XP4T: You have a background in social sciences, right? So how does that tie to your work as a game designer and on an adventure game in particular?
Myriel: Yes, that’s right. I studied social sciences and psychology. That helps tremendously with my work as game designer – not only with creating societies or social groups but also to evaluate how players might react to different situations or how to guide them through complex scenarios. In fact, most of the most renowned people in games research are sociologists.
Beyond that I always enjoyed coherent and authenticity developed stories and game worlds which are most important in an adventure game so my studies help with that as well.
XP4T: So, as an adventure game is mostly a number pf puzzles tied together to a story – can you tell us a little bit about your process? Do you start at the beginning and take it from there or do you have puzzles in mind which you then find a place for in the story?
Myriel: That depends. I usually start with a rough concept which then gets refined over time. That means, Seckin, Helge and I developed the vision together and set the general progression of the story. From there I wrote out a dramaturgy and defined what happens in each of the three acts of the game.
But course we would sometimes have completely crazy ideas for puzzles or small plots out of the blue which we’d then put into the game. I believe this is what makes a classic adventure: Having room for quirky and funky ideas – like a homunculus you’d have to shoot with a slingshot into a bear to get a piece of paper from his stomach.
XP4T: Speaking of places … will there be backtracking and revisiting scenes (as in Dead Synchronicity for instance)?
Myriel: The world of Heaven’s Hope can be freely explored for the most part. Of course the players have to unlock all the 36 locations first. But most of them can and must be traveled repeatedly – and from time to time there will be new things to be discovered at those locations as well. 😉
XP4T: Which platform do you release on? Will there be a port to mobile as well?
Myriel: Initially we will release on PC and Mac only. It will depend on how well the game finally sells if we port to other platforms later on.
XP4T: What are your general thoughts about DRM?
Myriel: Especially in Germany we have a strong and loud “DRM-Free!”-Community. As I can understand their point perfectly, for me as a developer DRM is a good thing. From the customer’s perspective it makes sense, that they want to sell games they’ve finished. On the other hand, we don’t ask for much. Our game Heaven’s Hope has taken years to make and costs a bit less than 20$ at day 1. As we all know, most customers are now waiting for a discount during sales etc, so the average price will be much lower. Steam and the authorities takes their toll as well, so you really have to sell good to a wide audience to make some money. This is why we have chosen Steam as the main distribution platform – to reach as many people as possible.
XP4T: And last but not least: What are you playing right now?
Myriel: Honestly: At the moment I have a whole pile of half-played or even completely unplayed titles here. Not too long ago I played through Diablo a second time with my husband Helge – we really enjoy playing coop together. Today arrived „Alone in the Dark“ (which Helge ordered for research) and when I want to relax I still play a lot of Black and White 2 or „The Settlers: Rise of a Kingdom“.
Thanks again, Myriel, for your time – we are very much looking forward to playing the game!
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