In Conversation With Grundislav Games

Grundislav Games was founded by adventure game developer Francisco Gonzalez, best known for Shardlight, A Golden Wake and Ben Jordan: Paranormal Investigator. His next title, the highly anticipated Lamplight City, is released this week and he kindly took the time to answer some of our questions.

Thank you for taking the time to answer a Q&A with us. Your upcoming title, Lamplight City, releases on the 13th September. What can players expect from the game?

A detective adventure with an engaging story and an intriguing world to explore, memorable characters, and complex mysteries that won’t solve themselves. You have to do actual detective work to succeed, and it’s entirely possible to get things wrong, accuse the wrong suspects, or even declare a case unsolvable.

You’ve stated that Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe inspired Lamplight City. How did their work influence yours?

Poe’s dark and macabre tone influenced the general mood of the game. I debated whether to have elements of the supernatural, but decided to keep it more grounded and more in line with the sorts of themes in Poe’s stories. Dickens was an influence as far as amusing character and place names, and one case in particular which is a bit of an homage to the only mystery story he ever wrote.

Through the development of Lamplight City, you live streamed different parts of the development process for all to see. Rarely do players get to see the hard work that goes into creating a game. What made you decide to take to live streaming?

I figured it was a good way to drum up interest and connect with fans. But I have to confess a more selfish reason for streaming: doing so prevents me from getting distracted and checking social media, since I know everyone is watching. So mainly I stream in order to concentrate and focus on what I’m doing.

When you’re designing a game, do you create the game for yourself or do you create it for the audience?

My game design philosophy has always been “make the type of game I’d want to play.” Of course, I always keep the audience in mind, but overall I think that if a creator is passionate about their project, that passion and heart will shine in the work, and make it enjoyable to players, even if the subject matter or genre might not be of complete interest to them.

What part of the development process do you enjoy the most? On the flipside, is there any part you don’t enjoy as much?

I enjoy planning out the world and characters, as well as putting the game together. I don’t enjoy coding. Coding can go jump off a cliff as far as I’m concerned.

What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a game developer?

I’d probably still be working as an interpreter, which is what I did for four years before getting into game design full time. It was a nice career job, but it started to take its toll, considering I was mainly dealing with translating for people involved in lawsuits and insurance cases. I saw some pretty ugly facets of humanity during that job, so I was glad to be lucky enough to leave it and do something I love.

Point and Click adventures have found a new audience with the recent trend in remastered classics being released. As well as their traditional home on PC, they can also be played on consoles and mobile devices making them more accessible. Where do you see the future of point and click games?

I think they’ll still be primarily on PC, but also on mobile and consoles. I don’t think the platform availability will change drastically, but I do hope their popularity continues to increase. If I have to read one more “adventure games are dead” article, I think I’ll scream.

As an adventure game fan and a Nintendo Switch owner, I’ve been in my element with the recent adventure/point and click games that have been released for the platform. With the success of games such as Thimbleweed Park and Ron Gilbert stating he can’t imagine not bringing his next project to Switch, would you ever consider releasing your games on the system?

Sure, I’d love to! If anyone figures out how to port Adventure Game Studio games to Switch, I’d be perfectly willing to have them on there, as it seems like a great environment for indie adventure games.

Final question, Sierra or LucasArts?

Both have their pros and cons, and I’m a fan of several games from both companies. So I’m going to be lame and say I like them both equally!

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Francisco Gonzalez for taking part in our Q&A and for his honest answers. To find out more about Lamplight City, check out the official website.

Lamplight City is released to the world on the 13th September and will be available on Windows, macOS X and Linux. You can preorder the game directly from Application Systems Heidelberg at a discounted price until the 12th September.

Make sure you come back to Ancient Gamer Reviews to check out our review of Lamplight City. Until then feast your eyes on the release trailer.

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