#Heistuesday 11: Your Best Questions Answered

Hi friends!

Remember the t-shirt contest a few weeks ago? The three winners each gave us one SteamWorld Heist related question that will be added to the official SteamWorld Heist FAQ. But what are questions without answers? Nothing. So we sent the entries to our in-house SteamWorld lore master (CEO Brjann), who gave them the answers they deserve. And here they are!

1. What was your main influence to set the game in space?

It started while Brjann was away at a game conference somewhere, dead set on the fact that we were making the prequel to SteamWorld Dig (after completing Dig itself). But when he got back the entire office had conspired about a new game, and our lead designer Olle Håkansson took Brjann aside when he had enough to pitch it. It was a game of much bigger scope than the prequel, and Brjann thought it sounded awesome. Brjann’s only condition was that we could weave it into the SteamWorld universe somehow. And it fits quite snugly.

SteamWorld Dig is the third game on the SteamWorld timeline.

We thought we’d make a SteamWorld Dig prequel before we shifted gears and went with SteamWorld Heist…

The main inspiration was our stance on games. We love turn-based strategy games. Everyone in the office loves to play board games of all kinds. As a complete and helpless chess addict, Brjann for example thinks all games should be turn-based. Well, maybe not exactly all… but turn-based games are very interesting to us. And we’ve found a unique angle in Heist.

2. Do I need to play the first SteamWorld game to play or understand Heist?

No, you don’t – but we think you would benefit from it. Although the SteamWorld games are standalone, they follow a timeline. The lore, the driving force behind the steambots and some enemy factions, is easier to understand if you’ve played Dig first. Which in turn means that people should also try SteamWorld Tower Defense (more on that below). That said, Heist is a completely different type of game and gameplay. We’re not sure everyone who loved Dig will like Heist as much. But we think more people will love Heist than Dig.

3. Where does SteamWorld Heist take place on the SteamWorld timeline?

The preconditions of the game meant we would have to set Heist in the SteamWorld future relative to Dig. So we put the prequel and the game between Dig and Heist on hold to make Heist first.

We don’t see a problem in doing so. George Lucas made the second Star Wars trilogy first, and apparently had the first one in mind the whole time. It’s not like this strategy ruined the first trilogy (that was entirely Jar Jar Binks’ fault along with the strangeness of having better tech “in the past”).

The SteamWorld series actually started in 2010 with SteamWorld Tower Defense.

The SteamWorld series actually started in 2010 with SteamWorld Tower Defense for Nintendo DSi.

SteamWorld Tower Defense was the first, and SteamWorld Dig was the third. SteamWorld Heist will be the fifth game in the series. Or that is the plan at this point. We could very well have to fit more games into the timeline, but we know for sure that there is a prequel to Dig and that there is at least one game that connects Dig with Heist.

SteamWorld Tower Defense was an interesting and relatively small effort. We didn’t realize until afterwards that the game raises some cool meta questions:

  • Why has humanity been reduced to literal cave dwellers?
  • Why has the world been taken over by steambots uninterested in power?
  • What could possibly have happened for this future to come about?

Dig barely hints at the answers, but that doesn’t mean that the answers are blowing in the wind. We have a clear picture of what has happened and will happen. Interestingly, Heist will be more of an ultimate showdown than a time for revelation, which will have to take place “earlier”. The deductions are present in Heist, which will be one monster of a game. But we’re also itching to tell the entire story in the “second” and “fourth” instalments of SteamWorld that will come in the future.


Awesome, right? We sent SteamWorld Heist shirts to the winners:

And to all of you itching to get your hands on t-shirts of your own: We’re working on an online t-shirt store. It’s just a slower process than we initially thought. Please bear with us until we fix it. It’s gonna be totally worth it 😉

Question: What was the most interesting thing you learned in today’s blog?

  • Hyperfludd

    Good stuff. c:

    • Thank you 😀 Anything you thought was particularly good?

      • Hyperfludd

        Always admire and love the discussion of lore, past present and future. It’s another reason to look at the games, too!

        • Nice! I agree with you. A nice in-game lore is what takes an enjoyable gaming experience to the next level! A great example I like is Zelda. Talk about epic lore!

  • Maic Striepe

    I really like Steamworld Dig and the Graphics of it. I’ll try Heist for sure cause it takes in place in the same “world”. Anyway while I would like to try out the suggested Steamworld Tower Defence this won’t work because it’s only avaible for Nintendo, right? No Linux for this one I think.

    The most interessting thing I learned from this blogpost is, that a prequel of Steamworld Dig was planed and seems to be on hold cause of your “conspiration”. While I really would like to see this prequel I think this “conspiration” was a good idea. This way it is going to be more varied for you while still keeping the (nice) Steamworld setting 🙂 Perhaps this leads to fresh ideas for the prequel which would be nice.

    • Yup, TD is currently only available as a DSiWare game on DSi and 3DS. But as with everything that could very well change in the future. We’ve got no plans for it, though.

      You hit the nail on its head. That’s more or less exactly what we thought as well. We will have time to examine new mechanics and settings while at the same time letting the prequel grow on its own for a while. That and we’re also very keen on making a turn-based strategy game xD

  • Devin Hudson

    I really love how you guys have the overarching plot for the series planned out. It’s good when a game has a great standalone plot, but being able to tie it into a larger overarching plot can make it amazing. I’m definitely in for the ride, so I can’t wait to see how this pays off in Heist and other future SteamWorld games.

    • Sweet, Devin! So glad to hear you like what we’re planning. What kind of overarching plats do you wanna see? Any other game series lore you like?

      • Devin Hudson

        I’m definitely hoping Rusty’s uncle ends up playing a larger part in subsequent games. We never saw him alive in Dig, but hopefully he would play a larger part or even star in a prequel to Dig. I’m maybe even secretly hoping he’s still alive and turns up in a post-Dig game as the main villain of the series!

        I think the Suikoden series has great lore. Each game could stand up well on its own, but when you play all of them you see just how connected they all are. Not only do characters span multiple games, but you even see future generations of their family in the later games. You also get to see the interplay between different areas/groups of people over a long period of time, which is not something most series get to do.

  • ThatGunslinger

    Awesome 🙂 I hope you’ll explain the stuff in Vectron at some point. For now I’ll just assume that Voltbot was from another planet where the robots run on electricity. Making the games out of order is a good idea too. It works for Zelda.

    • Vectron is something we’ll definitely let you learn more about in future games. Would be mean to just leave something big like that out. Your guess is a good one! Will be exciting to see if you’re right (or not) ;D