1954: Alcatraz: Indie Dev, Daedalic Team on Period Adventure

Mocsy showed a few more puzzle scenarios during the hands-off demo: one in which Joe had to repair a guard’s TV in his Alcatraz home (and put off the advances of his wife, known only by her reputation of having a thing for prisoners), and another in which Christine had to dig through her ransacked apartment for an important item. In typical Daedalic fashion, all the screens had hotspots the player could reveal with the space bar.

Though Mocsy mentioned how lucky he was to have the backing of Daedalic in bringing 1954: Alcatraz to fruition, working on his game with a full team presents some strange challenges: specifically, the one created by the fact Mocsy lives in San Francisco and Daedalic is based in Europe.

Despite having worked on the game for a year, Mocsy said he’s less involved in the process at the moment.

“Right now, I did a full design document and they have my playable game, so they can see how everything is laid out. They’re doing it in their engine, which is a Unity-based engine now, so they’re recreating everything and they’re sending me builds every couple of weeks,” he said. “But it’s still in alpha; I’ve done a big chunk, and now it’s their’s, and we’re going to get a little more involved later when I can be really obsessive about details. Then I can be like, ‘Maybe he should walk to the right, and maybe the camera should be a little higher.’”

“But so far, as you can see, they dig it — they’re into it, and I kinda want to let them make it theirs a little bit, too, because they have a good team and they’re all excited about it, and they came up with stuff I didn’t even think about.”

In fact, Mocsy said, Daedalic contributed quite a bit to 1954: Alcatraz when the company came on board. After a year of working on the game alone, the sudden support of the larger adventure game company was a big boost.

“They had good ideas about streamlining the interface — I had a bulky three-click option,” Mocsy said. “Going back to Curse of Monkey Island, you had ‘examine,’ ‘touch’ or ‘talk.’ And really, how many things do you ‘talk’ to, you know? So they talked me out of that. They were like, ‘Two clicks should be enough for anything.’ Either you look at it, or you engage in it. So they were using an icon, a GUI, in the style of Deponia. So they persuaded me, and they were absolutely right, into streamlining the experience. You don’t need to use your mouth on everything on Alcatraz.”

Expect to see 1954: Alcatraz come to PC in Q4 of 2013. You can also read more about Daedalic’s upcoming titles in our Big Daedalic E3 2013 Preview.

Read more of Phil Hornshaw’s work here, and follow him and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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