Friday, July 13, 2012
Flavor of the Week: Pendulo Studios
Looking for something to do today? Well, cozy up because we've managed a rather awesome opportunity to interview Josué Monchan, a writer for one of the most-acclaimed gaming studio out there today. Pendulo Studios have given us titles such as the Runaway franchise and recent hits like Yesterday, filling that point-and-click void in our gaming lives that we so desperately need. They've since been working on a new title called Day One which aims its appeal towards a more mature audience, but still retains the classic humor and story development as well as the great gameplay you've come to expect from Pendulo Studios for almost twenty years.
Smooth Town: Day One looks to be the next big title in the long history of Pendulo Studios; would that be a fair assessment? How far is the team looking to push this new IP?
Josué Monchan: Day One is the most challenging idea we've ever had, and an IP that could easily turn into a Day Two, Day Three... We want to develop an adventure that talks about serious things in a funny way. This is a hellish world, and although we love comedy, we think that this is not the moment for innocent jokes. Humor can help is criticize this society, and talk in an adult way about a lot of things that normally you don't care for in video-games: economy, politics, corruption, death...
ST: What convinced you to take this title to a crowdfunding platform like Gamesplanet Lab? Were you looking to incorporate community feedback into this game? Did the platform in general seem appealing?
Monchan: Gamesplanet Lab has a lot of things that you don't have in other platforms: they carefully select the projects, they help with the technical aspects of forums or rewards so we can concentrate on making a good game with the players. And that's another novelty, because in Day One, backers can participate in the development in ways never seen before. On the one hand, they'll be able to choose among different proposals made by Pendulo: which one of these 3 drafts is better for the game, which arrangement for this musical track is better, which out of these 2 character designs suits do you prefer... Players decisions will be irrevocable. But there's much more: do you play guitar, trombone or do you sing? Do you draw? Have you a suggestion for the game's logo? Do you think you could play one of the characters as a voiceover actor? If so, you can really create a part of Day One!
ST: The game looks to continue the great point-and-click gameplay one would expect out of Pendulo Studios which has me excited! Will there be an attempt to try and create games of a different gameplay or artistic style in the future?
Monchan: I don't think that we are going to change our style for the moment. We're quite happy with it, and it really has its uniqueness. Players recognize it at first sight, and that's so good. However, for gameplay, we're trying to slowly open to new genres. This Autumn we'll release "Hidden Runaway", a hidden object game based on the first Runaway game. It's almost finished and it's absolutely gorgeous!
ST: Was there anything in the list of games you've previously worked on that you're looking to improve on with Day One?
Monchan: Two things: budget and standing very close to the players. Crowdfunding and crowdcreating are the best ways to achieve both goals.
ST: Any opinions on how Spain performed in the Euro Cup recently as they took the whole tournament? Do you think Italy should have played better? (I do.)
Monchan: It's a kind of divine justice: the worse that our economy goes, the best that our national sport teams behave. I don't know if it's escapism or not, but at least it helps to raise the morals of people during some hours. Like a good video-game [smiles].
ST: Thanks for your time, Mr. Monchan! The current crowdfunding campaign sees Day One at about 6%. (Ed: At the time of writing.) Any last pitches to try and convince anyone reading this to help contribute?
Monchan: When prestigious developers like us turn to crowdfunding and crowdcreating for their next game, it's a sign that things are changing in the industry. Now, gamers have the possibility of becoming producers, creators, players and reviewers, all in one. Crowdcreating allows gamers to be in the middle of it all - it's just up to them to take advantage of that by backing projects like Day One.
Be sure to help support the funding of Day One over at Gamesplanet Lab and secure some awesome goodies while you're at it. Even more so, stick around and help contribute to the growth of the game!