By Marty Mulrooney
Bolt Riley – A Reggae Adventure Game is a point-and-click adventure game created by Adventure Mob and co-designed by Corey and Lori Cole (creators of the Quest for Glory series). Adventure Mob’s CEO Oden Sharon recently created a Kickstarter campaign to raise $120,000 to help fund the game, which is planned for release on multiple platforms. To help raise awareness of this fantastic new project, Alternative Magazine Online is proud to present an exclusive online interview with Israeli game developer Oden Sharon where we talk about all things Bolt Riley!
Hi Oded, thank you for your time and welcome to AMO!
Thanks you too!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
My name is Oded, I’m age 36 and I live in Tel Aviv, Israel. I’ve always wanted to make games. I got my first computer at the age of 6, which was an Apple. I learned coding in Logo and Basic. I made a text adventure when I was 10 years old. I’ve always loved adventure games – Monkey Island and Quest for Glory are my favourites. I studied Computer Science and Physics and also did a MBA (in Business). In 2007 I started Corbomite Games, where we did a whole bunch of games, like Zbang, Pizza Morgana, Star Shipping Inc. and a few others. We also made songs for the Rock Band Network, were involved in the first prototype ever of the Kinect for Prime Sense and did some other cool stuff.
When was Adventure MOB founded and what previous games does the studio have under its belt?
We had previous experience of making games for Corbomite Games. Adventure Mob created the first demo for Leisure Suit Larry (http://leftys-bar.com). We did some work for hire for clients – Comfy, Cocktail Run, Freshbiz – and worked on some more demos for clients which aren’t public.
You’re currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for Bolt Riley – A Reggae Adventure Game. What’s the game all about and why did you decide to go the Kickstarter route?
Bolt Riley is a point-and-click adventure game about a poor boy from Trenchtown Jamaica on his path to stardom and becoming the world’s biggest Reggae legend. You go through a journey of self-discovery where you have to stand up to a bully (the ‘Rude Boys’ gang leader), discover Reggae music, find your inspiration, form your band, make your instruments and compose and play a song.
The game is co-designed by Corey and Lori Cole (creators of the Quest for Glory series) – I interviewed them last year during their Hero-U Kickstarter campaign and they were lovely! How do you know the Coles and what is the full extent of their involvement with Bolt Riley?
I’ve been a fan of their work forever. I was looking for experienced designers when we began work on Bolt Riley. My friend Noah Falstien introduced me to them. They were in on the game’s design from day one and they are in charge of about 1/3 of the puzzles and dialog of the full game.
Who is Bolt Riley? What drives him on his pathway to stardom?
He’s a good boy who grew up in a bad environment. He doesn’t want to be part of a world of crime and throughout the game he realises he wants to escape it and become the good person he is. He gets inspired by Reggae music and starts a journey where he helps out people while getting materials for his first song. He’s driving by his passion and inspirational abilities.
The graphics are gorgeous – are they all hand drawn?
Yes. they were all made in-house by our super talented team of artists who are all Bezalel school graduates, which is the leading school for art and design in Israel.
Music seems like a major component of the project – who will be composing the game’s soundtrack and how will music figure into the adventure as players progress?
We’re talking to several musicians to get their songs in the game and Omri Lahav who will score the rest of the soundtrack. There are a few puzzles in the game that revolve around composing songs and music and we’ll integrate those together. Imagine using point-and-click adventure mechanics (puzzles, dialogs, inventory, etc.) to make music. It’s pretty neat. We’re also working on something inspired by how the music worked in Monkey Island 2 with their iMuse system.
What’s the technology behind the game and what platforms will it be releasing on?
We’re using Unity 3D. We want the game to be everywhere and moreover that you can start playing it on one platform and finish it on another. That includes desktop, mobile and even consoles as Unity announced they will support Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and of course, Wii-U.
Congratulations on the recent announcement that Anthony Sardinha might be providing some voice work for Bolt Riley! I’m a massive fan and supporter of The Journey Down and Skygoblin – how did you get talking to Anthony and has anyone else expressed an interest in providing their dulcet tones to the game?
I know the folks at Skygoblin who made The Journey Down. They are good people. I contacted Anthony a long while ago and he was very nice and lent us his voice for the materials you hear in the campaign, including the trailer.
What rewards are available to Kickstarter backers?
We’ve got the usual suspects and a few unique ones. The usual stuff is the game, the soundtrack, an art book, a boxed edition, a collector’s edition, and a signed edition. Oh, and t-shirts and posters!
The unique stuff is the in-game rewards. We have something called the 420 club where you are featured in a yearbook in the game. You can get yourself as a NPC, or as markings all over Trenchtown. We also offer a trip to Israel, to visit Jerusalem and hang out with with me and the Coles.
If the game fails to meet its $120,000 Kickstarter goal (fingers crossed that it succeeds – I’ve pledged my money!) will you still find a way to release it eventually?
It’s hard to tell. I personally want this game made. I will do everything it takes, but there are forces beyond my control, like the initial investors who put in the $320k and want to see their money back. I managed to convince them to let us have one final shot to save the game and that was the Kickstarter. I’d rather not think about it, and work hard to make this campaign a success. We still have 5 days to go and anything can happen.
What makes the adventure genre so special?
The stories and gameplay, and how they intertwine. A lot of games might have good stories but you have to go through a lot of unrelated things during it. Like repetitively shooting aliens or killing zombies. I dislike repetition in games, and i would prefer to play a shorter game with no repetition than one that requires you to grind over and over the same thing to progress. Adventure games rarely have that.
Thank you for your time and good luck with the final leg of the campaign!
Thanks a lot! Crossing fingers!
For more information about Bolt Riley – A Reggae Adventure Game – and to pledge your support – please visit: