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Mystery Castle
Developer Interview
February 28, 2014 - jgfisher1979

In this interview, the Creative Director of Runestone Games, answers some tough questions about Mystery Castle on Greenlight and Steam.

Q: This game looks very cutesy, is it just a game for kids?

A: We grew up with games like Zelda and Mario, where the characters have a short, chibi style and wanted our game to look similar. But like many of those classic games, you'll find ours to be nice and challenging by the end!

If you're a serious fan of puzzle games, don't let the cute graphics put you off - if you can solve every one of the 200+ stages we're intending to include then you'll be something of a genius. We could have given the game a much more serious fantasy or sci-fi appearance, but that's just not our style.

Q: You are just planning to port a mobile game to PC, right?

A: No - that's certainly not the intention. We first came up with the Mystery Castle concept in 2004, and since then there have been numerous games on a variety of different formats. And each time we've moved the concept to a new platform, we've designed the games around the strengths and the target audience for that particular platform.

Most recently, we've released a series of five episodes across Android mobile and tablet devices that bring together both old and new stages wrapped up in lovely new high-definition graphics and animation. We're now ready to bring Mystery Castle to the PC in super high-resolution.

This isn't going to be a quick port. It was always our intention to bring Mystery Castle to the PC, it just happened to be more straightforward to release some versions on mobile first. For this reason, we have already rendered all of the sprites and tiles etc. at a much higher resolution than can be displayed on any current smartphone or tablet - and when you see the game on your nice big monitor, you're really going to appreciate those high-definition graphics and all of the hard work we've put into the animation and backgrounds.

Mystery Castle isn't a typical mobile game. A lot of mobile games provide a fairly casual, two-minute experience, that doesn't necessarily have a great deal of depth. We've been a lot more ambitious than that, which we hope will be apparent when you play the game.

Finally, we're intending to include content exclusive to the Steam version of the game. That might be new stages, or features - we're open to suggestions. For example, we'd love to use some of the Steamworks features.

Q: I speak Russian, Portuguese etc. Why aren't you supporting my language so that I can enjoy your game?

A: Understandably there is a cost associated with translating the game into a different language. However, because our framework is designed to handle this fairly elegantly, we can localize the game fairly quickly and easily. Where it makes commercial sense, we're very happy and able to translate the game into new languages.

If you'd like to play the game, but it's important that the game is available in your language, then vote 'Yes' and leave us a comment. If we see lots of comments in Swahili then we'll be very happy to add support for this to the game.

Q: If you want me to vote 'Yes' for this game, you should really do a better job with your trailer.

A: We are aware that this is something we could work on, but while our trailer could be more ‘flashy’ and ‘exciting’, we believe in showing the player a fair representation of what the finished game would look like, without extra lens flares or special graphics that would just be in the trailer and not necessarily in the game.

Ultimately, this is about a cutesy wizard, solving puzzles and defeating the big boss monster at the end of each castle.

Do you like Chips Challenge? You'll love this.

Do you like the Adventure of Lolo games? You'll love this.

Do you like the old Zelda games? You'll love this.

Do you like nothing better than making head shots in Call of Duty? Erm... maybe you won't like this so much ;)

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Zelfore Feb 28, 2014 @ 10:17pm 
Very fun looking game. You have my support, and a suggestion. Have you considered a level editor? Alongside Steamworks, it could really add a lot more to the game with the ability to create custom stories, levels, monster paths, etc. (Tilesets?)

Good luck with everything!