Releasing our first serious game
Finally! A long journey is over. Our intended, small-scope, mobile, puzzle game has finally been released. When my co-developer, Lars, and I finally agreed to push the publish button yesterday, it was with a mixed bunch of feelings. We are sure that the game is complete to the extent that we want it to be – although a game will never feel quite done to it’s makers, just ask Phil Fish how he felt about his game Fez for all those years. However, we were very determined not to walk in the footsteps of the fish, and I must say, to this minute, I actually feel very, very content with the game.
Android users can play the right now: Dr Demitrium’s Deadly Devices
Dr Demitrium’s Deadly Devices plays great, and the puzzles are well aligned so that you feel mentally alert and challenged, yet still I think that most people will be able to complete the game without being stuck (too long) in a level. I’m satisfied with the modern style pixel art that we went with. It really helps giving the game that retro look that older kids, in their thirties, wish that old games looked like. Just take a look below:
Writing story-narrative for a mobile game
At the same time, I face a growing anxiety regarding how people will react to the story, and most of all, all the bad puns and crazy jokes found in the game. You see, it is my first time actually writing a game story, and it is done without no respect for the regular “Heroes journey”, plot twists, and other narrative elements. Well, maybe some respect, but really, I ended up winging a lot of stuff. Writing for games is just hard work. And I would argue writing for puzzle games probably lists among the more difficult sub-genre of games. I mean, how do you make players experience a narrative when your gameplay looks like this?
Meanwhile, I think that we managed to insert puns, jokes and drama to a degree where you will actually feel some extra motivation to finish the game, simply because you want to see how it all plays out, and I will definitely encourage you to do so!
What is that you say? Do Dr Demitrium’s Deadly Devices have other cool features besides the alliterations? Glad you asked. I’m incredibly pleased with how we cater to different player types. As you will see when you play the game, because you will play the game, it is possible to complete the game without paying any attention to the story element. So if all you care about is solving puzzles then you won’t feel annoyed by an overly dramatic narration.
On this point, you can draw parallels to Rovio’s Angry Birds games (the original ones at least). In Angry Birds you solved physics based puzzles, but the whole setup was based upon the conflict between birds and pigs. I think most people loved obliterating the piggies with their different birds, both due to gameplay and narration, but still this way of telling a story did not obstruct the hardcore puzzlers, and achievers from just solving physics-based puzzles. I would argue that we add more details to the story part of Dr Demitrium’s Deadly Devices, but hopefully that only adds to the immersion for those who likes the story-elements.
Using the story-telling capacity of the game medium is sometimes a dangerous path to take, just like making a puzzle-game is in it self. Still, I think we did a proper job of combining the two. Hopefully time and all the players will agree with me.
Until next time, fellow monkeys!
Bo, Artist Monkey!