We’ll be working on a review for She Sees Red, so I got in touch with Rhinotales to talk a bit about this Nintendo Switch release. Come check it out!
PS4Blog: Hi! Thank you for joining us this morning. Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, and good morning! I’m Dmitriy Savchenko, Creative Director at Rhinotales.
PS4B: She Sees Red is ready to go on Nintendo Switch. How would you describe the game?
She Sees Red is literally an interactive movie. You watch video scenes and make decisions to affect the storyline. It’s our first project, which evolved from a preview version. We planned to pitch it with a concept for a bigger movie project, but, in the end, we decided to develop and publish it on our own. That wasn’t an easy thing to do even though all of us had some experience in games, and movies, development. But it was the right thing to do. Now we know more about our audience, about how the market and platforms work, and every idea for new projects has a base of real experience.
As for the movie, it is a mosaic story where you act as a mysterious bad guy. You know nothing about his motivation and background. But a detective is going after you. Her investigation depends on your decisions, and there are some flashback scenes that present more parts of the story, but not all of them.
Actually, it would take at least two playthroughs to understand the whole plot, not to mention there are four different endings. A single run will probably take you around 30 minutes or so, which might seem a bit short, but there is definitely some replay value in there based on the consequences for the actions you take. For a second run, you can make the opposite choices and have a very different story with a lot of new content.
PS4B: How long did it take to port the game to Nintendo’s console? Any particular hurdles or challenges you had to overcome during the overall development process?
About three months, more or less. You might think, “it’s just a video player, what could go wrong?” But, in fact, we use three separate players at once! We need to keep the video in memory before every decision while preparing two different scenes because we don’t know what a player is going to choose. And then we have to start the next scene in about 300 milliseconds before the previous scene ends! Keep in mind that we want to make transitions as smooth as possible both for video and audio and multiply it to different PC configurations with a different load of system resources.
Luckily, the Nintendo Switch console has a standard set for its configuration. But the software is really, and I can’t emphasize this enough, REALLY different. So we had to tune a lot of stuff behind the scenes, and we’re still working and finding new ways to optimize the game. I think we’ll make an update shortly after the release with a different video playback configuration for an overall even better experience!
PS4B: With She Sees Red set for Nintendo Switch, are you currently working on any new projects?
Yes! We’re working on a new interactive movie and a game. Both of them are in the early concept phase, so I can’t tell you a lot about them.
Speaking of movies, we do have a lot of ideas and a lot of feedback. The genre has huge potential, but variations of its forms depend on each platform. For example, streaming services such as Netflix are perfect for interactive movies, but gamers need games, and adding more interactive elements could be a good idea. The key is to implement them to the main narrative, to keep fluent storytelling as a movie.
Gamers are very interested in a game’s length. It could be even more valuable than the quality of the content or the real consequences for the decisions they make. And making a movie is still pretty expensive if you want something professional and of high quality! Every new alternative scene leads to new working days, not to mention new decorations, new exterior shots, perhaps even new actors, not to mention the costs and time spent in post-production. That’s why we need to find a balance while making new experiments. I think it’s been an awesome experience!
PS4B: And now it’s time for us to go. Would you like to add anything else?
Play games, and play the Nintendo Switch! I can’t stop thinking of how many great games, big and small, release every year. In my childhood, we used to play old games over and over again, sometimes waiting years for a new title, watching the so rare trailers for some releases every now and then. Now it’s like a vast ocean of games around us, changing and evolving as we go. It’s such a great time to be alive!