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Jan Kavan - J.U.L.I.A. Enhanced Edition interview

Jan Kavan interview
Jan Kavan interview

When we last talked with Jan Kavan in 2011, his very promising-looking sci-fi indie adventure J.U.L.I.A. was gearing up for its initial release, and no one could foresee all the trouble the creative mind behind CBE Software was about to experience. Nearly two years later, we sat down with the accomplished musician and game designer once again to discuss publishers, life as an indie developer, and of course his current crowdfunding campaign for J.U.L.I.A. Enhanced Edition. As you'll soon see, Jan's very pointed, heartfelt answers didn't mince words.
 



Ingmar Böke: Hello Jan, it’s my pleasure to welcome you to Adventure Gamers. Your crowdfunding campaign for the enhanced edition of J.U.L.I.A. is already a success, which is great to see. For any readers who are just learning about J.U.L.I.A. now, please describe the game in your own words.

Jan Kavan: Hi Ingmar! First and foremost thank you for inviting me for this interview.

J.U.L.I.A. is my very personal take on a slightly different form of narration than what is usually used in traditional adventure games. It’s more inspired by old interactive fiction games and radio plays I used to love as a kid. While the game is graphical, the biggest impact is still placed upon the player’s imagination, and my goal was to create the scenarios more in the mind of the player rather than utilizing super visual effects, which is rather obvious, as we are merely two people and only one of us can do the visual stuff.

The setting is as follows: when a huge telescope discovered a signal which was without doubt created by alien sentient beings, a critical expedition was conceived which consisted of the most proficient scientists, as well as soldiers to keep the expedition alive and in good shape.

The story centers on Rachel Manners, a 35-year-old astrobiologist who is awakened from her long cryogenic sleep by her spaceship’s artificial intelligence called J.U.L.I.A. to discover that the probe has been severely hit by a passing swarm of meteors. On top of that, she is alone on the ship and has no idea why she was still in her cryo-chamber even as the rest of the crew was obviously actively working on the expedition already.

Soon she will discover that the expedition was quite ill-fated, and that she now has to piece together the fate of the expedition as well as discover many secrets behind the sad past of the solar system she’s currently stationed in. As she learns about this history, she also learns something about herself.

J.U.L.I.A. is an interface-based game. This means that Rachel is controlling various computer interfaces to interact with the world. The game itself is a mixture of narration, puzzles which play a key role in gameplay, and planetary exploration. Exploration is done by sending the mobile robot called Mobot to the planet you’re currently orbiting and selecting contextual choices from menus, which directs Mobot to do what you want. There are also dialogue trees, but they don’t play a major role in the game as most of the time the game follows the interaction between Rachel, J.U.L.I.A. and Mobot.

The game is not based upon an epic story, so don’t expect Mass Effect universe-scale consequences; this story is way more personal. If I was to make a music comparison, it’s not a symphony, it’s a string quartet.

Original J.U.L.I.A. trailer


Ingmar: What do you plan to improve in the enhanced edition, and what motivated these improvements?

Jan: The most obvious reason is that I come from an artistic background. If, as a composer, I compose a concerto for cello and orchestra, I usually come back after it’s performed and see what works, what doesn’t and adjust the piece so it works better next time.

Writers can edit their books to create second or third editions, etc., theater plays often get improvised... well, I could get even more boring with other examples. However, this approach is quite uncommon with video games, given the ratio of games that have been patched or improved just to iron out bugs rather than treating them with serious retrospection.

I totally understand this within a big industry context, but within the small indie world, I have a feeling that perfection and retrospection make perfect sense. I feel that only a small fragment of people have really played J.U.L.I.A. so I still have enough of an audience which can be targeted by this enhanced edition.

I for one want to look back at J.U.L.I.A. Enhanced Edition and call it a game I am extremely proud of without having to say obvious phrases like “Of course we could have done this or that better IF…”.

Originally we set ourselves a small goal to fix the most obvious problems with the game, but we still have several weeks available and the basic goal has already been reached! Getting additional pledges above that means that we can be a lot more ambitious with what we are doing with the enhanced edition.

