I am delighted to have connected with Vincent, an incredibly talented game designer and programmer, to learn more about his latest game Woven. Read on to find out more about Woven and what makes it so special...
So who are you guys?
'We are three Dutch guys who all have a passion for games. Matthijs and Dominic both run a game company together called Alterego Games. Two and a half years ago they met (me) Vincent, a freelancer who has a company called Digital Forest. We really got along and were doing projects together for two years. We each have our own expertise which we try to combine optimally in Woven.'
Matthijs: Psychologist and storywriter. Working on Woven's story, narration, game design and community management.
Dominic: Programmer, game designer, user experience designer. Working on the main programming of Woven, special effects and user experience.
Vincent: Programmer, visual designer, game designer. Working on 3D modeling, level design and gameplay.
What is Woven about?
'Woven is a game where you join Stuffy and Glitch on their adventure. Stuffy is a stuffed animal elephant and Glitch is a robot firefly. Glitch has lost most of the memories from his past and only remembers some dark and dangerous things. He was broken and thrown away, ending up in this wondrous world made of wool and leather, where he was found by Stuffy. They become friends and decide to travel together. Together they can do so much more then either could do alone! The game is relaxing, and story driven. You have to solve puzzles en will meet lots of special creatures. They game also has a dark side, which will become more clear as the story unravels. Not trying to give away much... but there are metal creatures, endangering the woven world.'
Where did the idea for Woven come from?
'The game originated from a creature combination game Vincent made 15 years ago. In that game you could collect creatures, which you could then combine into a new creature. For example, you could create a creature that has the head of a crocodile, the legs of a duck and the arms of a gorilla. Ten years later that concept was improved upon by making the creatures stuffed animals. And so the world made completely out of fabric was born. When Matthijs and Dominic saw this world, they were so excited about it that we decided to make it into a story adventure game together! Now we are trying to Kickstart it, so that we can create something that we think will be a unique experience for whoever plays it.'
What makes it fun and different?
'It's a game where you don't have to rush. You can just enjoy the game in your own speed. You can freely explore the world and discover more about the story as you go. What makes Woven different is that you can create your own creatures by encountering other creatures. Once Glitch has scanned them you can combine body-parts which each give unique abilities. An elephant with rabbit legs would for instance be able to push things with his arms, but also jump over rocks with its legs.'
Who created the music in Woven and what part does it play in the game?
'The music plays a great part in our game! We try to give the players the best experience we can, and we believe that music helps a great deal with achieving this. The music in Woven was made by Ziggy. He's a composer we worked with before and we think his skills of understanding what atmosphere is needed combined with his technical skills that make it possible to fluently transition a song into the next makes him a great asset to our team.
The music is very important in Woven, it describes where you are, changing with the environment around you. It also alerts you to hidden objects, subtly changing for those with a trained ear.'
Do you think music is important in games generally? If so - why?
'We think it enriches the games immensely when done right. We always include music in our games, it is the key to the emotion we want the player to feel. We know never to underestimate sound when making a game. Music and great sound design can make or break your game. Take for instance the simple android game; Stack. Play it with sound off and it is just a tapping game. Play it with sound on, and every hit becomes a brighter note and you strive to make your tower as high as possible.'
Would you recommend working with a composer?
'In general yes. It will definitely add to your game when done right. The only situation we can think of is when there is absolutely no budget.'
When will Woven be released and how can we get it?
'We are doing a Kickstarter this September and hope to completely finish the game somewhere by the end of next year. You can get the game in pre-sale via our Kickstarter, not only getting the game at wonderful offers, but also helping us with development.
You can sign in to the woven newsletter at www.woventhegame.com/newsletter so you’ll be the first to know the campaign is live and get access to crazy early bird and early bird offers.'
Have you created any other games?
'Too many to count :)
Alterego Games have been building small to medium games ever since they started, and Digital Forest has over 16 years of experience in building games in al shapes and sizes. These games differ from E entertainment to educational and games for special audiences.
About the author: Ninichi is an experience music composer and big supporter of indie games. She has created soundtracks to various indie games, films and music for other media. If you are looking for music for your game, film or project - contact her to discuss your music needs now.