Today we talk about Spilled! and especially its fascinating creator, Lente, in this interesting, fun, but also informative interview
On January 30, 2024, the Kickstarter campaign for Spilled!, a new and intriguing project by the solo developer Lente, officially began. She is a talented and virtuous individual who has made a rather… unique life choice.
But let’s get to know her better in this new and exclusive interview!
Hello Lente, thank you so much for granting us this interview, it’s a true honor.
No worries! And thank you too, for the opportunity to tell (a short part of) my story!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from, and what is your background? Have you always wanted to develop video games?
My name is Lente, I am 23 years olds and grew up on a ship in The Netherlands.
For a while we didn’t have wired electricity and had to use a generator on land when we did need it for washing for instance. During these times, my brother and I would play flash games on our parents laptop! It’s here that I got the introduction!
It’s not quite that I wanted to make games from that point, as I was quite young. But the interest stuck, and I grew up to have an interest in computers and programming games!
You already have a lot of followers, both on X and in the Steam wishlist, as well as in the pre-launch of your Kickstarter campaign starting on January 30. Did you anticipate this success, or were you surprised?
When quitting school at the start of 2023, I definitely did not anticipate my first project to get this much attention.
I was ready to have many failing projects before some sign of success. However, from the start of this journey, I’ve mostly been confident in myself and my abilities. I knew that if I was smart about it and worked hard, I could achieve my dreams!
Living relatively cheaply on a boat and having my mom to fall back on also helped me with my confidence as well of course! She’s the one that provided me with the 10k loan for my boat!
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room… Where did the idea come from to work and live on a boat?
As mentioned before, I grew up on a ship. I had a great childhood, close to nature. We had a smaller boat that we would go on trips with every summer holiday. A full 6 weeks we would travel The Netherlands. And it stuck. I love everything about boat life; from being in the water close to nature; to the understanding between boat people.
I’m very curious to know what it’s like to live on a boat. What are the pros and cons for you?
Pros: Living close to nature; Having less of a feeling of walls around you; Simpler life, potentially with a smaller ecological footprint; Way cheaper IF you do it right and are handy; Being able to travel and move your house around easily!
Cons: These are really just things that are different from a house, but they can be seen as cons. (and sometimes they do really come at unfortunate times) – the water tank being empty. Heating not properly working. Not enough space for all activities / big groups.
Something random breaking. Maintenance.
It’s a lifestyle, one that I’m used to and don’t give a second thought. But it might be a harsh adjustment for some people.
Do you have an anecdote to share about your unique life on the water?
I love stocking up for a few days, and taking the boat out on the open water for anchor. It’s so nice having your own little island in a way. Of course best in summer; getting in and out of the water whenever you want. Maybe cooking a nice meal in between.
Unfortunately currently my engine is broken, but I hope to figure that out before summer comes around again! If Spilled! earns me enough and jumpstarts a career out of this; I want to travel all around The Netherlands for some time!
Now I’d like to delve into Spilled!… Tell us what it’s about exactly, but above all: did the idea to live on a boat come first, or the idea to create a game where a boat is the protagonist?
Spilled! is a shorter, simpler game about cleaning up oil spills that you can finish in 1 hour. It’s meant to be relaxing / satisfying. Upgrading your ship as you move through 8 different areas. Each with bigger oil spills / waste to clean up.
I started making the game when I was in the middle of finally getting my own boat to live on; so I guess it was on my mind a lot ;P
And I think there’s a lot of cool things you can do with boats in a game! Usually, when I’m on the water in real life, it’s a whole other perspective from when you’re on land. I figure it can work the same in games.
What are your main inspirations and models?
My game has a unique pixel art style that is heavily inspired by works like A Short Hike and t3ssel8r on YouTube. Besides that, I really like progressive games where you’re upgrading something!
I’m learning and evolving more and more when it comes to the subject of climate change and waste pollution. So this is on my mind a lot too.
I find the idea of focusing on eco-consciousness very interesting; it seems like it’s never enough. Do you think this will be a predominant theme in your future works? And speaking of future works… Do you already have something different in mind from Spilled!?
I’m unsure at this point if it will be a theme in my future works; but I wouldn’t be surprised if I keep a connection to it; I’m very passionate about it at this time, and don’t see that changing anytime soon.
I do have a few projects in mind, but only one that I have that magical ‘wow’ feeling with. The same feeling I have for Spilled! – however, there’s still a lot of uncertainty around it, and I don’t feel like sharing it yet.
Some of the other ideas; a game about furnishing your own boat. A game about a flooded world, which you have to navigate with your boat.
Do you have any personal advice on how we should treat our wonderful planet and, especially, our magnificent waters?
I think everyone should have their own journey when it comes to this. Different things are important to different people.
When it comes to myself; I’m very conscious of any newly made products that I buy. I buy most things second hand. It’s also better for my wallet! haha.
For a while I’ve been considering eating less / no meat, or getting it from more sustainable sources. I’m still on this journey, figuring out what’s best for me.
A dream of mine in the future is being 100% self-sufficient. Growing my own crops and keeping my own animals. Being able to filter water from rivers to drink. Generating all of my electricity myself. (I’m already halfway there on that last one, as I have solar panels!)
I think a lifestyle like this can be a lot better for the environment, while also giving you a great sense of independence. It kinda makes sense that I’m an independent developer haha.
Thanks again for granting us your time and your precious story. We’re rooting for you!
A pleasure! I love writing about things I’m passionate about 🙂
And thank you, I appreciate it! I’m trying to just enjoy the journey, wherever it goes!
I’m truly excited about the realization of this project, especially for the message related to ecology and the need to become aware of what we, as humans, should do to preserve our planet, the climate emergency, and the sense of responsibility that we all must have. Launching these messages and addressing such delicate and important issues in a video game, I believe, is a commendable and highly esteemed action, which I personally feel, along with a deep admiration, for this young developer with a free and audacious spirit.