The original plan and what players will actually get will be:

1. New Rachel Manners! The old one didn’t look nice, and while we don’t plan to turn her into a common stereotype of a kung-fu fighteress who happens to be Miss Universe at the same time, we want her to climb out of the uncanny valley she settled herself into years ago. We will also fix her mouth-clapping issue, and while we can’t with our technology do perfect lip sync, we’ll at least make her mouth movement more believable. What's interesting about this process is that the beautification process will involve our backers. They will get the chance to vote for the best concept and be there when we help Rachel out.

Image #1 Image #2
Two of the many concept sketches for the Rachel Manners redesign to be voted on by J.U.L.I.A. Enhanced Edition backers


2. Interface redesign Just because we can. But seriously, the old interface looks a bit cluttered and clumsy. We will introduce collapsible parts so players will get a better view of the background, and in general we want to make the interface design cleaner.

3. Story revision There are parts where the story sometimes goes over-the-top or scenes become almost ridiculous. While some of the situations looked good to me back then, I will apply my since-obtained more critical view and adjust the script accordingly.

4. Making some tasks, like material harvesting, optional

5. Shining my critical spotlight on puzzles Especially the clarity, responsiveness and introduction of an easy mode for the puzzles I had to personally step in and solve for J.U.L.I.A. players. I will also adjust some issues connected with the story. I want some of the puzzles to be better integrated into the plot.

6. Some more music, too I can see now that in general players spend more time in certain locations or situations than I anticipated. I need to extend the music so it won’t become repetitive. I will also use more of the procedural sound layering which is used for example on Salia 4.

It’s safe to say that we’ve already reached this goal and what I've been talking about till this point will become reality. However, we still have time to aim even higher. Right now we are attacking our first stretch goal, which will seriously expand the exploration part of the game, making the locations larger and introducing more choices to players. This goal will also allow us to shine light upon the crew members which we had to cut out from the original game. I always wanted to explore more than just the basic story arches but now I feel we can, and thus the enhanced edition might be really interesting even for those who already played the game.

Our next stretch goal is called “Fullscreen planetary exploration” and it will be a real step forward for the visual side of the game.

Image #3

Screen comparison of original J.U.L.I.A. and Enhanced Edition


This goal will basically let us recreate all the original mini-images as full screen high quality renders, and we will switch to contextual interface actions based upon regions rather than upon the global pool of actions which is how J.U.L.I.A. works now. It would mean creating more than 50 renders and redesigning the exploration game logic, but I believe it would be totally worth it.

The last announced goal so far is a Unity 3D port. This port would mean Linux and Mac versions as well as a potential iOS or Android downscaled build. It would also mean having scalable visuals and not a fixed resolution of 1024x768, which is the limitation we have right now. For us this goal means recreating the vast majority of the game from scratch, though.


Ingmar: I’d suggest that you can have the best game in the world, but you’re not going to sell it with bad marketing. How can you improve sales for the enhanced edition of J.U.L.I.A. and make it the type of success it deserves to be?

Jan: While we don’t have the best game in the world, it certainly deserves more than a publish’n’forget™ scheme. I was moved by the reaction of many gamers writing me personally about how they loved the game. So I believe that being sincere with the community rather than pretending the game is something it isn’t is the best plan. I also don’t plan to sell the game for an insane amount of money, which is already visible from the IGG campaign. That’s another good thing about self-publishing. You can control your price.

So we plan to focus much more on the community. I want to try to reach players more directly, explaining why this game might be special for them and why they should give it a chance. Our crowdfunding experiment has proven to me that this is the correct direction we should have taken years ago. Also, I have a tremendous amount of help with the whole #IndieSupport social media movement started by Say Salazar and followed by such indie stars as Agustín Cordes, César Bittar, Steven Alexander and many others. It’s incredible to see how Say, as a single individual, invested her whole self into this movement made a difference for the whole world!

I believe that if indie developers share their support, it will be beneficial for everyone. It’s a no-brainer that community effort will always have much more direct impact than individual attempts to survive.

We will never have millions to do the same amount of marketing as the big guys do and to be honest I’m more interested in getting J.U.L.I.A. to players than to sell them plush Mobots.

