It so happened that domestic developers are not always pleasing gamers: reasons for disappointment almost more than enthusiasm. The Great Perhaps, made in the style of Soviet animation — a pleasant exception. Edition 4PDA met with the team Caligari Games and talked with its members about the work of game designers, nostalgia for the Soviet Union and the cultural code.
How did you get into game development? Not afraid to change a stable career in a very risky enterprise?
Philip: it’s Not exactly fair to say that we left some stability [smiles]. We are all workers FINANSOVOGO spill. Television, movies and advertising work project method. Of course, if you are settled on some channel or something. But all these projects have remained with us — in fact, we just found a second fulltime-work.
Andrew: What we was up to, actually more like a stable than what it was before. This is another area which we wanted to try.
Competition is now huge, and new items in Steam face packs every day. Not afraid to get lost?
Philip: No, I’m not. We have the product is not spoiled, is currently on Steam and is. And even if we won’t notice immediately, then a buyer we can find. I’m a big fan of the adventure genre, and made the game he wanted to go. Its not always easy to find — not scary! As they say, «stim» one. We are definitely porting it to Android, iOS and so on. Itself, it definitely will pay back — I don’t doubt it.
Now I’m like a crazy I go to check the stats on Steam and see how many people added The Great Perhaps yourself to wishlist.
I don’t think about how many people will buy it. I’m waiting for feedback. Want to see how will come or not how to criticize and how to praise, what do you say. It will bring me much more satisfaction — the money I earn and so are able, thank God, not a disaster. But the possibility to responsiveness life before it was stripped.
On the page Vkontakte, the main sources of inspiration listed Valiant Hearts and Dishonored 2. Can you tell us more?
Phillip: Valiant Hearts is one of my favorite pieces, I just took it. I really like this concept. She gave us a choice: when we were looking for an artist, we specifically asked them to draw something in the spirit of Valiant Hearts.
Andrew: we even test job it was.
Philip: But in Mafia 2 there is a level with time travel. And I, as a big fan of the series, when it passed, I thought it would be cool if this ability was with you all the time! Around this idea was born The Great Perhaps.
And are you familiar with The Silent Age? There is also time travel, retro-style with the emphasis in ‘ 70s, post-Apocalypse…
Philip: Sign. I just play now because I was told about it by our programmers. They say, look, there really like. Especially before the release decided to go to understand what to say in these situations. Here it is now [laughs]. But when we came up with the concept, I’m talking about The Silent Age is not heard.
And we have some fundamental differences.
We are not a classic point-and-click adventure, we have more platforming, there is danger. We have made levels where you have to move quickly in both times, dodging certain items. The Silent Age is a very calm, meditative. We’ve got more adrenaline — not as in Super Meat Boy, of course, but you can die and lose everything.
Visually, The Great Perhaps reminiscent of the Soviet hand-drawn animation. It is a conscious choice or it just happened? And if deliberate, then what work are you most inspired?
Andrew: can’t say that we consciously inspired cartoons, but the Soviet aesthetics is present intentionally.
Phillip: We are very much focused on the Soviet space mosaic, we have a huge amount. And speaking of cartoons, we have a mosaic with the Soviet «Mowgli» — is the level in the zoo, and there is a huge panel where Mowgli with the wolves. Maybe it’s all where it was recorded on the subcortex: we are the people who grew, cooked, and why it happened.
Andrew: It’s culture. Here you tell the person «of the Soviet space mosaic», and don’t have to crack on, the way he stands in front of the eyes.
By the way, the quotes. In the trailer we saw of the inscription, quoting the Imagine of John Lennon and «do Not cave in under the changeable world» of the Time Machine. Why these songs, these strings? Your favorite artists or just was?
Philip: Well, in some sense, the tastes definitely influenced. We are at the same level, where the inscription of «time Machine», another quote from David Bowie, and even to primitive things comes up, type «Tsoi is alive». These Easter eggs a lot, we all listened. And this is the advantage of games over other art forms: it can be a lot of quotes that you can find.
The name of The Great Perhaps refers to the last words of Francois Rabelais, he was just about to look for the «Great Maybe». What sense did you?
Philip: actually, came up with the name Lisa is another member of the team. She is very good at naming, a true professional. First we wanted to name our work Is Anybody Out There: this phrase uttered in the opening video, the main character. It’s popular among indie authors — those long, clever titles are whole sentences. The music is so independent doing in the movie…
But then I woke up the producer and he said «No!»
I was guided by the logic of the common man: here he passed our platformer and want to recommend to friends — but I forgot the name. After all, even in the author’s projects have something catchy. What Remains of Edith Finch — long sentence, but still remember «Edith Finch». And say: «Played Edith Finch?». So we also needed something memorable. And there was the option of The Great Perhaps, which was perfect.
I think the theme of time travel is almost always associated with nostalgia for bygone days. Not afraid to seem sort of old, are constantly bored in the past? In General, where is the line between appropriate sadness and irritating whining a La «it was better before»?
Philip: we Have no such concept of «before was better». We want the gamer to feel the contrast: in the same stage of life, children are around, and the next you’re standing beside a mountain of corpses. Regarding Soviet motives in aesthetics: they are the element of our inspiration, of course…
Andrew [picks up]: we do not Have any specific reference to time, to a specific era. Take the same panels and mosaics in the subway: we can observe them now, although we are not in the USSR.
If you, as the hero of the game was the magic lantern, turning back the clock — you would take it? Or would leave it as is?
Philip: Hard to say. I would not dare to change something. I don’t know how to answer clearly and honestly. On the one hand, I have scenario ideas, and I don’t want to seem so pretentious author, pompously about something talk…
Andrew: And on the other hand, without spoilers it is difficult to answer… Because the answer is in the plot, and now we do not want to disclose [both laugh]. In General, the game is a little peek into the past and not to move. Here you can see. But not to stay there forever.
Well, thank you very much and see you!
Andrew and Philip: thank You! And good-bye.