Posts Tagged Point and Click adventure
The semi-futuristic story of Greg’s search for his missing girlfriend Chloe has been a long time coming, but after two years in the making Lost Echo is finally on its way to the App Store. Soon players will be able to lead Greg through a number of different 3D environments as he tries to figure out where Chloe disappeared to, and why no one else seems to think she ever existed. We asked Nick Konstantoglou and Vagelis Antonopoulos of KickBack Studios to tell us a little bit more about their long-running (and intriguing) project.
148Apps: Lost Echo looks quite striking. What were some of your inspirations for its visual style?
Nick Konstantoglou and Vagelis Antonopoulos (NK/VA): Thank you! We have a background in Architectural Visualization, so we knew we would put emphasis on lighting. That’s central to the style. We might have broken some kind of record for the amount of time we spent baking and tweaking lightmaps for an iOS game. We also researched a lot of modern architecture. For example the park (which is featured a lot in the trailer) is partly inspired by the HighLine park in New York. We went through quite a few iterations until we recognized the elements that fit the world we imagined. We wanted a world that looked slightly futuristic but realistic enough that it’s believable. There are also some shapes that are repeated throughout the game for story reasons (although it’s quite subtle).
148Apps: I also noticed that Lost Echo is supposed to work with older iOS devices, going all the way back to the iPhone 3GS. How in the heck did you manage that?
NK/VA: We started making the game 2 years ago. Supporting 3GS back then was normal and expected. But since this is our first game, we failed where all new developers fail. Planning! This was supposed to be a smaller project, but we started adding features and then it became something more ambitious. All rookie mistakes, we know how to plan things better now. Although since we didn’t give up and actually finished the game it was probably a good thing! So we kept the 3gs support in. We added a bit more to the graphics later on as time went by and we considered dropping the support for older devices at some point, but then we found that keeping it wasn’t that hard. After we had written the shaders to perform within our expectation and with some self control with the polycounts, getting it to run nicely on older devices was not that hard. Unity being a great engine helps as well.
148Apps: Were there any particular point-and-click games or series that you were keeping in mind while you were developing Lost Echo?
NK/VA: Well, not really. We love all the classics, for example Monkey Island. They are parts of our childhood and they are great games. They also have some elements that are very outdated now. But there is some of that old-school adventure spirit in our game. More recently we played a lot of Phoenix Wright. We can’t say we kept it in mind during development, but we did note how the dialogue presentation was great for smaller screens, very readable, and the variable text speeds gave it a lot of character.
148Apps: Should players expect traditional, item-centric puzzles (i.e. Monkey Island) or more self-contained head scratchers (i.e. Myst)? Possibly some sort of combination of the two?
NK/VA: A combination. There are item puzzles, dialogue based puzzles, and self contained puzzles/minigames. We wanted variation in our game and there are slight shifts in style throughout the game, to keep things interesting.
148Apps: Is Lost Echo going to be a self-contained adventure or were you thinking of adding episodes/chapters later on?
NK/VA: We are… not sure. There is definitely room for more stories, but the story arc that starts with this game, ends with this game. You have to understand, this is our first game and we didn’t (well, still don’t) know what kind of reception we would get, so we didn’t want to plan to make, say, 3 episodes/games and then be unable to make more than one. It’s also a pretty big game, much larger than the average episodic game and it took us a long time to develop. We’ll say this though, we would love to add a bit more to this game. We do have a small story that serves as a prequel to the game that we would love to add it to the game. But to be able to do that it will mean that the game will sell “well enough”.
We really appreciate Nick and Vagelis taking the time to answer our questions, and we’re looking forward to figuring out what happened to Chloe ourselves. Adventure game fans and lovers of psychological thrillers can check out Lost Echo when it’s released later this month for $2.99
Rob like-a-the point-and-click adventure games. He’s also rather fond of hyphens. Only one of those things is on SkyGoblin‘s agenda right now, but it’s the more important of the two by far.
The Journey Down is (surprise, surprise) an adventure game that looks like it would fit right in with any of those classic Lucasarts titles. Seriously, Bwana there looks like he’d fit right in with the likes of Guybrush Threepwood and Manny Calavera. In fact, the use of African masks as artistic inspiration (coupled with the use of some reggae and jazz music) isn’t all that different from Grim Fandango‘s incorporation of the Dia de los Muertos motif.
Episode one, which is slated for a Q1 2012 release, sees Bwana and his sidekick Kito getting torn from the drudgery of their down-and-out gas station and thrust into a web of intrigue and corruption. No word yet on pricing or a more solid date (or high resolution in-game footage), but The Journey Down definitely seems like a game worth looking out for.
In just a few short days, Telltale Games’ second “adventure game that’s practically a sequel for the movie it’s based on” will be unleashed. On less mobile devices, anyway. The iPad 2 version is set to follow soon after the November 15th release date, but nothing specific has been stated as of yet. That’s okay though, because we have these new morsels of information to tide us over.
Jurassic Park: The Game takes us back to Isla Nublar shortly after the events of the first film, following a new cast of characters simply trying to escape the island with their lives intact. However, it’s not just about the new faces: this time around we’re going to be seeing more of the park itself. Sure there will be familiar areas (i.e. Dennis Nedry’s “ditched” vehicle), but we’ve also learned of some new locations players will get to explore that weren’t covered in the movie.
Locations such as the still under-construction Bone Shaker Roller Coaster, the Geothermal Power Plant, Dr. Laura Sorkin’s Field Lab used for observational studies (as well as some unsanctioned and dangerous experiments, the North Docks which are a stone’s throw away from the iconic Visitor’s Center, and finally the Marine Facility (video featured below), which I’m personally terrified to experience. Wait until the end of the clip to see what I mean.
iPad 2 owners, keep an eye on that App Store after the 15th. There might not be an official release date for the iOS version, but I’d imagine it might only be a week or two longer. Heck, since the 15th is a Tuesday it’s also not out of the question to consider it might be available on the 17th (Thursday). So… Anyone have an iPad 2 they don’t want anymore..?
Perhaps best known for their quirky flash game Samorost, Amanita Design has since gone on to make a real name for themselves with their first full-length title, Machinarium. The minimalist adventure of an adorable little robot created somewhat of a stir on the Mac and PC, and now it’s ready to make another group of unaware consumers into rabid fans. I am, of course, referring to iPad owners.
In a statement issued to Pocket Gamer, the developer’s founder Jakub Dvorský mentioned that the iPad version has not only been in the works, but that it’s also nearing completion: “It’s almost finished, but we still need to fix a lot of small bugs and test it properly. It should be ready during the next month…hopefully.”
We can’t do much but speculate on how the Flash title will handle the port, but I think it’ll do just fine. The PC controls are as simple as it gets, with single left mouse clicks as the only required interface. The inventory is almost never larger than a handful of items and it’s in an unobtrusive drop-down menu. There aren’t even other action icons to select (as is usually the custom in other adventure games); instead the game uses context sensitive icons that change depending on what the cursor is hovering over. Controls like that should translate to a touch screen quite easily, I would think.
This is a rather big deal for adventure game fans, even if they’ve never played the PC version (pictured). Machinarium is one of the most beautiful, stylish and clever games of its kind. From the amazing artwork to the incredible soundtrack, not to mention the clever puzzle design, it’s a downright treat to play. Between this version and Machinarium‘s impending release on the PlayStation 3, I think it’s safe to say that the folks at Amanita Design are doing quite well.
iPad users, keep an eye out for this one. I promise it’ll be worth it.
[via Pocket Gamer]