Martin Malik and Zdenek Houb of Future Games
Can you give us a description of your new title Nibiru? Some facts about the game engine, storyline, structure, and characters?
The engine is an improved version of the engine TBM. Graphic resolution has risen to 1024x768, NPC characters and their animations are fully 3D, the engine supports anti-aliasing and there were some other improvements as well. The story begins in Prague where Martin is to meet a contact person of his uncle in order to get to a recently discovered tunnel from the World War II. But Martin finds the woman dead in her flat and he has to find his own way to get into the tunnel. In the dark tunnel, he then finds what his uncle Vilde was looking for many years, but he also finds out that he they are not the only ones who were looking for mysterious objects. Martin then succeeds to escape and he flies to France, where the plot begins to develop more dramatically, but we do not want to tell more at this moment. There are more then 30 NPC characters, 80 locations and 12 logical puzzles in the game.
So far, the adventure games you are making cope with horror and mystery themes. Do you consider moving to other areas of fiction, like fantasy or comedy for example?
We do not have such plans yet, because we like dramatic stories and plots full of mysteries. But as people say, never say never again.
What do you expect from Nibiru? Are you interested particularly in high sales or you desire the estimation of the community as well?
These two issues are definitely closely related. A satisfied player will be happy to buy our game and sales make us live so that we can develop more games.
Looking back at your first creation, The Black Mirror, do you feel that you should done it different in some parts or you are fully satisfied with the result?
Responses from players and critics are very good, we therefore consider TBM to be a success and we are happy with the game.
I saw at your web site that Ron Loo – another adventure game your company was developing – was cancelled due to some differences with the game writers. Can you tell us what happened there and if there is any chance for Ron Loo to be pulled out from the ice later on?
The explanation in this case is very simple. The authors of the story insisted on a very detailed transfer of the story to the gaming world, which was making the game unacceptably extensive and demanding for processing especially in terms of texts and dialogues. Just so that you can imagine it, the world of Ron Loo has several different languages, of which each has its rules. The authors started to insist that we keep these languages in the game, which would mean to create dubbing for two languages that nobody speaks in the real world. There were so many similar problems like this that the project had to be stopped due to problems like this one.
You released 2 adventure games in a short time period. What are your future plans after Nibiru? Another title on the works maybe?
Yes, you are right. We are working on another title. It is an adventure again and we returned to a very dark story this time.
How did you get involved with the adventure games development?
We like stories and computer games. It was all clear when we got the story of Black Mirror into our hands.
I saw - with great pleasure - that Nibiru is a point n click game with no action sequences! What do you say to the latest trend, that adventure games in order to "evolve" must get away from this traditional interface and include more action elements?
We agree with adding some action elements into adventures if these then do not shift too much from classical methods and style of the genre. Moving boxes etc. definitely do not belong among appropriate elements and we therefore avoid such things.
It is common fact for adventure games these days to draw low scores from the general gaming web sites. However, this attitude towards adventure games has no effect on the adventure fans; community, who gives these titles the recognition they deserve. What's your opinion about this diversion?
Yes, you are right. In our case, there were also senseless evaluations by some critics, and the only reason was that they expected similar experiences from an adventure like in case of an action gunplay… We believe that one reason of this trend is that several critics who write for gaming web sites are focused on let’s say main gaming “stream” in terms of a genre and they know adventure only distantly. And if then someone wants them to review such game… Because the period of the biggest glory of this genre is now gone, they maybe assess adventures differently than players who were born before and who are happy to remember games like Indiana Jones 4. But adventures continue to be popular thanks to loyal fans of the genre as well as thanks to new players and they are becoming more popular, as we can see on the number of titles that are being released or that are being developed.
Gaming sites and magazines declare that "adventure games are dead". On the other hand there is a vast amount of recently released adventure games the previous years and there are a lot more to come. Isn't this statement a contradiction? And if so, why so much negative fuss for the adventure games genre?
We have partially answered this question in our last answer, but I think that the popular phrase “adventures are dead” is no more true, even though adventures in global terms still remain overshadowed by action gaming titles. This is the trend of recent times. But a title that would skillfully cohere genres and thus address players who do not favor adventures yet could bring a revival to this genre.
Do you play adventure games on your free time? To be more specific: Which are your favorite adventure games of the past and which ones of the latest titles you really enjoyed?
Yes, we do play adventures, but rather in order to have a chance to compare our work with the competition :o) Our most favorite games of the past are Phantasmagoria, Broken Sword1, Under a Killing Moon and others.
Thank you for giving is this interview Martin and I'd like to wish you the best of luck regarding Nibiru and Future Games future also! May you always bring quality adventure games to the world!
Thank you. We can only promise that with the help of your players, we will try to fulfill this uneasy task the best way we can.