#IndieSupport chat on YouTube


Ingmar: Though it doesn't seem that long ago, lots of things have happened since our last interview with you. Please tell us in detail what happened between the release of J.U.L.I.A. and now, especially where your ill-fated publishing deal is concerned.

Jan: It’s already a quite well known story. J.U.L.I.A. and J.U.L.I.A. Untold were exclusively published by Lace Mamba Global, and we were almost destroyed by the fact that our three years of extremely hard work and my own investments yielded no financial result. Actually, it was quite the opposite, as I’ve spent an insane amount of time trying to obtain a royalty report which, to this very day, I still don’t have.

So in the meantime we created another game called Vampires! (PC, Mac) and Crazy Vampires (iOS, Android) with in order to survive this blow. However, we were not able to reach the proper market with this game so it still awaits its discovery.

We’ve also created a few prototypes for two new adventure games that we wanted to get properly funded, but unfortunately, even if we set the price as low as humanly possible, the reaction is that adventure games won’t be getting funding anytime soon. So this all contributed to the bad situation we’ve faced and was a key factor in my crowdfunding decision.

Ingmar: I was an eye witness to you and Lukáš (Medek, co-developer at CBE) chasing Lace Mamba at gamescom last year to confront them with the fact that they hadn’t paid you a single dollar. Without success, unfortunately. Since then, you decided to go public with the way that company treated you (and others). How did you come up with that unusual decision and how much of an effect did it have from your perspective? I was quite impressed by the wave of solidarity from other developers on Facebook.

Image #4
Jan takes a break from chasing Lace Mamba in Cologne, relaxing between Lukáš Medek and Steve Ince

Jan: I came up with this decision just after we’d paid expensive lawyers to get back the publishing rights. Just to be clear: we never sold away the property rights for J.U.L.I.A., only the publishing rights. When even sending such a formal legal letter didn’t trigger any reaction, I decided to warn the world. Simply stated, I don’t want other naïve developers falling into the same trap. Keep in mind that LMG acted like a solid company and it was quite easy to trust them. This turned wrong as soon as they were supposed to provide their reports or pay.

Ingmar: The official excuse from LMG seems kind of odd to me. They blame Jason Codd and claim that one department didn’t know what the other one was doing – which is kind of hard to believe. Is it as easy as that? Find a scapegoat, blame him as the sole person responsible, and we’re out of this mess? I doubt that’s going to work. What’s your take on the Lace Mamba reaction, and did you finally receive your money?

Jan: To my understanding, this is another false fact. Lace Mamba Global is informally part of the so-called Lace Group and there are entities like Lace Mamba Digital, Mamba Games, etc. I’ve heard that Jason Codd is still CEO in at least one of those companies so it almost seems to be just a show for the public. Also, this shady chain of companies allows them to diminish the developer's cut along the way. The actual income really doesn’t come even remotely close to what you would expect from the contract.

In January 2013, we finally received the "advanced" payment for J.U.L.I.A. (based upon the invoice we issued in July – after the game was released – and was still never paid though the course of 2012) and it almost seemed that Lace Mamba Global wanted to seriously clear this mess. But look at the calendar – it’s March and we still don’t have a proper report for 2012.

When they asked me to hunt down one of their sub-licensors myself, I just abandoned my hopes. So while I still plan certain steps to get something from them, it’s obvious that the “reformed LMG” was just a way to shut us up. If I really wanted to fix such a nasty situation, I’d work my ass off to get it done.

My last comment about this “deal” – even if we forget about lies and everything – would be that if the worldwide publisher to whom you entrust exclusive rights gets you less money for the whole year of exclusive sales than you do for a week of an IndieGoGo campaign (and I am not talking Kickstarter here), you know that they are lousy partners. I am really glad that the story was picked up and other developers joined this cause, resulting in that open letter which was published here at Adventure Gamers as well. I hope that it helped shine light on what really was going on behind the closed door.

