Kickin’ it with Mobot Games – Knite & The Ghost Lights
If our recent review of The Inner World is any indication, adventure games are set for a revival. We got a chance to talk with Mobot Studios about their new adventure game Knite & The Ghost Lights for this Kickin’ it with.
4cr: Welcome! Thanks for being here. What can you tell us about Mobot? What has the company worked on before?
Hi. Glad to be here! Well, we’ve been around a couple years now. Our biggest project was Paper Monsters for iPhone and iPad (then later ported to Android). At the time when Paper Monsters came out there weren’t many games that were like it. There is probably tons of stuff on par or better now, but it was a pretty big deal at the time. There was a lot of 2D stuff, but not a platformer modeled with a full 3D environment and characters like you would see on consoles, and I think the style really holds up. I like doing projects with a unique feel that won’t be dated as easily once technology improves. In fact, we are actually pretty far along with the Wii U version for Paper Monsters, a release with the same charm and feel but rebooted to now include way more levels.
4cr: Kickstarter has helped a lot of indie developers secure the funds for making their projects become a reality. Your campaign is for Knite & The Ghost Lights, an adventure game that is set to focus on lavish backdrops, rich characters and a unique story. What more can you tell us about this game?
I think one thing people can easily point out is that we actually don’t have a lot of gameplay to show. A lot of games are pretty far along and turn to Kickstarter for the last set of funds needed to release a game, which is great, but for us we really are crowd sourcing and trying to rally people on the concept. We’ve put together some proof of concept, so people don’t think we are insane, but we have a lot of work to do before we can have a solid game to play. We are confident in our programming skills, and it is more about bringing the world to the game. The feel and controls can always be tweaked, and it’s not hard to program good gameplay these days. We are more focused on setting things apart by telling a charming story that lets the player be fully involved. There isn’t going to be hardcore hack-and-slash action and leveling up to micromanage stats. If you are the type of player who likes to explore the story in a game like Zelda, then this will be a game you should enjoy.
4cr: Since you’ll create the game by using physical sets and characters, doesn’t that place an extra set of requirements on top of the usual round of development barriers?
Yes, it does. Its not really that hard though, it just demands a LOT of work. If you want to capture a shot or a specific angle, you have to make it. Artists have been doing a great job at hand drawing games like Rayman for a long time now, so it’s sort of like that except that, rather than the artist drawing whats in his head, we build it and photograph it. Its surprisingly similar.
4cr: The main goal for the campaign is set for a Linux, PC or Mac version of the game. If you get extra funds from backers, what will they be used for? Are you thinking about bringing this game to consoles, such as the Wii U, as was the case for the Armikrog Kickstarter campaign?
Wii U is a must for us. We’ll be fresh off Paper Monsters for Wii U when we start, so it just makes sense. We are all into Nintendo and its history, and there’s a lot of respect there. In fact, Jon (our project manager) and I grew up playing the NES after school every day and eventually missed more classes at college thanks to Golden Eye and Mario Kart 64. Battles were fierce. The stuff of legend. So, to sum things up: yes, Wii U support at launch is happening once we meet our main goal!
4cr: How many people will be part of the team that will aim at bringing Knite & The Ghost Lights to life?
There is 5 of us. Lex and Tisha, our artists, are amazing. The other 3 of us just wear a lot of hats as needed. If we blow our goal away, we’ll try to get some extra help for building some of the sets.
4cr: One of the updates for the project mentions a digital art book added for free to all $20 and higher pledges. What can backers expect to find inside of said art book?
We actually have several digital books as rewards for our backers. The first ones are part of a set: character books written as if they are from the characters themselves. They aren’t like Lord of the Rings novels or anything. It’s just a fun way for something in the game to cross into the real world. The first book is by our disgruntled stump name Wilhelm. It’s basically poetry from his more than pessimistic take on life.
The second one is an actual art book that showcases the process for making the game, going from creating prototype figures and sets, to finished characters and environments, and everything in between. We are also offering it digitally to backers at the $20 tier, and also for those backing at a higher tier.
4cr: Considering all the work that needs to be done for the game, an April 2014 release isn’t really that far away. If stretch goals are reached, wouldn’t that delay the release for Knite & The Ghost Lights?
We will do our best. I can’t guarantee we’ll hit all platforms by our goal, but you are correct that it is not a lot of time. I think the goal is realistic but if we decide that the game is not ready, then it’s not ready. Most people would rather wait for a bit than end up getting a bad product. It’s just when developers go MIA and don’t update their community that things don’t go as well with fans. If we decide to add more to the game along the way we will make sure everyone is involved and properly informed. We’re pretty up front like that. Jared’s main job is running the community and the fact that we dedicate a fifth of our team to the community says we think it’s important.
4cr: Thanks you taking the time to be part of our Kickin’ It With series. Do you have anything else to add?
Nope, just gotta get back to work. Thanks again for taking the time to cover our project. We all appreciate it!
We had a great time talking with Mobot Studios for this feature, and we want to wish them the best for Knite & the Ghost Lights!