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March 14, 2021

Andreas

Lost Souls is Created Amid Myanmar’s Troubled Political Situation

March 14, 2021 | Andreas

While gruesome news from Myanmar about the military coup and the acts of violence against protestors dominate the international press, local indie developer Thet Naing Oo, better known as Thetoyamo, contacted us about launching a Kickstarter campaign for a videogame. We have compiled all information on Lost Souls and talked to Thetoyamo also about creating a game project under such difficult circumstances.

Contrary to what the name suggests, Lost Souls seems to be a rather colourful game. At least that’s what the screenshots of the beautifully pixelated 2D worlds and characters incline. In contrast to its visual representation, the story of this action-adventure has a much darker tone: Having only one brother left as a family, the main character relies on him the whole life. On a mission, the sibling was killed by unknown enemies. All that’s left to our character are his brother’s scarf and sword. Now the young hero explores the underworld to avenge his brother’s death.

Despite this ominous setting in which the story unfolds, Thetoyamo emphasises that, above all, players need to rely on the help of strangers to explore the surroundings and defeat enemies. In Lost Souls, which is supposed to be a mixture of Metroidvania and platformer, players can also find various treasures and secrets. As typical for this genre, we unlock new skills to be able to penetrate new areas.

Lost Souls’ premise is very promising, and the surreal visual aesthetics seem to be the game’s unique selling point. Furthermore, the material published so far is highly appealing, and the project appears overall feasible in scope, even for a solo developer. Lost Souls is, of course, especially unique as video games from Myanmar are still rare.

Given the situation in Myanmar, we were genuinely surprised to learn about a new game project at this very moment. Thetoyamo explains that he has been working on Lost Souls for more than a year as a side project while helping out on his parents’ farm. At the beginning of the year, he was trapped in a creative block, and the project almost failed. Everything changed with the military coup in February: the internet was partially switched off, and social media were blocked. Like so many other young people from his country, Thetoyamo rallies in the streets to protest against the new regime and its acts of violence. Confronted with the endangering political situation during the day, Thetoyamo works at night to turn his project into reality as quickly as possible. Most promising is the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, which he can only access by the help of an outside supporter. Time is at the essence as he does not know how long this option will be viable in Myanmar after all.

To fund Lost Souls, Thetoyamo will launch a Kickstarter campaign on March 19th 2021. Interested players can then support the project there or set a reminder now. The game’s release on PC and Mac (Steam) is scheduled for October 2021.


Andreas

Andreas Betsche founded Virtual SEA in early 2016 after researching Cambodian mobile games for his Master’s thesis. He has a background in Southeast Asia studies and has worked and lived in Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Since he has been actively playing games since the early 90s, combing both worlds in Virtual SEA brought together both of his passions.

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