-adventure survival game.

After our preview, we had the chance to sit down with Adam McLellan from Cosmocat, the developer behind the game, and ask him some questions regarding how the project came to life, how it is in the current state, and where it will go from here.

What gave you the idea of creating this type of game? It’s very different from your past projects.

I think that was actually part of the reason: I wanted to push myself to try something more ambitious. In terms of influences, I’m drawing equally on action roguelikes and horror games, which I think results in a fairly unique combination.

Is there autosave and how does it work? If not is there a save feature coming in the future?

In the spirit of roguelikes, there are no plans for an autosave. The game is meant to be beaten in one session, but typically it will take at least a few tries to learn the mechanics, and a few more tries if you want to unlock all endings and achievements.

Currently, there are no sound options on the menu, are there plans to implement it in the future?

Yup, there are a few more quality of life things coming, including volume controls and key bindings. I’ll be gradually rolling these out during Early Access.

What was the inspiration behind tentacles? Is it an HP Lovecraft reference?

Actually, these were directly inspired by DOOM Eternal, but I am also a fan of HP Lovecraft imagery, so that’s probably why I was drawn to them in the first place.

The environment seems to have this old texture look is it intended? What was the goal behind this “theme”

I’m intentionally using low-resolution textures to keep the game small, the build times low, etc. Along with this, I made the aesthetic decision to use point-sampled (pixelated) textures. These have a gritty aesthetic which I quite like, and are reminiscent of early FPS games like DOOM. You can see this aesthetic in some retro-modern games as well, like Ion Fury and Dusk, though in my case I’ve strategically chosen to increase the fidelity in a few places (enemies, in particular).

During the game we can hear a horse throttling, is this a reference or a hint on a future enemy?

I think that was purely coincidental. As you’ve probably noticed, there are lots of random noises going on in the environment, so it’s possible you might hear something completely new and unexpected as a result.

Are there any more weapons and enemies coming in the near future? 

Yes and yes, but first and foremost the focus will be on evasion over combat, which means I’ll be investing more in the beacon launcher than melee weapons.

As the roadmap is coming to an end, could you give us a sneak peek at what it might be coming in the future?

The next release will include an entirely new area: a sprawling industrial complex set in a chasm. This will be the basis for the final challenge and multiple endings. Here’s a sneak peek


What did you enjoy most doing on TOXICANT? Any special moments you could share with us?

It wasn’t really one thing in particular, but watching the world come to life was quite satisfying. Early versions were quite crude and it took many iterations to get to something that felt “alive”.

Can you put more mushrooms in the game to make the lighting on the levels different or would it affect game design as a whole?

More mushrooms would potentially affect the design, yes, but I do hope to create more diversity in the mine environment (and lighting) prior to full release.

Will there be different characters down the line with different quirks? 

No plans for different characters at the moment but this is something I would love to explore down the road. I’ve also thought about having starting items or buffs as an option, similar to what I’ve done in another one of my games (Cosmic Ray).

Are there any easter eggs to hunt in this game or in the future?

Not at the moment but I do have some plans there, yes. 😉

Are you planning to release the full game during 2021? If so, are there plans for post-launch content for the community you are currently building?

I hope to release the full game in early 2021, but as long as there are players, I will keep adding content. I see the full release as the beginning, not the end, of a game.

That’s a wrap from Adam! We would like to thank your guest for coming in and talking about TOXICANT, which again we really loved to preview! If you want to know more about the game please check the Steam page

Aditionally Adam has recently released a new post in the Toxicant blog

About author

Pedro Relvas

Editor Chief. Having previous experience in the industry as a games journalist for the past 5 years, Pedro started this new project with the team to deliver our take on the Gaming Industry. Fan of SP/MP games and a huge World of Warcraft nerd. Contact me at : [email protected]

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