Image #5
 Ingmar Böke and Jan Kavan at gamescom

Ingmar: We both have quite a few friends in the industry, so we've heard lots of horror stories about other publishers as well. Has the time come for developers to finally stand up and tell the public about the disgusting behavior of publishers in detail and to fight back after CBE took the first step?

Jan: It’s hard and expensive to fight back, and the result is really unsure. Even if you manage to take it to court, the company just shuts down or resells to a different company (in name only), thus breaking the paper trail. So at the end of the day you end up with having to pay your lawyers with no way to squeeze the money out of the publisher.

I don’t think that most publishers are really even the solution because, especially in the adventure genre, they almost never fund anymore. They expect you to pour your money into the game and then they have no risk attached. So the game is published and they don’t have to care because either the game brings them money or not. If not, they just ask for the next game, effectively killing (especially) small developers in the process.


Ingmar: Crowdfunding seems like the great idea when it comes to avoiding publishers that treat you like dirt. However, at gamescom you told me something like, “Kickstarter can’t be the answer to our problems.” Now you’re running a crowdfunding campaign yourself. Have you changed your mind in the meantime, and how do you feel about this as business model for the future? Is it possible to do things entirely without publishers from your point of view?

Jan: Kickstarter can only be used to fund a set amount of games. People don’t have infinite wallets and I personally really feel that I have to be careful with every other pledge, having supported already a lot of projects. So in one way it’s a great idea to have more direct support and build relationships with your community, but on the other hand, as you can see and what I predicted at the gamescom before it even happened, the big companies have already jumped in and it’s obvious that people would rather throw money at the sequel to an already well known game than to support an original IP. This in connection with limited wallets makes it much harder for small indies now.

Also, let’s not forget that Kickstarter is USA or England residents only. We had to go with the much lesser known IndieGoGo, which makes it much harder than Kickstarter, as the platform is not mature enough and makes crowdfunding an even more challenging task.

However, from where I stand now, I believe more and more in a direct relationship with the community. Something like what Introversion did with Prison Architect. We want to show players what we can do and players can decide if they want us or not. While there will always be many companies who would pick up sequels to blockbuster titles, there won’t be another Agustín Cordes, if you know what I mean.

So players have a chance to directly influence what is being made. And we as developers are standing in front of the most difficult task – to convince the community that this whole crowdfunding thing is not a scam. That we really try insanely hard to put all the entrusted money into something our supporters will love to play. If we fail, forget about crowdfunding.

Also, another of my predictions came true in 2012! A lot of really phony projects appeared on crowdfunding platforms. It will be really hard to spot the sincere ones because whenever people smell easy money, they tend to hop on the bandwagon. And as with all the successful platforms, it will boil back down to your relationship with the community. If you look at Steam, for example, you see that you can’t get greenlit without promoting the game externally, entirely on your own. Just a tiny fraction of people actually goes and searches actively through hundreds of submissions.

J.U.L.I.A. gameplay with developer commentary


Ingmar: After encountering so much disappointment, I imagine it takes an incredible amount of passion to keep making games. How often did you tell yourself, “Man, I HAVE to stop doing this. It just won’t work, I’m broke, and I’m gonna end up as an inmate of the Hanwell Mental Institute if things go on this way.”? 

Jan: I’ve learned a mantra to counter the persistent “I have to stop doing this” feeling. It’s actually in German and goes like “Ein solches Leben ist reich und interessant und macht dich froh und glücklich.“ (Roughly translated: "This particular life is rich and interesting and makes you happy and lucky.") Of course it doesn’t work out of the box. You also have to boil water to 100 degrees Celsius and pour it on your head while you recite this mantra. Then – in comparison – game development no longer seems that bad.

But seriously, it’s not easy to quit. There is a huge difference between wanting to make games and needing to do so and this is a very important difference. It’s actually similar to me playing cello. I might lie to myself that “I’ll sell the instrument and won’t play anymore”, but I just have to play and I am glad that this kind of need has not been entirely rationally explained so far. I prefer it to stay this way.

Ingmar: What would be your advice to young indie developers who want to get into the business?

Jan: I am going to give them very strange advice, but I hope they’ll understand why.

