The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 has already managed to stand out amongst the pack of crowdfunding prospects across the Internet. After reaching its $65,000 goal in 30 hours, it became instantly clear that people want to play this upcoming point-and-click adventure game.
I talked to King Art Games Narrative Designer Marco Rosenberg, who gladly discussed going the Kickstarter route, making a sequel and more.
BitPulse: First off, congratulations on reaching your initial Kickstarter goal within 30 hours. What was the general feeling when the team saw how quickly the game had been funded?
Rosenberg: Thanks! We were of course hoping for success, but didn’t expect to reach our initial goal that quick. We had a spontaneous little stand-up party in the hallway when we reached the goal. It was even better to reach the first two stretch goals already, and now we of course hope to reach the third stretch goal, too.
In addition to the primary funding, you’ve reached a stretch goal to include side quests and bonus outfits in The Book of Unwritten Tales 2. On the Kickstarter page, you described these as “optional puzzle chains.” How will these side missions compare to the main story puzzles?
They will be integrated in the game world, but not essential for finishing the game. That way we give players that like to linger and enjoy the world a little longer a chance to do so, while other players can choose to ignore those optional quests without missing important information. For example: Wilbur can become the new “Igor” of a peculiar count who lives in a castle. If you master this side-quest, Wilbur gets an Igor costume.
How big will Unwritten Tales 2 be compared to the original? Will the story be a lengthier affair? Will the puzzles be even trickier and more daunting? Will the already colorful cast be even more eclectic and diverse?
The game will be about the same length as BoUT1. You’ll revisit the city of Seastone but also a whole bunch of new locations, featuring flying pirate cities, sunken desert temples, the eleven palace, the Seastone underground and much more. Also, there are many new characters in addition to some recurring ones — all in all we have about 60 speaking roles for this game.
Although we are aiming to make them a little harder than in the first game, the difficulty of the puzzles is hard to predict. There were people who regarded the puzzles in BoUT1 as just right, while some found them too hard or too easy. Our main goal is to keep the puzzles fair and logically embedded into the game world and story. Also, we will give the players parallel tasks to solve, so that if they get stuck in one place they can continue in another one.
The first game was lauded for its humor. Will there be a tonal shift this time around, or are you keeping the lighthearted nature of the series intact?
We’ll try to keep true to the roots. Many people loved the tone and humor of the game, so why change it? Of course we will have lots of new quirky characters and interesting locations so that new players as well as people who played the first part will enjoy it.
The Book of Unwritten Tales relied heavily on collecting items to present to characters for story advancement. Will the sequel’s objectives be similar, or will there be more variety to the layout?
Collecting and combining objects, and talking to other characters are among the defining traits of the adventure genre, so it’s hard to go without them. However, like in BoUT1, there will be a lot of variety in puzzles and puzzle chains.
When the Kickstarter was announced, it was made clear that the game would be made regardless, and that pledges would be used to create an even bigger and better experience. With the funding you’ve received thus far, what can players look forward to as far as additions and advancements are concerned?
Thanks to the support of thousands of backers, we have reached our main goal and two stretch goals already. That means we can use a technique called “projection mapping” throughout the whole game, which will make the game look much better and allow for more dynamic camera movements.
We’ll also make a limited “Kickstarter Edition” of the game for backers of the respective reward tiers in a nice big box with extras like a high-quality printed making-of book and a soundtrack CD.
We’ll also add optional side quests and outfits to the game, and hire someone to create a production blog and behind-the-scenes videos during the time of production.
And best of all, we’ll be able to record parts of the soundtrack for the game with a real orchestra, which will add a lot of depth to the music.
If you hadn’t launched a Kickstarter, can you describe how different Unwritten Tales 2 would potentially be in comparison to the blueprint you have now that you’ve been funded?
It would still be a great game, but the extra features I mentioned in my previous answer wouldn’t exist. So we are really thankful to all our backers for enabling us to make this game as good as possible.
Lastly, what’s been the best part of working on this increasingly beloved adventure game series?
The best part is definitely the feedback from players. We received many emails and Facebook messages from people who fell in love with one of our games, and that’s the greatest reward imaginable.
I’d like to extend a sincere thanks to Marco for taking the time to answer my questions. You can still fund Unwritten Tales 2 on Kickstarter, so if humorous point-and-click adventuring is your thing, be sure to check out the game’s campaign.