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Seems like one of the more modest apartments in the city. It's a pleasure to look at nevertheless

IH: What techniques and tools do you use to create animations?

JK: Players will encounter plenty of short animations during the game. Dynamic elements will be present in every background, every event and every dialogue. As far as the technique is concerned, I rely mainly on Flash. WME doesn’t have a direct Flash support, so I have to export all animations as series of images and bind them together in the game engine. Some parts of the game will also incorporate visual special effects created with another software, called Particle Illusion. I’m talking here about explosions, gunfights and other “action junkie necessities” as well as sequences that take place in virtual reality – Global Net. Although “Butterfly” is obviously far from Hollywood-like imagery, I’ll try make it look as interesting as I can.

IH: I know that Asian culture fascinates you and you want to incorporate aspects of it into Butterfly. Could you reveal some examples of those influences? How much are they just like they are in reality, and how much are you taking a creative license with them?

JK: Because of Asian culture, I have been in China for almost two years now 🙂 I think it all began with old kung fu and ninja flicks and my fascination with all those ancient warriors. This sort of explains why I have been into martial arts for over 20 years 🙂 Later, it was manga, anime and Japanese language, which I have studied for three years.

Butterfly takes place in Shanghai of the year 2099, so I’m trying to create its believable
look by mixing traditional (that is, present) and futuristic elements. I live in China now and I can just look around if I need an inspiration or real-life models. I will also use a number of elements from Chinese and Japanese myths and legends in different forms, especially in virtual reality or in a form of puzzles. Every player will also have an opportunity to practice their Chinese/Japanese linguistic skills 🙂

IH: Have you played any cyberpunk adventure games, like Blade Runner, Dreamweb, or Rise of The Dragon? What are your favorite sci-fi adventure games in general and why? Did they inspire any elements in Butterfly?

JK: I love Rise of The Dragon; as a matter of fact, the very beginning of Butterfly is a kind of my little homage to that great Dynamix game. I remember playing it in an internet cafe during the time when Diablo 2 was all around the place and all the guys were occupying other computers hacking and slashing infinite hordes of demons. They were peeking occasionally, though, at my screen thinking “What the heck is that guy up to? Some slide-show fan?” 🙂 Blade Runner is another one of my evergreens, still present on my hard drive. Lucy, one of the characters, was the first inspiration for a support character in Butterfly. Eventually, Hirari was born.

I also remember playing other “cult” s-f games like Another World, Flashback or Beneath a Steel Sky. In spite of simple graphics, those games were magical; they had something that didn’t allow you to step away from the screen. Today’s games are often flashy, visually polished but painstakingly shallow. But that’s of course another story.

IH: What do you think of current adventure games compared to classic titles? Have you tried some of the underground freeware ones?

JK: Like I mentioned before, I like the old games a lot and only few of the recent titles got my attention. I still play occasionally but usually just for a while, to try something new. I prefer spending time developing 🙂 I have played some indie games, downloaded from the Internet, because quite often they focus on the story, just like the old ones. Besides, I like to see how other independent folks put their ideas into practice.

IH: What are in your opinion the most important elements of an adventure game? How does this affect your game design for Butterfly?

JK: Everyone looks for something different. Some people enjoy fairy-tale-like graphics, some look for challenging logical puzzles, some for dialogues full of humor. For me, it’s usually the story and setting. That’s why I’m spending a lot of time designing a believable game universe for Butterfly, creating concept arts of environment, vehicles and machines, even if they appear in the game only for a moment or in a distance. I also keep improving the script, for example, by creating history and background for all the characters.

An adventure game, as the name suggests, must provide you a possibility to take part in an adventure. It may be funny, sad or frightening but it can’t be just a bunch of locations with some items and NPCs here and there.

IH: Could you tell a bit how long have you been already working on Butterfly and how much of the game is already done? Have you already been showing working parts of the game to some privileged individuals?

JK: The idea for the game is actually quite old, it all started some three years ago but I didn’t know much about computer graphics or scripting back then. At the beginning, I just wanted to write a simple browser game or interactive fiction, not a regular “computer point&click adventure”. Of course, I thought it would be cool but I had no idea how to do it. That thought pushed me eventually into learning new things and I figured “Why not? Let’s try.”

The actual development started from September last year. Originally, I planned to divide the whole story into five episodes. After many trials and errors, I made the first part and sent it to my friends at Adventure-Zone.pl to try. Their response was quite positive. However, I was not entirely satisfied because the game wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be. That’s my problem – I’m never satisfied with my own work 🙂 The project eventually returned to the planning phase, the script and graphics were changed. Right now, everything goes smoothly and what’s more important, I’m quite happy with the way it all looks 🙂 I hope the game can be released by the end of this year. I wanted to finish it by summer but I’m afraid that’s not possible. I will, however, publish a playable demo. It should answer some questions connected with the game.

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The megalopolis inhabitants roam a labyrynthian complex. Is it Philip K. Dick or is it Kafka?

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