Adi Shankar, the producer behind Netflix’s Castlevania as well as other video game adaptations like an upcoming Devil May Cry series, has set his sights on Heart Machine’s breakout hit Hyper Light Drifter (opens in new tab). As Alx Preston, lead developer at Heart Machine, told Polygon (opens in new tab), he and Shankar have teamed up to put together an animated series for Hyper Light Drifter. The series is still in infancy, but Preston says they’re actively looking for staff.
Hyper Light Drifter’s fast-paced combat, stunning pixel art, and intriguing world stood out in 2016 and hasn’t aged a day, so it’s fertile ground for the sort of series we’ve seen from Shankar. That said, its story does pose some unique challenges for an adaptation. For starters, there’s no dialogue in the game – characters communicate through wordless chatter, imagery, and body language. It’s also an incredibly open-ended game with branching, interconnected paths, so nailing down a cohesive journey would require some serious shaping. But rather than being intimidated, Preston sounds excited by these creative challenges.
“The difference between a series and a game is vast in a lot of ways,” he told Polygon. “Hyper Light as a game was pretty atmospheric and kind of overbearing at times. For a series, the question is: how do you sustain and keep your attention on a non-interactive run? Does it get really, really dark and serious? Does it have some levity?” Preston also discussed the possibility of doing a silent series as one answer to the question of “how much dialogue do we really have.” Personally, I’d love to see them pull off a story told entirely through action and music rather than words, but I’ll also watch just about anything Hyper Light Drifter.
The series doesn’t have a release window yet, and again, it’s still very early days. Nevertheless, it’s exciting to see a fabulous indie game stand on the same stage as Castlevania and Devil May Cry.
Incidentally, Shankar is also working on an Assassin’s Creed anime. (opens in new tab)