By Marty Mulrooney
Alternative Magazine Online reviewed acclaimed point-and-click adventure game The Book of Unwritten Tales (PC) in 2011, describing it as “one of the most enjoyable adventure games to have been released in a very long time.” The much-anticipated sequel was recently announced via Kickstarter – it is therefore with great pleasure that AMO presents an exclusive online interview with Marco Rosenberg, Narrative Designer at KING Art Games!
Hi Marco, thank you for your time and welcome to AMO!
Hi Martin, it’s a pleasure. Nice place you’ve got here. 🙂
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself please?
I’m Narrative Designer at KING Art Games and also responsible for organising and co-directing the voice recordings for the game.
How many people work at KING Art Games and how long has the studio been running?
There are about 30 people working on different projects at KING Art Games. Our company was founded 12 years ago and has steadily grown to its current size.
Which of your previous games might AMOs readers be familiar with?
Our most popular game is probably the humorous fantasy adventure ‘The Book of Unwritten Tales’, which was our first big game and received great reviews from the gaming press. It was followed by its prequel ‘The Critter Chronicles’, and the crime adventure ‘The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief’. Fans of turn-based strategy games might also know our game ‘Battle Worlds: Kronos’, which was financed with the help of a Kickstarter campaign.
In my 2011 review of The Book of Unwritten Tales, I commented on how: “The developers are obviously huge fans of the genre and their passion shines through. A lengthy, high quality point-and-click adventure game full of fun exploration, genuine laughs and well thought-out puzzles.” My high praise was echoed by many other reviewers – did you expect to receive such a hugely positive response to the original game?
Well, when making a game you always hope that people will like it, but you never know how it will be received in the end. So it was of course a huge relief that players and press praised it so much, because the love, sweat and passion we have put into the game is recognised.
You recently announced The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 via Kickstarter – what can you tell us about this highly anticipated sequel?
The story takes place one year after the events of The Book of Unwritten Tales. Our four heroes all have their own problems to deal with. But a new threat appears and they have to work together to save the day once more.
Will all of the previous main characters return?
Yes, the four main heroes – Wilbur, Ivo, Nate and the Critter – will make a comeback. There are also some other returning characters among the huge cast (about 60 speaking roles!), but we don’t wanna give away too many details.
Why did you decide to go down the Kickstarter route?
The game is already funded by a publisher. However, there are some things that we think would make the game better, e.g. optional side-quests and recording the soundtrack with a real orchestra, which a publisher normally doesn’t pay for. To still be able to include these things in the game, we are asking the fans for support, so we can make the best game possible.
Congratulations on reaching and surpassing your initial funding goal! What will the money raised so far allow you to do that you couldn’t have otherwise done?
Thanks to the support of thousands of backers we have reached our main goal and two stretch goals already. That means we can use a technique called “projection mapping” throughout the whole game, which will make the game look much better and allow for more dynamic camera movements. We’ll also make a limited ‘Kickstarter Edition’ of the game for backers of the respective reward tiers, in a nice big box with extras like a high-quality printed making-of-book and a soundtrack CD.
We’ll also add optional side-quests and outfits to the game, and hire someone to create a production blog and behind-the-scenes videos during the time of production.
And best of all, we’ll be able to record parts of the soundtrack for the game with a real orchestra, which will add a lot of depth to the music.
What’s the next goal you’ll be aiming for with the Kickstarter campaign?
If we reach the third stretch goal we’ll record the whole soundtrack for the game with a real orchestra, add more animations and better facial expressions, as well as additional camera angles and close-ups.
What rewards can backers look forward to?
Apart from a digital edition of BoUT2 and our previous games, backers can get a boxed Limited Kickstarter Edition of the game (including a soundtrack CD, high-quality making-of book, a printed extended manual, and a BoUT2 mouse pad), plushies and hand puppets of the Critter, their name in the credits or inside the game itself, their portrait painted by our concept artist and featured in the game, and many more.
Who will be scoring the game’s soundtrack?
Just like in all our previous games the soundtrack will be composed by Benny Oschmann. BoUT1 was the first commercial project he ever did, because he was still in school when we asked him to compose music for us. To learn more about Benny you can read a short interview with him in one of our Kickstarter updates.
Will any of the original voice actors be returning?
Like I said we have several returning characters, including the four main characters, so of course we will use the same voice actors that voiced them in BoUT1 and Critter Chronicles.
How will The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 improve on the original game?
We will use BoUT1 as a blueprint, because we think that even today it is still good. We don’t want to change a lot, but of course improve the existing elements. For BoUT1 we only had 1 or 2 animators, now we have 5 animators, so there will be more and better animations. Thanks to the projection mapping technique the game will also look better and have more dynamic camera movements. The number of puzzles will probably also be higher than in BoUT1, but the narrative tempo is faster, so the playing time will be similar to BoUT1. And thanks to our backers part of the soundtrack will be played by a real orchestra.
What new locations can players look forward to visiting?
Players will re-visit the city of Seastone, but also a whole bunch of new locations, like sunken desert-temples, flying pirate cities, the elven palace, the underground of Seastone and many more.
What do you think makes the adventure genre so special?
For me it’s the best genre to tell good stories in. Sure, other genres like RPGs and FPSs are catching up story-wise, but contrary to those triple-A projects, adventures can be made with a comparably low budget.
Thank you for your time, I can’t wait to play The Book of Unwritten Tales 2!
You’re welcome! 🙂
For more information about The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 – and to pledge your support – please visit: