I like playing video games that bring something new to the table regardless of the genre. Not only that, I enjoy it when a game features an interesting story and lets me control the outcome. A new game that caught my interest is titled “Dark Link” being developed by Bio’s Remnant Gaming. Check out our exclusive interview with Matthew A. Weeden, the Lead Game Designer, where he talks about the game and the company’s Indiegogo Campaign!
What was the driving force or inspiration behind creating a game such as “Dark Link“?
The inspiration behind Dark Link was to create something that we could afford to make, initially. After deciding that a 2d platformer was the way to go, we set some pretty lofty goals within that design concept. We want to do two-character platforming in a way that hasn’t been done before and we want this world to be spectacularly beautiful, despite being pixel art. Our Art Lead wants to push the envelope a little with the art of this game and really give gamers some eye-candy. The main element driving this game is the story however. This game has been described as a horror comedy and is set in a steampunk universe. That combination of factors is something we are really excited about. We feel that players will care for Kaela and her plight but also find plenty to keep them amused throughout the course of the game.
I take it that the game is about providing players with as much control as possible. Can you elaborate? Will it give players a set of options to choose from, similar to titles like The Walking Dead, Dragon Age, etc.? Or does player control go farther than just clicking on some options to change the outcome?
Dark Link isn’t as much a game with dialog and character options so much as it is a game with gameplay options. You can approach the levels and puzzles of Dark Link however you see fit. You can try to sneak through the various levels using only Kaela or you can use the monster Rendark to essentially smash and fight your way to completion. Or a fusion of both. Each of these styles ends up opening up different kinds of levels and different stories based on how you chose to play. Obviously this helps with replayability but the main goal is to give gamers some room to play as they want. Unfortunately there is only so much you can do with a 2d platformer/puzzler as far as player outcomes are concerned. That said, these first baby steps into that line of thinking are what will pave the way for what we want to do with that down the road. It is time for Gamers to have control over their character’s destiny.
I see that the protagonist Kaela is a POC female child character. One might think developers need a strong male character for a debut game, or a sexy female to attract players. What was the inspiration behind creating a child protagonist?
A child is vulnerable. For the game to work, we needed a character who was weak and seemingly out of place in a world full of monsters. I made the decision early on for it to be a little girl because who doesn’t want to help a little girl escape from this frightening place? I felt justified when Larc Muckenmuller’s first concepts of Kaela came in because they are definitely super cute. Haha.
What kind of a relationship Kaela and Rendark, the demon that possess her, will share in the story? Can that relationship be influenced by a player’s actions?
That relationship is the most surprising and exciting element to come out of the concept phase so far. Rendark is the antithesis of Kaela. Where she is small and adorable he is massive and frightening. She is lost and alone whereas he is trying to escape from everyone and everything he knows. His story is one I’m not prepared to reveal just yet, but I can tell you that you probably don’t see it coming. Keep in mind that this game doesn’t take itself as seriously as you might think. The main goal here is to have fun with it.
What kind of gamer’s do you think will be interested in Dark Link?
Anyone who likes a fun story is our main audience, for sure. But anyone who likes to mess around with puzzles or play through platformers will really enjoy this title. It’ll have a bit of combat, a bit of sneaking, and some pretty difficult puzzles to work through as you go.
If your Indiegogo campaign proves a success, which I hope it does, when can we expect “Dark Link“s release?
That’s the thing, our Indiegogo isn’t for the game. That campaign is for us personally as a company. We actually got invited out to the Web Summit in Dublin, Ireland for this November, which is incredibly exciting. We were invited because of our CEO and his really awesome business plan. Bio’s Remnant Gaming is technically a “tech startup” that also does video game development. My department is only a part of what happens at BRG. We are also going to run a web hosting service and a publishing service for other independent game makers. The idea is that we want to not only be an indie company but empower others to do the same. Going to Dublin gives us a chance to set up a booth and sell these ideas to venture capitalists and other business-types who might be interested in helping to fund that vision. Simply put, the Indiegogo is just to help us pay for plane tickets and lodging. We aren’t asking for a lot but we do plan to offer a great deal in return for the help we will receive. Really, the perks are pretty great. You can even rent me for a day if you like. Haha.
I don’t know about you all but I’m very excited about Dark Link. We need more games with POC female characters and game developers that have a unique vision. Seriously, Kaela’s design is so cute!
You can check out Bio’s Remnant official website for more information about the game and the team involved. If you want to help send the team to the Web Summit then definitely check out their Indiegogo Campaign. The perks they are offering are really worth a look!
Let us know if you too are excited about Dark Link.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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