Interview: Radu Muresan Talks About Neon Noodles

By Jenny Geist 04.09.2021

Interview: Radu Muresan Talks About Neon Noodles on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion
Cubed3's Jenny Geist recently sat down with Radu Muresan of Vivid Helix, the developer behind the critically-acclaimed cooking automation puzzler Neon Noodles! If you haven't read Cubed3's PAX West impressions of the title yet, be sure to check that out first. It is currently available for early access on Steam, but with the official release coming up next year, Cubed3 was able to gain some additional insight on this unique game's development process, inspiration, and pandemic struggles.

Image for Interview: Radu Muresan Talks About Neon Noodles

Cubed3's Jenny Geist, Feature Writer: First things first, Neon Noodles is getting a lot of early buzz! It's featured at the PAX 10 this year, which is a big deal, plus it has also been in early access for quite a while. Has this made it a bit more stressful to get the project done? How does that feel?

Radu Muresan, Founder & Sole Developer of Vivid Helix: Not really! The only pressure is what I put on myself, such as how I started a new tutorial altogether, which I didn't finish. Other than that, it's all good!

Cubed3: I noticed early access began on November 29th, 2019, which is right before the pandemic began. Has that impacted development? Since you're indie, with a smaller team, how has that changed it?

Radu Muresan: I have two kids, and they were home a lot of the time during the pandemic. It's all good, but being a solo indie, you spend 20-40% of the time on non-work stuff, like marketing, applying to shows, community support, everything. So if your productivity goes from 100% to 50%... you're left with 10% to work on the actual game, versus the 60% from before. From the outside, it looks like nothing much has happened, because it's hard to get past the hump of 'these are all the things that need to get done anyway,' and then on top of that, to actually work on the game.

Cubed3: Where did you get the concept to combine the cyberpunk aesthetic and the cooking theme? That's not really a combination I've seen before.

Radu Muresan: It's kind of accidental! I've always liked the cyberpunk aesthetic myself, with the messaging about mega corps and where we're all heading right now - but that's a different conversation altogether! [laughs] The story is actually cyberpunk in the true 'cyberpunk' sense, not only neons and rain, but also megacorps and synthetic food and all that. It's inspired by this Swedish artist, Simon Stålenhag, who does these saturated 1980s' Sweden drawings that are just amazing. He's so, so talented.

Cubed3: Does this game ever make you hungry for actual noodles?

Radu Muresan: No, I think it's because they're synthetic foods, and I only eat real food. They are based on real recipes from all around the world, from Iran, Nigeria, you name it, so when I'm working at night, I think 'oh, I would like to have that!'

Cubed3: How much research did it take to get all of those recipes together? Do you cook in your free time?

Radu Muresan: Yes, I am very much a foodie and a cook. I've made almost everything that goes into the game, and I've been cooking my entire life, so it's something that I enjoyed researching. What goes into what, how to make it, etc.

Cubed3: Was it difficult to have a control scheme that works for both keyboard & mouse and a controller for a game like this?

Radu Muresan: I started with a controller, so that made it easier. Normally these games use a mouse & keyboard, but starting with a controller inspired the whole 'record and replay' style of interacting with the game - unlike other games, where you just put instructions on a timeline with a mouse, which is not what I was going for. I'm very proud it actually works controller-only, mouse-only, and keyboard-only.

Cubed3: What kind of scope do you want to go for with the final product?

Radu Muresan: Right now, what's out in early access, in terms of playtime, is probably 80-90% of what's going to be there. So about 30 levels, and they get way more difficult so some of them take a lot of time to just finish them. I tried not to keep it too difficult, so then people can optimize it however they want.

Image for Interview: Radu Muresan Talks About Neon Noodles


Cubed3: When do you think this is going to come out?

Radu Muresan: I've been wrong before, but I want to aim for late this year or early next year for the Steam version, with consoles only coming a few months after.

Box art for Neon Noodles
Developer

Vivid Helix

Publisher

Vivid Helix

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date TBA   North America release date TBA   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date TBA   

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