Subnautica: Below Zero interview - Cloud Support & Cross Save

We speak with the Below Zero Project Lead about working with different console ecosystems and insight on small team game development.


One of the biggest indie game success stories of the last decade belongs to Subnautica. Originally released into early access back in 2014 for PC, the game was developed along with feedback from its dedicated community. The completed version of the game went on to become one of the most acclaimed releases of its console generation. Subnautica’s success was followed up by developer Unknown Worlds as it began work on Subnautica: Below Zero. 

Below Zero further refines the game design and sensibilities of the original Subnautica along with adding a new above-surface environment to survive and explore. Like its predecessor, Below Zero has launched to critical and commercial acclaim.

Our Video Editor Greg Burke got an opportunity to sit down with David Kalina, Project Lead at Unknown Worlds to talk about working on Below Zero, managing a smaller team, and the realities of working with console manufacturers.

When asked about potential cross save support for Below Zero, Kalina explains that the team would love to have easy shares between game clients, but the realities of game development and the contrasting philosophies of console manufacturers sometimes prevent the inclusion of such features. While Subnautica saves can be shared by the Xbox One and Windows 10 Store versions of the game, other platforms like PS4 and Nintendo Switch are left out. The Microsoft ecosystem sharing is a feature included with the use of Xbox services for developers. Kalina explains that the team at Unknown Worlds would have to build their own bespoke content sharing system to have a chance at offering cross-save support for all platforms.

For more unboxings, reviews, and interviews with all the folks responsible for creating the biggest games and technological advances in the industry, be sure to check out the Shacknews and GamerHubTV YouTube channels.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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