First of all, before you even try, think really hard about whether you want to sacrifice your life for doing something many people will despise. Start by reading all the mainstream game magazine discussions and then ponder if you’re prepared for the fact the that the gaming public will talk like this about your work of love which you’ve fully invested yourself into. If even then you still want to go on, congratulations – you’ve just crossed the river Styx. As there’s no way back, you simply have to make games forever. 

Your next step is stop talking and start doing things. Whether you want to be on your own or apply for a job, the only thing that matters is what you can present as your work. So build your portfolio and remember, it always matters much more if you can show a simple freeware game you did than if you just endlessly talk about what you can achieve “if only…”.

And then be true to yourself. It will always be much more interesting if your game comes somehow from you than if you try to mimic something else. There are amazing tools nowadays which can propel you into real game-making quite easily, and you can also get lots of free or cheap assets. So you don’t have any more excuses! Either you need to do it or you don’t.

Image #6

J.U.L.I.A. Untold, exclusively for iOS


Ingmar: As you said, your next game after J.U.L.I.A. (and iOS spin-off puzzler J.U.L.I.A. Untold) hasn't been widely discovered so far: Vampires!. It's not a story-based game, but there’s a great quote about it that says: “If Tim Burton made a PC strategy game, this would be it.” Tell us about that game and explain why it might appeal to adventure gamers.

Jan: Vampires! started as a game which would serve as a proof of concept that we could switch over to Unity 3D after years of using the Wintermute Engine. However, as it goes, it ended up being much more than just that and I am quite happy with how funny the game really is! (If you consider hair-pulling as part of the fun, of course.)

Despite the cute stylized visuals, the game is really a hardcore puzzle game. The goal is to guide lemming-like vampires through the labyrinth into their coffins so they get their daily rest. You do this by modifying the maze topology and using two special super-powers: garlic-based vampire repellent and a spider web-based slow-down.

To hinder your progress, many traps have been brought to the maze by ruthless vampire hunters. They range from simple pure light up to mobile wooden stakes, crazy garlic sappers and even hired assassins who want to handle this up close and personal.

To make things even more complicated, there are different kinds of vampires, each with a different behavior. So all in all the game will test your skills to the extreme, especially if you aim at the golden level completion, which includes yet another layer of challenge. I know only about a handful of people who actually finished the game reaching all the golden coffins.

Oh, and our vampires don’t glitter!

Vampires!


Ingmar: You’re known as a guy who “loves” vampires nearly as much as you “love” zombies. That’s the reason you did the game, right? Your love for vampires?

Jan: Of course! Why else would I decide to make the game so hard that they would die all the time? But to be honest, I dislike zombies even more than vampires. My internal conflict lies in the fact that I am at the same time somehow attracted to vampire-related projects. For example, one of NE:BO:DAJ's (an ensemble group I currently play with as a guest) often repeated and quite successful music performances is tied to playing live music for Murnau’s expressionistic silent movie Nosferatu (the version from 1922).

Ingmar: You recently stated that you’re working on a project with German development studio EdVenture Studios that will take players back into the 1920s. What can you tell us about that project?

Jan: That’s another sad story! We’ve completed quite an impressive prototype of a third-person point’n’click adventure game featuring contextual actions and dynamic cameras. Everything looked extremely good up to the point when funding was cancelled. But at least we now have a fully fledged adventure game engine in Unity. So even if my main focus is J.U.L.I.A. Enhanced Edition, I’d one day love to revisit the game as I believe it would be great to play the role of a con artist extraordinaire in a period of a ambitious and often uncontrolled enthusiasm.


Ingmar: What’s your take on the current state of story-based games? I have a feeling we’re in a time where things have slowly start to evolve – a time when projects like The Walking Dead, The Cat Lady and To The Moon offer us emotional experiences we didn’t have before, and they don’t care if people call them classic adventure games or not. Is it a coincidence that none of these groundbreaking projects qualify as traditional adventure games and is it a path we have to keep going in the future from your point of view?

