ExeKiller: Developing a Cyber-Western Game

Founders of Paradark Studio Kasia Widmańska and Amadeusz Wróbel talked about the development process behind ExeKiller – their upcoming game that merges cyberpunk and western aesthetics.

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We are Kasia and Amadeusz, Owners and Founders of Paradrak Studio. We love challenges and we love playing games! One day, a few years back we just thought, why don’t we try to create our own game. At first, it was our “after-hours job” just for fun but last year we decided to make it official. Currently, we are also working on our first movie.

We are both visual creators – we bring our experience in such fields as photography, graphic design, and film. 

ExeKiller's Development

We started thinking about creating the game over 3 years ago, we had a few different ideas in our heads, we even started prototyping some of them but other job offers came up and the game was set aside. Finally, it came back on the agenda with the beginning of the Pandemic. However, it took some time before what is known today as ExeKiller has taken its current form. 

We were inspired by many titles like Deus Ex and Fallout series, Dishonored, Red Dead Redemption, Observer, and Stalker. Cinema has a strong influence on us, titles like Blade Runner, Escape from New York, Mad Max are also very inspirational for us. We spent many hours watching the films and playing these games, having fun but also a lot of aesthetic or emotional experience. To mention more inspirations we are also fans of Cyberpunk literature like Philip. K Dick and William Gibson. 

Our main goal is to create a certain style of game that we haven't seen and played before. 

Our main hero or heroine (we would like to add a female protagonist) is the ExeKiller, futuristic bounty hunter and gun for hire. You are trying to survive in post-apocalyptic New York of 1998 and your main goal is to collect S.O.U.L.S. – biochip component which gathers information about its owner and also controls him. Chips are produced by one of the biggest corporations that rule the New Earth. Without S.O.U.L you simply don't exist. 

Engine and Tools

We are using Unreal Engine 4 but we will update the project to the newest version. For building environments, we are using everything that Quixel has to offer both 3D models and textures. We are mixing them with the Brusify toolkit. For NPC’s we were using a character creator but we will probably switch to MetaHuman. 

Gameplay and Mechanics

We are making an immersive sim inspired by such game classics as Deus Ex or Dishonored. We don't want to limit the player and tell them how to play and what to do. The tutorial explains the basic mechanics and the rest is up to the player. We just give you a task and how you achieve it is up to you. We want every playstyle to be appealing. That's why some of the abilities and gadgets will help you with fighting and some with sneaking and hacking.

We will not have a standard skill tree. You will be able to buy new skills in the form of softwares or extract them from the enemies. For example: If someone uses invisibility you will be able to pull it from the owner. Once you assign a certain skill you will be able to upgrade it further in special places.

Also, weather plays a key role in our game. Due to the very high temperature, some regions of the map will only be explorable at night. The night itself will also make it easier for us to sneak around.

We also have radioactive and electromagnetic storms that are a deadly threat to us. When one of them is coming towards us we have to find a safe place as soon as possible. It can be a city, a cave, a canyon, an abandoned building, anything that will provide us with a minimum of protection. On top of that, electromagnetic storms can stop all electric devices including our cars and more advanced weapons. At that time only old guns are working and outlaws are a threat and can attack you.


It all begins with a concept. We choose which part of the map we want to build first and what is going to happen there. Then we create a draft of the area where we put the most important elements and we test it, then we correct it and test again until it is perfect. Thanks to Megascans by Quixell we are able to create a map very quickly. The biggest challenge is to limit the map with natural ways like mountains, fog, deadly dangerous zones.

Future Plans

We will release the game when it is ready, like really ready. Hard to say when but we hope like 2-3 years. As for promoting our project we use social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. The business side of things is our business partner’s responsibility, we rather focus on creation.


About a month ago we were basically outside the industry so the only advice you can get from us is simple. Make your own game. All the necessary tools are right there and they are free!

We are a small team aware of our limitations that’s why we create something we will be able to handle. A lot of people compare our game to Cyberpunk – please don’t. In fact, our game has nothing to do with Cyberpunk 2077, maybe in a few points the genre itself. Retro futuristic western with cyber elements – that’s Exekiller.

We invite everybody who wants to ask us some questions to our Discord.

Kasia Widmańska and Amadeusz Wróbel, Founders of Paradark Studio

Interview conducted by Theodore Nikitin

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