Lakeside – An Interview with Gonçalo Monteiro from Massive Galaxy Studios!

So, as mentioned previously, it took me kind of long to get through the transcribing process and all of that and honestly, motivation has been a bit low for me, so I wasn’t able to get them out as soon as I originally planned. Anyway, here we are with another interview and this time, I’m sharing the insights that Gonçalo Monteiro gave me on his game, Lakeside.

For anyone that isn’t in the know, Lakeside is a 2D City Builder/Colony Sim game where you build and manage a quiet town by the lake or expand it into a picturesque city-state.

This game features an incredibly detailed, almost painting-like, pixel art style and some interesting mechanics.

As you build up your city, there are many choices you can make along the lines of architectural and cultural changes, wonders, as well as rewards that you pick on quest completion based on what your town currently needs.

But as it’s often the case, perspective and UI are big challenges in city builders and tackling a game like this in 2D can be quite a challenge, which is why I was rather surprised to hear what Gonçalo from the Portuguese One-Man Studio, Massive Galaxy Studios, had to say about the game and its design choices and challenges.

At the same time, the demo was also fun to try out and I can certainly vouch for the very picturesque art style and almost painting-like and cosy feel to the game.

The pixel art plus the small animations really make it feel alive in a way despite just being… pixels… and that’s amazing. It’s truly a lovely game to look at!

What is your biggest inspiration for Lakeside?

One of the biggest inspirations for this game was Civilization 1 for DOS. It’s a top-down game but you could see the city view from inside the city – and I wanted to make a game with just that part.

What was the biggest challenge when creating this game?

Creating a city builder sidescroller is a challenge because there are very few games that are in this perspective.

Because of that, I had to figure out [how to solve] a lot of UI issues, how to make the game pleasant to be seen, how the buildings are placed in 2D, how to expand the city and how to make this work in this specific perspective.

Yeah, those are the biggest challenges.

What was the most fun part about working on this game?

Designing the wonders, and the buildings, and making sure everything looks great on the screen!

Cause, the idea is that when you look at the game, it’s like a pixel-art art scene but it’s also [supposed to] look like a portrait. So, that was the most enjoyable part.


Sadly, though, the audio quality in my recording wasn’t too great after that.

I still was able to somewhat transcribe the answer to what advice Gonçalo would give to aspiring developers – something I’ll get into on another day… but other aspects that we talked about were sadly lost in the background noise, something I should have checked at the time.

Gonçalo Monteiro seemed incredibly cool, though, and I’m excited about his upcoming game, Lakeside.

I don’t have the exact wording for it but I also asked him if this was his first game. To which he answered that he previously worked on “For the Warp” which is also released on Switch and Steam – and that he’s working on “Massive Galaxies”, a game that is yet to be released. But I don’t remember what more he said about that one, sadly, so I’ll probably shoot him an e-mail at another point about that.

For the Warp is an interesting roguelike-deckbuilder – and because of that we briefly talked about how city builders often start the same way to which (and these aren’t his exact words, sorry about that) he said that Lakeside has some procedural elements to it with quest rewards giving you buildings but you don’t always get the same sort of buildings each and every time, which makes starting a new game more interesting.

And he also went into detail about designing the UI and trying to make it feel easy to understand while at the same time not crowding the screen too much. The game is supposed to look quite picturesque, after all.

If you wanna check out the game for yourself, Lakeside will be released in Early Access in the next few months. You can check out the store page and wishlist it as well. Wishlisting is a great way to support the developers while also staying up-to-date with the game, so I highly recommend doing that!

And as I already mentioned previously, I’ll feature Gonçalo Monteiro in another post later as well with dev advice for new devs. So, look forward to that! It’s a shame that some parts of the recording were interrupted by the crowd in the background being rather loud and stuff… but it can’t be helped. I’ll learn from this next time!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well. If you find this post on a website other than, please write an e-mail to me. Thank you!

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