Jan: To be honest, I don’t believe that a point’n’click interface, using inventory or having branched dialogues prevents an interesting or mature story from being told. In my opinion it’s much more about the content than it’s about the form. The form should be chosen to accommodate the content and not the other way around. So I wouldn’t personally start with “I want to create a Myst-like adventure”, but rather with “I have this story to tell and now I have to find a proper format to tell such a story.”

If you look more into the past, the games worked so well also because they were less community-compliant. Nobody would argue with me that the original Sam & Max or Full Throttle are adventure games, but both games had action sequences and back then nobody got angry – their inclusion made sense in the context of the narration. Nowadays anything unconventional (for example even the slightest hint of a time-based event) gets frowned upon and I have a feeling that designers way too often choose the comfortable position of not annoying players by having them think outside the tried-and-true conventions.

Ingmar: What adventure games are you currently looking forward to, and for what reasons? Any good ones you've played in the last few years?

Image #7
Along with designing games, Jan is also an accomplished musician
 

Jan: I am still trying to play all the adventure games I can afford but I have a broader perception of what I call an adventure game than your typical genre purist. But to be more specific, I am currently looking forward to playing all the adventure games I’ve pledged on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo , and those will occupy me for a long, long time. If you simply take Double Fine Adventure, Moebius, Asylum, SpaceVenture, Quest for Infamy, Dreamfall Chapters, Broken Sword, Republique (which I count among adventure games), Dominique Pamplemousse or Ithaka of the Clouds, just to name a few, you can see that I’ll have way too many games waiting in the queue.

From the non-Kickstarter projects I am also really looking forward to playing Beyond: Two Souls, as I enjoyed Heavy Rain quite a lot. Also the new Sherlock Holmes, Bracken Tor and The Last Crown come to mind when I think of the pure adventure games.

In the last few years I’ve found that I have quite a hard time finishing adventure games. As I am extremely busy with my own stuff, I have a feeling that the feedback loops aren’t particularly well handled in adventure games, thus making jumping back into the story when I have to leave it for some time quite a difficult task. I am always most happy if the game catches me so much that I simply have to finish it without taking long breaks.

Ingmar: When did you fall in love with the genre, and what left such an strong impact on you that you knew you wanted to become a part of this world yourself?

Jan: I fell in love with adventure games when I was 13. I remember that I played Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders back on my C64. It was a real eye opener for me because till that time I was just playing arcade games. Since then I’ve started to actively seek games with a story. I am not sure they have all been adventure games, however. I didn’t even distinguish between adventure games and interactive fiction games. For me the games were simply divided between those that had a story and those that didn’t.

I have also been writing since my really early childhood. When I was five, I wasn’t able to write so I used my dad’s typewriter to write stories. I remember my mom was quite shocked when she read them and discovered how depressing they actually were. So having the medium to tell my stories was for me a real point of no return.

Ingmar: Clearly you put a strong emphasis on storytelling. Any games you consider an inspiration when it comes to the actual writing?

Jan: Not really, because for me writing is a skill which should be acquired elsewhere. Storytelling is more than just writing, as games are a multimedia thing and you need to do your storytelling through more than mere words, no matter how important those are. So for writing I prefer learning the craft of writing, and it’s a never-ending process because I always see way too many flaws when I read my writing after some time. When it comes to storytelling, I often look at particular components in games where I feel that it was done well. Speaking of narration and immersion, Heavy Rain comes to mind.

Ingmar: You once asked me about my favorite obscure adventure game and I came up with Harvester right away. Now I’d like to return the favour by asking if there’s anything obscure you can recommend.

Jan: Obscure is a very dangerous term. I found out the hard way when I accidentally got myself involved in a discussion when somebody called I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream an obscure game. For me this is as mainstream as it can get, having Harlan Ellison on board.

You surely know of my love for Blue Ice. I also consider Sleep is Death to be an extremely interesting experiment in storytelling!  From the recent games, and if you can handle a non-stellar command parser, try the text game Cypher (by Cabrera Brothers).  

Ingmar: We've talked a lot about games so far, but what is it that really inspires you as an artist? Music? Movies? Books? Please share some examples and give us the reasons for your choices.

