Today we have an interview with Jason Roberts, the creator of Gorogoa
, an innovative game which uses puzzles to display a hand-illustrated world, with tiles coming together to reveal vast animated pictures.
Could you briefly describe Gorogoa?
Gorogoa is a lovingly hand-illustrated world suspended inside of a unique puzzle. To solve the puzzle, the player rearranges a few tiles on a simple grid, placing them next to or on top of one another. But each tile is also a window into a different part of the game world--or perhaps into a different world--and each window plays like its own little game. The key to progressing never lies within one tile, but in the connections between tiles...
Who is behind the project, and who came up with the idea?
The game was designed, developed, and illustrated by Jason Roberts.
What made you decide to create such a game, were you inspired by something else?
I've always wanted to work on something that would be a visual art project and also an intricate puzzle. This game began as an idea for an interactive comic with panels that could move around and interact with each other, and was also in an abstract sense inspired by card games (using magical cards that transform over time). Gradually the current story and themes developed, hopefully in line with the mechanics.
For you, is this mostly a game, or an art expression?
The two aren't exactly separate in my mind. But I will say that the project began as something other than a game and then became more game-like as it went along, so making a game per se was only a part of my motivation.
How hard was it to create, and how much time did it take?
I've been working mostly full time for over a year. But early on I went down a lot of blind alleys, and had to learn the right way (or at least the less wrong way) to make a game. Producing the art, and especially animations, remains the most time-consuming part of the process.
What software programs and other tools did you use to make it?
The current game engine is coded from scratch in Java. I use Photoshop to compose and color the drawings, and Blender to construct 3D scenes and animations on which the art is based.
Could you walk us through the process of making these tiles?
Drawings are done in pencil on paper, then scanned and colored in Photoshop. A typical scene consists of multiple drawings, each a different layer of the scene that can change and move independently. Often the layers of the scene correspond to different planes in 3D space, based on scenes constructed in Blender.
How has feedback been so far, is this proving to be a popular project?
Feedback has been very positive. I'll undoubtedly be making some refinements to the design based on player feedback (of which I had very little prior to releasing the demo), but overall a lot of people seem to really like the game.
Do you plan on porting the game to other systems or maybe even phones?
Definitely. I think the game would work great on a touch screen device. In many ways that may be its most natural home.
What other projects is your team planning for the future?
I've still got a ways to go on this one. I have a few ideas for the next project, but prefer not to reveal them just yet...