„Heaven’s Hope tells the story of the Angel Talorel, who has literally fallen from Heaven. He is now stranded on Earth in the 19th century next to a town called Heaven’s Hope, having lost his halo and his wings. His goal is to now to find a way back home. But our world is strange for an Angel, so Talorel needs advice from his old friends in heaven and from some new and unlikely companions that he will meet on his adventure. In Heaven’s Hope the Inquisition has risen again under the rule of the fanatic nun Greta. Suppression, fear and mistrust have spread among the village, which means that it’s actually not a good place for an angel, desperately trying to get back to Heaven.“
Heaven’s Hope is a funny and quirky Point and Click-Adventure by Mosaik Mask Studio. It was released on the 26th of February. The creative director and game designer Myriel Balzer has graciously taken the time to answer some of our questions about it.
XP4T: Hi and thanks for taking the time to talk to us! As usual, before we dive into the game, we would like to get to know the people behind it a bit better – so, who are the creative minds behind the game?
Myriel: Hallo and thank you, too! :)
Heaven’s Hope was developed by Mosaic Mask Studio. Its core members are Seckin Oelmez, the producer and the person with the initial idea, Helge C. Balzer, Art Director and illustrator, Philipp Braun, our lead programmer, and myself, Myriel Balzer. I am the game designer and creative director. And of course there is our amazing team of modellers, animators, voice actors, writers and composers.
Unlike most other studios we are scattered throughout Germany and beyond: Seckin is based in Hanover, our programmer Philipp in Cologne, Helge and I live in Marburg, our animators are in Berlin, our composer in the Netherlands and so on. This makes us unusual even for indie developers, but it worked out amazingly well for us.
XP4T: Heaven’s Hope is about an angel falling to earth and finding his way back to heaven by all kinds of quirky means – well that sounds intriguing! Can you tell us a little bit more about the story and the world it is set in?
Myriel:*laughs* I’ll take this as a compliment!
Talorel falls – through no fault of his own – to Earth into a 19th century England and not only breaks his wings but also loses his halo. So this is the first thing he needs to retrieve to get back his angelic skills. To do that he has to deal with such strange concepts like „matter“ and „darkness“ on Earth. And if this wasn’t enough he realizes that the completely crazy and fanatic nun Greta in the small village Heaven’s Hope has brought her version of the inquisition back to life.
So Talorel does not only have to get back to Heaven before the archangels notice his forbidden and involuntary cruise, he also has to find a way to fly without his wings and not get caught by the inquisition – who for some reason does not believe that he is a real angel.
XP4T: What kind of of games do you like to play in general and how did they influence the development of Heaven’s Hope? Is there anything in particular (a game, a book, a movie, …) that you were inspired by?
Myriel: I like all kinds of different games – from role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons or live action role playing through board games to a lot of video games of course. Among the older titles I am most intrigued by the early games by Peter Molyneux – mainly Fable 2 and 3 and Black and White. I like the way he makes games that can be played by everyone and that are intended for all kinds of players but with a very special and versatile game design which makes them – under the whole sweet and cozy surface – very, very dark and evil.
Heaven’s Hope was of course inspired by the old classics like Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion. You’ll find one or two references to those in the game, too! Visually the movie „Sleepy Hollow“ was our initial source of inspiration, but eventually we developed our own art style, which differs a lot from the „usual“ style of our art director Helge C. Balzer. (Note: Helge usually does great dark and evil creatures!)