Ron Loo interview
(Pavel Cernohous from the Peregrius development team was kind enough to answer some questions about their upcoming adventure Ron Loo.)
Tell us about the Peregrius team and how it was formed.
Peregrius is a team founded in a small, yet beautiful town with rich history (Prostejov is its name) in Czech republic. Formerly it was a team of one graphic artist who was screenplay writer also, one programmer, one music composer and one manager. Thanks to the Future Games company, the team counts several more members nowadays--two 3D artists, one more 2D artists, 2 more programmers, professional screenwriter etc.
What was the inspiration for the story of Ron Loo?
No special source comes to mind, the author of the story just loves old adventure games, and all of us love good science fiction and fantasy literature. And of course we live our lives in the real world. Real world is the best source of inspiration.
What influenced the decision to make Ron Loo a third-person point & click adventure?
Because third-person point & click adventures are gooood. No, really, we like the point & click concept and third-person view. We choose to allow player to see the main character, because he is not supposed to be an avatar, he is supposed to be the hero.
The Peregrius team uses the subtitle "The Storyteller"; tell us how you plan to tell a compelling story with Ron Loo.
Peregrius is the entity who travels through worlds and times to hear the stories and to tell the stories. He is something like walking chronicle of the Universe. Original idea was to have this character in all our games that we hopefully will create in the future in a role of narrator. That is why we used that subtitle "The Storyteller."
On your site, you explain that you use video capture as a reference for your character animations. Tell us how this process has affected development.
Very dramatically--as we are no stuntmen, some of us got more or less seriously injured several times in a process of taking references for other than standard actions (like taking item from the ground or walking). It was a really painful experience.
Have you run into any problems integrating the motion-captured characters into the prerendered backgrounds?
Yes, and that's why we decided to model and animate characters in 3D instead of making cartoon character animations drawn according to the video references as it was before. Now we use those videocaptured references only as raw reference for 3D animations.
Will the game feature a high amount of NPC interactions?
It was supposed to, but for several reasons we had to cut those NPC interactions and especially the amount of NPC's down. But still there will be many puzzles based on interactions with NPC's.
Your website mentions a "special dialogue system"; what elements of the system do you feel make it special?
As you can see in the trailer, there is the face of a character during monologues and dialogues. This face not only has animated lips during talking, but changes expression according to what he/she feels. It can be angry, frightened, depressed etc.
What features of the AGDS engine convinced you to use it for Ron Loo?
We decided to use AGDS based on the fact that the very successful horror adventure Black Mirror used the same engine. Black Mirror was released worldwide by Future Games, who is also our publisher and (last, but not least) it provides us with all functions we need to make our game. Also the fact is, that Future Games improved the engine a bit, we now have the newest version and it (among other things) allow us to implement 3D characters into the game.
What is your opinion of the adventure games that have been released in the past few years? Do you have any favorites or prime influences?
I loved The Longest Journey and both Syberia games but I mostly like rather old LucasArts adventures like The Dig, Full Throttle, IndyIV, Loom; from other publishers for example, Noctropolis, Dracula, Quest for Glory, etc. Those are my all-time favorites I have also loved the way how Black Mirror is done, although its genre is not my cup of tea, I am not a big fan of mystery stories.
Both Czech and English text can be found in your trailer and various screenshots. Are you developing different translations of the game simultaneously?
No, we are developing only Czech version now (there are English subitles only in the Technology Demo which was made for our publisher purposes only). Later (when all the texts, dialogues, menus etc. are finished) we will prepare an English version.
When do you expect to complete the game, and what territories do you have publishing agreements for?
No public release date has been set so far. The game is still in development. Regarding the distribution - there are some agreements for several major territories, but I´m afraid that we cannot say more now.
At this stage, what do you think is the most exciting element of Ron Loo?
We are not aiming to make a ground-shaking adventure, we just want to create a good adventure with an interesting and deep story, good puzzles and interesting characters. I don't think of the most exciting elements, I hope they will be in balance. It's the only way to create "playability."
Do you have plans for future projects once Ron Loo is completed?
There are always some plans, but it all will depend on the success of Ron Loo.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell our readers?
Have a nice day/night!