[Interview] Talking Cthulhu with Transylvanian developers, Stuck in Attic
Gibbous is a lighthearted spoof of the H.P Lovecraft Cthulhu mythos. The game features the Necronomicon, a detective who always gets his man, an easy going librarian and his cat who now, thanks to a little accident, can talk. Players will meet a whole host of eerie and mysterious people as the venture through Darkham such as a Voodoo priests, fish people and cute little girls who think that it's a great idea to be out at night on their own.
I was interested in knowing more about the game, so I got in touch with Liviu for an interview.
ESpalding: Hi there! Thank you for speaking with me today. Could you start by telling the readers a bit about yourself and Stuck in Attic?
Liviu Boar: The three of us (Liviu, Cami and Nicu) were working in the same IT company as animators/programmer, and had one passion in common: games - playing and wanting to make them! So we convinced our very nice and understanding boss to let us use the company's hardware and time - when there wasn't paid work to be done - to make a demo. The place we got to do this is the attic above the design department, and we got intentionally stuck in there for hours on end, nights and weekends, working on our point and click adventure demo. You might say the studio name sums up the last year or so of our lives.
Spalding: How long has the game been in development?
Boar: Gibbous has been in development since early 2015, but we worked on and off on it between paid jobs.
Spalding: So, Gibbous takes a lighthearted look at the Cthulhu mythology by Lovecraft. Is this something that's always interested you?
Boar: Absolutely. When you have the opportunity to create your own game, and have complete creative freedom, you tend to combine things you love so you can look at them from a new, exciting angle. Lovecraft, comedy and adventure games have been often combined, but only two at a time. We went for all of them, but not in a mindless, mish-mash way - I respect Lovecraft's work way too much to make a mockery of it. The humor in Gibbous mainly comes from humans, and the dread from The Old Ones.
Spalding: What would you say makes Gibbous different from other games of the same genre?
Boar: Ironically, part of it is the fact that it sticks to a lot of classic adventure staples that haven't been as present as of late because they take time to create and are expensive to produce. The best example is detailed, smooth frame by frame animation. There's also marrying cosmic horror with comedy, which I'm confident can be pulled off without treading corny territory, and finally the local flavor, due to the fact that Gibbous' environments are inspired by the Transylvanian architecture and nature we grew up around.
Spalding: It is obvious to any seasoned gamer that there is a lot of influence from the Lucas Arts games of the 90s in Gibbous. What made you decide on this format? Do you have a favourite Lucas Arts game? I'm a fan of Day of the Tentacle but I also really enjoyed Full Throttle.
Boar: Yes, we are very upfront about this being a letter to the classic-era LucasArts games of the 90s. I fell in love with those games when I was a kid, and I've always been a huge fan of cartoons, so being able to walk around in a cartoon and interact with it (Day of the Tentacle!) blew my mind back then, and it still does today. As for my favorites, I can't just pick one, first place goes to a three-headed monkey (wink wink): Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, Curse of Monkey Island.
Spalding: It hasn't been long since you launched your Kickstarter campaign. Out of the different kinds of crowdfunding platforms, what made you decide Kickstarter and what are you hoping to get out of it?
Boar: We are making a very ambitious game for a 3-person indie team, so we will need time and resources to make the game as good as we envision it, and Kickstarter is the biggest and most well-known platform out there. Actually, $40,000 isn't a lot for the kind of quality we're shooting for, but we still wanted to have as much visibility and as many potential fans as possible.
Spalding: What stretch goal are you most excited for in your Kickstarter campaign?
Boar: Ooh, hard to tell. I personally would really love to hit the fully-animated cutscenes one, but I'm always thinking of the backers, so my fingers are crossed for at least the translation into French, Italian, German and Spanish goal.
Spalding: Lastly, out of the characters we see in the demo and others that we'll meet in the full game, who is your favourite and why?
Boar: No contest there - it's Kitteh, followed very closely by Piscilla. And from the feedback we've been getting, Kitteh totally steals the show. Yup, we have some kick-ass girls in the demo, and more to come in the game!
Gibbous - A Cthulhu Adventure has already got the green light from Steam and will be available on PC, Mac and Linux. For those of you who are really eager to try the game, there is a demo available to download for free on their website.