IH: You tease people interested in your game stating that Butterfly won’t be a traditional adventure game, that you intend to include some currently kept secret innovative features in it. Could you shed some light on this? Why didn’t you choose to just stay within what is well-proven and safe?

JK: If I wanted to stay within what’s well-proven and safe, I could go on with the first “version” of the game. But it would look just like any other game and after few days no one would remember it, it would most likely disappear among hundreds of other freeware titles out there.

I want it to be more of an experience than just a game. I want it to provoke strong feelings. Maybe it sounds extremely ambitious for a single-person amateur project but that’s the only approach for me, an approach that forces you to really push yourself and create something unique.

“Innovative features” basically mean that the gameplay will differ from the one we know from typical point & click games. You know, usually it’s like: click here, so the character will take a few steps, click on an object – the character will pick it up. This works well in slow-paced adventures about exploration, collecting new pieces for your inventory, going back and forth between locations or talking to the same NPCs over and over again to get some new clues.

In Butterfly, I want the player to get involved and focused on the story right from the beginning; I will not give a moment of relaxation. No wandering, no standing in one place for hours either. I want it to be like a thrilling, interactive movie which makes you forget about your potato chips and cola you’ve prepared. Constant attention will be required because some elements will appear just once, for a moment, like in real life. Timing will be crucial. Action sequences will be fast and unforgivable. You’ll have to decide in a blink of an eye whether to pull the trigger or not. The game will leave you no clues, you won’t have any “automatic diary”, you’ll have to remember what was said and you’ll have to figure out what to do by yourself. The main protagonist’s mind is also an important element. Sometimes it will fool him, leaving you no choice but to follow John’s actions and play accordingly. Sometimes it will try to fool you. Will you be able to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s not?

I won’t tell now how all these elements will actually look like and how I solved the game mechanics issues. You’ll have to wait for the demo. Remember, it’s all part of the experience 🙂

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One of the vehicles we'll have a chance to pilot in the game. Don't be concerned about the lack of wheels - AC (Aero-Car) doesn't need them.

IH: How did you come to a point when you decided to make your own game these three years ago? Was that a spontaneous decision to try out doing something different or something that was on mind for a long time? How difficult/interesting was the process of learning new tools you had to use to build the game and its assets?

JK: It wasn’t spontaneous. Even as a kid, I created many simple board games. Few years ago, I wrote and published on the Internet a few role-playing games (that is the “proper”, paper ones). I wanted to create my own computer game as well. Eventually, I have found Wintermute Engine and decided it’s time to act.

For me, the process of learning new things, like 2D and 3D software, has turned into a kind of hobby. Before I started working on BF, I had almost no experience with computer graphics, not to mention 3D. Once you decide to create something challenging, like a computer game, it requires from you a lot of dedication, patience and mastering a few different applications. Sounds pretty daunting but the most important thing here is that you have motivation – you have some sort of a goal, you don’t study all these things just to kill time or because they might become useful someday. You need these skills and you them right now. So, this kind of endeavor is very beneficial on a number of levels. Eventually, some beautiful and glorious day, you’ll finish your game but, at the same time, you’ll have a lot of experience and knowledge regarding various multimedia applications. You win twice.

IH: How would you describe the size of the game and its story? In what way is it going to be divided into episodes? Did you take a look at how other small developers release their games through internet for references and to see how will your game compare to theirs in general?

JK: Originally, I planned to create Butterfly in the spirit of a “road movie”, where the characters would travel across the vast Megalopolis. That would create an opportunity to show different parts of the city, different architectural styles, different clothes, spoken dialects and so on. The whole story was supposed to be divided into five long episodes. As cool as it may sound, the task eventually proved to be beyond the scope of a single person, even so dedicated as myself 🙂 Simply put, it would take years to complete. That’s why the game was re-designed. I will still show quite a lot but I will not divide it into any parts – it will be like a movie, more condensed, more compact and fast paced.

Out of curiosity, I have read about many freeware games and those created by independent developers. I like to visit their websites and check out their forums just to see how they realize their projects, what is their approach, their strategy. I also enjoy reading reviews of those adventure games that are told (at least by their creators) to be unique, ground-breaking and revolutionary. But I have my own vision; I have my own ideas on how to promote Butterfly and how to make it to stand out from the crowd. Of course, I’m just a single guy and the game is just a freeware product developed in my spare time but I will try to make it look as professional as I can.

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This scene supposedly reminds of Ghost in The Shell only at the beginning. Then it turns into something else entirely.

IH: You create everything for the game by yourself except the music. Could you describe how your collaboration with the composer Przemysław Wołodkiewicz looks like? What genre, style etc. are the music pieces for the game?

JK: Three years ago, at the very beginning, I though about creating some tunes out of different sound samples, but then I thought it might be actually possible to find someone who could do it the right way. I scanned through the Internet and was lucky to find Przemek’s website. He kindly responded to my e-mails and so we’ve begun our cooperation. I sent him all the background information about the game and what kind of songs would I need and in return, he provided me with a complete, 30-track long musical score. As for the second question, I think it will be better if we let Przemek to say a few things.

Przemysław Wołodkiewicz: I’m really happy that I could take part in the development of this project. I’ve been into music for over 15 years and I’ve put my whole experience into the process of creating the soundtrack for Butterfly. I’m especially fond of guitar, so you can expect a great deal of hardcore riffs. There are also more classical parts as well as electronic bits. The whole soundtrack is varied; every part of it reflects some different mood, some different event. I joined some new ideas with those tested and infallible. I hope that people, who decide to play the game, will really be able to divorce themselves from reality, even if only for a while, and lurk into the unknown, fascinating world. It took a while to create the whole musical score but I’m satisfied with the final outcome and hopefully everyone will enjoy it.

I have been following Butterfly from the very beginning and I can’t wait to see the finished product. I am familiar with the gaming culture as I occasionally play myself, whenever I can find some spare time. That’s why I find writing music for games a fascinating thing. I did my best and I hope all s-f fans out there will be satisfied. I don’t like to blow my own horn but I can promise – this music will take you with it to another dimension from where there is no turning back. So buckle your seat belts and prepare yourself for a hell of a ride.

IH: Big thanks for all the great answers, Jarek and Przemek. I’m really looking forward to your game and I hope our readers will also. And we will most certainly keep an eye out for the playable demo to be released in the coming months.

Note: For more information about Butterfly visit the regularly updated developer’s blog

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