Marc got a hold of Theory Interactive Ltd. last week to ask them a few questions about their upcoming First Person Mystery Puzzle game, Reset. While they are tight-lipped about the plot behind the game, they have a few videos out showcasing AAA visuals and challenging time-travel puzzles. If you are an Oculus Rift fan or just a fan of atmospheric puzzle games, head on over and consider donating!
TFN: How would you describe Reset to someone who doesn’t know anything
Theory Interactive: Reset is a First Person Puzzle and Open World Mystery solving game with a strong emphasis on story and atmosphere. A Sci-fi Noir mystery. The main game mechanic in solving the puzzles is the ability to skip back in time to co-operate with your previous self or selves.
TFN: Games like Portal and Antichamber have helped expand the First Person Puzzle genre but it is still quite small and fresh compared to others. What was it that drew you to the genre? Have you encountered any unexpected challenges?
Theory Interactive: Portal was a real eye opener for me. It was a very pure game but at the
same time it was the deepest game I've played story wise. It was a game that succeeded in playing me, a very powerful experience. I feel that games have great, mostly untapped potential in making players
experiencing stories, rather than just telling them. It is this aspect that I find most intriguing. I think a game that concentrates more on mental challenges rather than just reaction challenges is more suited to
engage the player in a deeper way over all. I don't know if we've encountered unexpected challenges, I'd say all challenges are more or less unexpected.
TFN: You have been very guarded about revealing the plot behind Reset, telling us only that it will take place on a fictional island in the Galápagos and involve time travel. We would normally ask a few questions regarding plot, instead, can you describe the philosophy behind your decision to keep it under wraps?
Theory Interactive: This is a decision based on our goal to get the player to experience
the game more deeply. It's likely that you understand the decision once you've played the game through.
TFN: The sights and sounds of Reset are beautiful and build an amazing sci-fi noir atmosphere. Can you tell us some of the sources you’ve drawn inspiration from?
Theory Interactive: I guess all things sci-fi play a big role in the background, but mostly
works that are a bit more enigmatic, challenging and not necessarily ending happily are more closer to Reset. We are kids who grew up in the 80's and 90's so a lot of inspiration simply comes from works that emerged in that era.
TFN: Your Indiegogo description mentions you both previously worked for Futuremark and that Reset runs on Praxis, an engine youve developed in-house. Given your tremendous technical experience, is there a feature youve built into Praxis that you dont see other studios
Theory Interactive: Technical knowledge is one of our strong points and a of course an
interest. Lighting has been one our main focuses from the beginning. Not creating hugely complex geometry but focusing on light reacting realistically on surfaces and in the atmosphere. We we're a bit head of times when we released the first trailer a year ago, but now you can see the bigger studios focusing the same way. It's a natural progress. When computational power is available it's more efficient to simulate rather than do everything by hand.
TFN: What has your experience been with the Indiegogo process and is there any advice you’d offer to aspiring game designers looking at the platform?
Theory Interactive: We'll this is a tough one. It's been a ride of emotions so far. And
being such a tiny team has brought it's own challenges. For example I've had to take care of my kids for many days during the campaign when they we're ill (nothing serious, normal flus and vomit diseases), and we weren't prepared for that. Since the campaign is only for a certain time, being away from the project at that time means that we can't drive it forward. We should have been more prepared for the whole length of the campaign before we even started. This isn't really a platform specific advice, but planning the whole thing through properly, at least the major updates (which should be frequent enough) will go a long way. And of course having a big enough community around the project is essential especially for the start. I can't really compare to other platforms since I have no first hand experience. Indiegogo was our choice, because it's basically the best way to go from where we are. Kickstarter is unavailable from Finland directly, and it would have been too big a task for us to set up a business representation in the US or UK just to get the campaign going.
TFN: Our podcast is known for doing Top 5 lists every week, your game promises to feature challenging, mind-bending time-travel puzzles. What are your Top 5 mind-bending games?
Theory Interactive: I think the aforementioned Portal and Antichamber hold the first two
places. I enjoyed The Misadventures of P.B.Winterbottom quite alot, and it's kind of a 2d sibling to Reset. Oldie but goldie Day of the Tentacle is awesome of course. The upcoming Parallax seems very intriguing,
looking forward to that.
TFN: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us! Is there anything else you’d like to communicate about Reset?
Thanks for the great questions. Although fallen behind, the Indiegogo campaign is not over yet, so now is the perfect time to purchase a Christmas present for yourself or a friend for... Christmas 2014!
Check out Theory Interactive Ltd.’s First Person Mystery Puzzle game, Reset, over at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/reset--4