Jan: Oh, a lot of things! Let me check the word count first… I presume we don’t have space for another 5000 words, so I have to make it short. I believe in drawing my inspiration outside of the game industry. I do listen to a lot of music, I visit many art exhibitions and I also read a lot. I don’t watch movies much (almost not at all) and if I do, I usually watch old movies which are slower. I believe that the best stories are found hidden within yourself. Even if you transpose them to various ages and settings, the things you experience personally are much stronger and personal than if you write about things you have no emotional clue about.

Music from J.U.L.I.A. Enhanced Edition


Ingmar: Speaking of music: Where can our readers find some material from you if they want to find out more about your life as a musician?

Jan: In our games, of course!

But actually, after reviewing my sorry MySpace profile, your question made me finally enter SoundCloud where you can listen to my short demo reel.

If gamers want to hear me playing cello, my wife and I do plan a short live transmitted concert as a part of our IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign. It will be a very unique and special occasion, followed by me and Lukáš answering questions. We plan to do this as a big thank you to the community who really helped us to survive. This event will be hosted by Say Salazar, so there’s a lot to look forward to.

For another kind of music, players can also check the Metamorphosis website to hear some of our contaminated chamber music. I am also cofounder of Ensemble Marijan, and your inquisitive readers can search the internet for some of our weird performances. But for most of them it won’t be very accessible music. You have been warned!

And still more in-game music from the upcoming crowdfunded remake


Ingmar: Thanks a lot for doing this interview, Jan. Much appreciated! Any last words to gamers and potential backers of your campaign for J.U.L.I.A. Enhanced Edition?

Jan: Last words? I’ll make it my last wish! We really want to reach our full screen planetary stretch goal. It’s obvious how much progress Luke’s visual skills have undergone since the original release, and having J.U.L.I.A. decorated by such beautiful visuals would really do justice to all the work which went into the game. The gameplay itself will be boosted too, and provide a much more interesting experience overall.

So thank you, Ingmar, for your great questions! I hereby declare you to be a worthy successor to Mir Yannick. I have never had to type so many words for an interview. Now could we please be reasonable and stop that pendulum? Thank you!

 

Community Comments

Latest comments (4 total)

I’ll be honest. This whole enhanced edition, is hitting all my main complaints I had with the demo….I’m now pumped for this game. Grin

Apr 1, 2013

Honestly, I think Julia’s main problem is quite simply explaining what the game actually is.

Yes, I suppose we could call it an adventure game, but it’s not the typical point and click adventure game.

It’s praise-worthy that Jan is thinking outside the box, alas, most games seem to be dormant to it

Mar 29, 2013

Thank you very much, Say! I really appreciate your words. Smile

You’re doing an incredible job in getting indie developers more exposure and with your passion and hard work you became the smash-hit of the indie scene within just a few months. It’s an amazing story and it’s very inspiring!

I’d like to second your thanks to Jan. It’s surely not usual that developers talk about publishers in such honest way when the public is involved. I really appreciate that honesty a lot and I hope that others will follow.

Mar 28, 2013

Wow Ingmar, thank you so much for all the time you took to give this much care and attention to J.U.L.I.A. and CBE Software themselves. Today was a crazy day with the live event and whatnot so It feels nice to finally sit down and read the end result right now. I’ve got nothing but respect and utmost appreciation for the work you do, you are indeed, FEW of those out there that do take the time to ask outside the box when it comes to presenting things to everyone out there.

My favorite part was: “How often did you tell yourself,’Man, I HAVE to stop doing this. It just won’t work, I’m broke, and I’m gonna end up as an inmate of the Hanwell Mental Institute if things go on this way.’?” Haha, LOVED it Grin

Also, I’d like to include a big thank you to Jan, for being one of the few out there that have believed in me. Today, he’s one of the most wonderful friends I’ve got. That is indeed, the best part of going through this IndieGogo madness, being able to have the honor to work with such talented people.  Both Jan and Lukas deserved so much more than what they experienced before, and even though things may not be at their best yet - I am happy to be able to help them as much as I can in this journey Smile

FANTASTIC work Ingmar, again, forever thankful of your kindness and support.

Mar 27, 2013
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