[PS4Blog.net Interview] btf On Trüberbrook
Trüberbrook is up on Kickstarter so we got in touch with btf to talk a bit about the game and its current crowdfunding campaign.
PS4Blog: Hi! Thank you for joining us. Could you please help us get this going by introducing yourself to our audience and telling them a bit about your work?
Hi and thanks for having us! My name is Florian Köhne, and I am the director and designer of Trüberbrook. We are btf, a former collective of art students from Cologne and Berlin, Germany. We usually do a lot of different stuff, most notably our late night show “Neo Magazin Royale” in German public TV, but we also develop video games, like our mystery sci-fi adventure game Trüberbrook.
We already created two smaller adventure games which were associated with the aforementioned late night programme, but these were in German language only – as a Christmas gift for the audience of our show. But back to Trüberbrook! I was carrying the idea for this game with me for some years now, and it’s great to see how everything finally takes shape.
PS4B: Trüberbrook is currently live on Kickstarter. How would you describe the game to someone who is just learning about it for the first time?
Yes, Trüberbrook is currently live on Kickstarter, and we are still overwhelmed by the fact that it was funded in only 30 hours! We are quite happy right now.
Trüberbrook is, in our eyes, special in two ways. First, we have a rather unusual setting. Trüberbrook is a thrilling mystery adventure game set in cold-war Germany, inspired by TV-series like Twin Peaks, The X-Files and Stranger Things. The year is 1967. The player takes the role of Tannhauser, a young American physics student who is caught by surprise: Out of the blue, he wins a trip to a small village called Trüberbrook. Truber-what? No idea! It doesn’t help he can’t remember taking part in any lottery in the first place … Happy to put some distance between him and his Ph.D. in quantum physics, he makes his way to Trüberbrook, Germany, bursting with curiosity. But something in this town seems strange, as the superficial German homeland setting gradually evolves into a puzzling sci-fi mystery.
Another distinctive feature is the visual style of the game since the whole scenery, and all backdrops are built as real miniature scale models in our woodworking shop, then captured using a technique called photogrammetry, digitally polished and later blended with animated characters, visual effects, and set extensions.
Gameplaywise, Trüberbrook is a somewhat classic point-and-click adventure game with a modern approach. It will be published on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Mac, and Linux.
PS4B: Twin Peaks + X-Files reminds me of the recent new classic Thimbleweed Park. What sets Trüberbrook apart from this and other entries in the adventure genre?
Well, Trüberbrook and Thimbleweed Park obviously share some pop cultural roots or ancestors. First of all, the mood and atmosphere of mystery series like Twin Peaks and “The X-Files. These series established certain patterns and motives, characters and soundscapes that found their way into our public consciousness, still providing a great source of inspiration for many works. Other video games, like Alan Wake, Virginia or Kentucky Route Zero, to name a few, were most likely influenced by these. So, long story short, one thing that probably sets us apart is that we’ve tried to translate these motives into a rather unusual setting in rural Germany in the 1960s. Even for most Germans, this setting is somewhat bizarre and exotic and underlines the mystery motive. Also, we think that our rather unusual handmade sets are designed to intensify this atmosphere.
PS4B: The handmade sets look great! How long does it take to complete a single set in the game?
Every single set gets an individual treatment. Depending on their complexity, one set takes the set designers about 1 to 4 weeks in the studio. The models are staged with actual physical lighting, like a real film set. This allows us to simulate different hours of the day or weather conditions. Even a change of seasons is possible by redecorating the set with real tiny little snowflakes. The sets are later digitized using a technique called photogrammetry. This way we get highly detailed polygon models that blend perfectly with our digital characters. All in all it takes quite some time from the first sketch of a scene to the finished set in the engine.
PS4B: Since now that the Kickstarter is funded the game will be developed for PC and consoles, are you considering doing physical versions of the game, either in regular or Collector’s Editions, for PS4 or Nintendo Switch?
Yes, we are considering physical versions of the game for consoles. Right now, we still have to adjust a bit to the overwhelming success of our Kickstarter. But there certainly seems to be some demand for physical versions, and we would love to do these.
PS4B: And that’s all the time we have for today. Would you like to add anything else before we go?
We would like to thank our backers who are making this game possible on Kickstarter! And of course, thank you and PS4Blog.net for having us!