Have a Nice Death Interview – Artist & Developer Talk New Web-Comic, Game Tie-Ins, & More

Death is a beach.

Earlier this year, Twinfinite had the chance to talk to the developers behind Have a Nice Death, where they discussed the challenges of early access, what they hope to add in the future, and much more. Earlier this week, we followed up with the team to talk about their recent comic collaboration and how they hope to tie the web comic back to the game in order to help grow its world even further.

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Thanks again to Anthony Wheeler, Have a Nice Death web comic artist, and Mérédith Alfroy, Narrative Designer and Marketing Coordinator for Have a Nice Death, for taking the time.

Twinfinite Features Editor Andrew McMahon: How does this comic tie-in to the game?

Anthony: The comic is a really fun extension of the game—We are taking what the game does really well (character, location, humor, art, etc) and infusing it with some old-school comic strip jokes. The comic gives us a further glimpse into the mundanely weird things that happens at Death Inc. Also, the comic allows for lots of terrible things to happen to PumpQuinn… who is an absolute pleasure to write and draw.  

Mérédith: The comic deals with the same themes as the game and revolves around everyday life in a company through humorous situations. It portrays the different characters players may have encountered while exploring Have a Nice Death, including Death itself. 

Andrew: Why did you decide to create a webcomic for this?

Mérédith: Have a Nice Death’s universe is very rich and unique thanks to its visuals and its character cast (friends and foes). Moreover, its topics (work, life in the workplace, corporations) are a great source of inspiration to write our initial narrative design, our dialogues, or even draw the artwork. Through this web comic, we can expand on some jokes, develop some characters and their personality traits, we can also create some short stories and backgrounds of our own, and make some pop-culture and meme references.

Andrew: Do you hope to expand the comic to help flesh out the lore of Have a Nice Death?

Anthony: As the comic launches, we are playing with a lot of internet culture —memes and visual gags to establish the tone of the project and perhaps get a few new folks checking out the comic and the game. As we progress, we are going to delve more into the lore of Have a Nice Death and dig deeper into the characters and some of their backstories. Joe is one of my favorite characters, and I can’t wait to dive into some coffee-fueled backstory and lore with him. 

Mérédith: Yes, definitely! We have plenty more ideas for fleshing out the lore, and as Anthony mentioned, we plan to dive into the lore more in the comic series. So, while some lore ideas we have for the game may not make the cut in the game because they would require too much time to develop, they could find their way into the comic if this medium suits them.

How does it feel going from children’s book/art to Have a Nice Death? Were there any challenges in the transition?

Anthony: Kids and really just about anyone can connect to artwork that has simple shapes, loads of texture, and feels like something that they can create on their own—Have a Nice Death excels at all those.  

The biggest challenge was leveling up my creativity to match the art style of the game. When I first came on board to the project, I told my creative director that the art style/art direction on Have a Nice Death made me want to throw my pencils, markers, and sketchbooks at the wall in protest of how good the art is. It’s ridiculous. I’ve drawn hundreds and hundreds of grim reapers, skeletons, and creepy/cute things, but it took some time to pay attention to how smart each character design is, boil things down to basic shapes and then build my version up.  

Andrew: What is your favorite thing in the comic?

Anthony: My favorite thing in the comic is how absurd all of our concepts are without taking away from the norm of the game or what the development team has worked to achieve. Drawing a character like Death, who goes from apathetic in one second and full of controller-throwing rage the next, is an absolute joy. I’m a big fan of old school comic strips —Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield and the Farside…couple that with a love for TV sitcoms like The Office, Parks & Rec, and Cheers, and this project is heaven for me. 

Mérédith: For the Magic Design Studios team, our favorite thing is that we can explore and expand the lore of Have a Nice Death further, and develop ideas that would not necessarily fit in-game. 

Andrew: Anything you’d like to tell fans?

Anthony: I would like to encourage fans to check out our comic every Wednesday and to please share it with your friends, family, and mortal enemies, ESPECIALLY now that it’s been announced that the game is coming to the Nintendo Switch on March 22, 2023! 

Mérédith: Some members of our community are very attached to our lore and characters. They discuss theories about the story, create their own in which they make the employees interacts with each other, or even create brand new characters! It’s incredible to see the pieces people share that have been inspired by Have a Nice Death. We hope they like this comic as much as the game and that it will inspire the community into writing their own comic strips as well!

The official Have a Nice Death web comic is live now, and can be seen linked here. Anyone interested in playing the game can check it out on Steam, as it is available now in early access for $14.99.

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Andrew McMahon
Andrew was Twinfinite's Features Editor from 2020 through until March 2023 and wrote for the site from 2018. He has wandered around with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications sitting in his back pocket for a while now, all the while wondering what he is going to do for a career. Luckily, video games have always been there, especially as his writing career progresses.