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Interview with Deck13

We present you an interview with the rcent team of developers at Deck13 who, after the success of Ankh, seem optimistic about their future and the future of the genre.

# By G. Sanmartín y P. García |

Interview with Deck13

AyC: Even though the release of the game is pretty close, we are very intrigued about its level of interaction and fun. Many of the recent adventures don’t meet a minimum level of playability, maybe because they give such a big importance to Myst-like puzzles (that is, full-screen ones with lots of levers, and buttons and so on), which are introduced to the player with almost no clues and completely taken apart from the game’s story. Can you describe how will Ankh work on this matter?

D13: We hate lever puzzles. We hate box shifting puzzles. And we hate, erm, how can I say it nicely… not-so-user-friendly interfaces.

Ankh is meant to be playable for adventure experts as well as for beginners, and without having to look for a walkthrough on the Internet. At the same time, the puzzles are meant to stay challenging. Ankh has unique and interesting puzzles who are, in the first place, attached to the storyline and not to mysterious playtime-stretching mystery puzzle doors.

AyC:We recently learned about your partnership with TellTale, who is working with you on a consultory level. Can you describe your relationship in depth? What are exactly the aspects they advice you on?

D13:Telltales are helping us regarding several elements, such as the textual content and the character of the game. With their great experience regarding escpecially weird and completely mad adventure games, they will be a big help for optimizing and “internationalizing” the humour of the game.

AyC: As a young company, why did you take the decision of being advised by another teamy that may be leaded by former LucasArts workers, but has not any real commercial experience as a company?

D13: It’s not the commercial experience that is important to us, regarding Telltale – for that aspect, we have our publisher Rebel Games who is in the publishing business for many years and takes care of great marketing for the product. Behind Rebel Games stands bhv Software, one of the senior members of the German software industry. bhv is in business for more than 20 years, they now how to distribute software and they definitely HAVE commercial experience. Rebel Games, their fairly new games division, is a team of young and hungry gamers who all have very much experience in the Games industry. So they are really first choice for doing innovative games

AyC: Today most adventures make use of prerendered scenarios mixed with real-time rendered character models. From the screenshots we’ve seen, we take it Ankh will use real-time characters but also real-time scenarios. Why do you think this implementation would work better with your game?

D13: Now that the world finally has 3D technology that is capable of showing vivid 3D worlds, why not use it? 3D enables us to do great camera movement, close-ups during dialogs and to generally work in a very cineastic way.<br />
However, the game screen itself is built up as you know it from the classic games: the screen is almost still so you can take your time and explore it. We do not want to throw apart a visual system that has worked so well in the past, but we want to enhance it by the power that the new technology provides.

AyC: Taking marketing taglines with lots of numbers and features apart (which we think it’s not something adventurers really focus on), what would you say to encourage players to buy Ankh?

D13: That’s an easy one! If you like classic funny adventure games like from the old Lucas Arts days, you’ll love Ankh. And if you generally enjoy humorous movies, books or whatever, Ankh should definitely be on top of your list!

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