INTERVIEW – In Conversation With Liviu Boar (Gibbous – A Cthulhu Adventure Kickstarter)

By Marty Mulrooney

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Gibbous – A Cthulhu Adventure is a comedy point-and-click adventure game for PC/Mac/Linux, described by its creators as a love letter to classic-era LucasArts adventures, Hitchcock and HP Lovecraft. The game was announced via Kickstarter and has recently surpassed its funding goal of Fr 39,270. AMO is therefore delighted to present an exclusive online interview with Liviu Boar, the Creative Director of Stuck In Attic!

Hi Liviu, thank you for your time and welcome to Alternative Magazine Online!

Thanks so much for having us, we’re honoured!

Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself please?

Sure. I’ve been drawing ever since I was three, I’ve always been fascinated with cartoons and animations, and I’ve dreamed of making an adventure game ever since I’ve first watched someone play one – this was way back in the early 90s, and the game was Day of the Tentacle. As time moved on, I’ve started to animate, and then moved on to making games – basically trying to live the dream!

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When was Stuck In Attic founded and what projects has the studio previously worked on?

Stuck In Attic was founded in the winter of 2014 by three co-workers at a bigger IT firm that really, really wanted to make an adventure game. As animators, we had already made a couple of videos we were proud of – among them “Another Toe In The Ocean” by the Pixies, and a mobile game called Time Dude. What we really wanted was to make a classically-inspired, 90s style-but-HD adventure game in which we could showcase our animation skills, love for the medium, emphasis on stories and characters, and a touch of local Transylvanian flavour.

You recently announced your latest project, Gibbous – A Cthulhu Adventure, via Kickstarter – congratulations! What’s the game all about?

Gibbous is a love letter to classic 90s LucasArts point-and-click adventures and HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. It’s a reverent spoof of the great cosmic horror author’s work, in which we’re having some fun with some of his trademark atmosphere, themes and characters, adding our original protagonists into the mix. Expect a lot of humour, cats, use of words like “eldritch” and “cyclopean” and some 4th wall breaking!

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What does Gibbous actually mean? 🙂

The literal meaning is basically “hump-backed” or convex, but it can also mean “more than half, but not completely revealed”. This last definition refers to a lunar phase, but it metaphorically plays a special role in the plot, too. Interestingly enough, in our own native Romanian, “gibbous” sounds almost the same (“ghebos”), since we’re Latin and the word is of Roman origin.

The graphics look absolutely stunning – will you really be using traditional 2D animation?

Yes, that’s a very important part of the overall look. We were initially an animation outfit, so we have a lot of experience in this domain, but we’re also doing it because that’s how the classic games of yore were made, and our aim is for Gibbous to look and feel like a 2016 version of those games. Now, we’re not comparing ourselves to LucasArts, but we do strive to only offer high production values, and that’s made possible by our love and passion for the craft.

Characters

What characters will the player be controlling and what can you tell us about them?

There will be three main characters in Gibbous: easy going, easy living librarian Buzz Kerwan, who’s kind of along for the ride and enjoying all the craziness; his cat, Kitteh, whom he accidentally personifies by reading a spell from the Necronomicon, and whose purpose is to return to cathood (since, d’oh, being humanized is degrading to a cat); and jaded detective Don R. Ketype, who wants the Necronomicon because he always gets his man. Or book, in this case. There might be more to the plot and characters, though… much more!

Will the game be fully voice acted?

That’s what we’re hoping! The dialogues definitely will, but we do have an “Ultra Fully Voiced” stretch goal that means all the text in the game will be voiced. Well, maybe not the menus.

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The LucasArts adventures of the past look like they’ve been a major influence on the project! Will the gameplay be pretty similar to those classic adventure games?

Yes, to a certain degree. We’re not trying to reinvent the genre, and we are very upfront about the game being a love letter to those 90s masterpieces. We will, however, add convenient modern stuff like a hotspot highlighter, an optional hint system, autosaving and so on.

Lovecraft has obviously also been a massive influence! How Lovecraftian will the game’s world be?

Very Lovecraftian! But we want to achieve that in such a way that no previous knowledge of the master’s work is required to enjoy the game. Lovecraft aficionados will appreciate all the references to works they know and love as an added bonus.

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What other influences have shaped the project?

Too many to list them all, but among them, in no particular order: Hitchcock, Tim Schafer, Richard Pryor, Steve Purcell, Chuck Jones, Mark Twain, Hayao Miyazaki, and many more.

What engine will the game be running on?

We are building the game in Unity, with the Adventure Creator plugin. We chose Unity because of its stability, flexibility and support. We also had previous experience in it, so that helped a lot.

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Who will be composing the game’s soundtrack?

Myself and Cami, who are also handling all artistic duties. We’ve been making music for years now, and have played in a band together before, too. It’s an interesting transition from alternative metal to a jazzy, creepy, atmospheric soundtrack, but we’re loving it!

What made you decide to use Kickstarter to fund the game?

Kickstarter is the biggest and the most visible crowd funding platform out there, and with the high production values we want to have throughout the game, it was clearly the way to go. And not just from a financial point of view – we’ve already built an incredible community on Kickstarter around Gibbous, and it’s a wonderful feeling when like-minded creators and lovers of the medium get together. A wonderful, wonderful feeling, especially after having worked on the demo in almost complete anonymity for about a year.

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What rewards can backers look forward to?

There are plenty to choose from, from simple digital downloads to physical copies, t-shirts, 3D prints of our show-stealer, Kitteh, having their likeness in the game either as a case file, a severed head, a fish person, a cultist, and more! Oh, yeah – and an accursed chest containing all physical goodies, lined with authentic Transylvanian soil, and rocks from Dracula’s castle and birth-place.

What platforms will Gibbous be released on?

For now, it’s definitely Windows, Mac and Linux, but we’d be happy to port it over to consoles and mobile devices, if there’s interest (and there seems to be).

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Finally – what’s your favourite adventure game of all time? 🙂

Ooh, that’s a VERY difficult question, which I’ll cheat my way out of: it’s a three-headed monkey for me. That is, these three games share the #1 spot in my heart: Grim Fandango, Curse Of Monkey Island, and Day Of The Tentacle. Couldn’t choose one over another.

Thank you for your time! Gibbous looks great and I can’t wait to play it!

Thank you so much! We are now funded and reaching towards the stretch goals, so the game is definitely happening, and we can’t wait to make it!!!

For more information about Gibbous – A Cthulhu Adventure Kickstarter – and to pledge your support – please visit:

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https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/777841902/gibbous-a-cthulhu-adventure

AMO would love to hear your thoughts via the comments section below! Also, don’t forget to follow AMO on Twitter and Facebook!

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