We’ll be working on a review for The Innsmouth Case, so I got in touch with RobotPumpkin Games to talk a bit about the game. Come check it out!
PS4Blog: Good morning! Thank you for joining us today. Could you please help us get started by telling our readers a bit about yourself and your work?
Hi there! I’m Caro from RobotPumpkin Games (RPG). We’re a small Indie Games Studio based in Cologne, Germany. I’ve been working in the games industry since 2011, creating art for browser and mobile games. So a lot of strategy, Candy Crush clones, also a classic card game. Like most indie devs, I co-founded RPG to make games that I would enjoy playing myself. The other three members – Desirée, René, and Timo – are relatively new to all of this, but they have been passionate gamers since their childhood.
PS4B: On that note, The Innsmouth Case is ready to go on Nintendo Switch. How would you describe the game to someone who’s never heard about it?
The Innsmouth Case is an interactive adventure in which your choices define the flow and outcome of the story. It starts as a Film Noir detective story, in which a mysterious lady asks you to find her missing daughter. Everything seems normal, but her family is from the mysterious town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts, from the Lovecraft universe – and there are fishy things going on.
Right off the bat, you can make decisions on what the unnamed protagonist does and think. Depending on how you act, your choices may come back to haunt you later, so there are lots and lots of possible endings for the game. Most of them are entertainingly painful for our protagonist.
This entire gameplay is basically the digital version of the old adventure books: “If you want to cross the bridge, continue reading on page 56 “. But what makes our experience special are the animated characters who you meet along the way.
PS4B: How long did it take to develop The Innsmouth Case? Were there any hurdles or challenges you had to overcome during the process?
I started with the game concept in 2016 and created some very basic mockups of the screens that I envisioned. The biggest challenge was keeping the development going in our free time while juggling our full-time jobs. At this point, I had no experience in pitching games to publishers and still had a lot to learn. What I did have, though, was enough technical knowledge to create a functioning prototype in Unity.
Once I had nailed down the game design, I asked my employer to reduce my weekly hours. The result was a noticeable slump in my salary, but I knew there was no way around it – I really wanted to make this game.
Luckily, my friends Desi and Timo joined in and helped a lot by coming up with story branches, characters and doing QA testing. And there is quite a lot of testing needed for a multi-branch story of +160,000 words!
Our programmer René joined at the right time when we had to code it properly. We were really lucky to get him on board.
We’ve also been working with a translator and editor throughout the process. We’ve known Annegret from the times when we were still doing an online comic strip. Having an editor with a broad knowledge of pop culture was a huge advantage for a game like The Innsmouth Case. Building our own network of creatives was key to getting the project off the ground.
PS4B: With The Innsmouth Case now out on Nintendo’s console, are you currently working on any new projects?
If all goes as planned, our current official project will be released in summer 2021. We’re making another interactive story, and this time the genre will be Science Fiction. The story’s about an alien lifeform that is stranded on Earth and which you will be playing. The project title is ‘Plan B From Outer Space.’
For this game, we managed to receive arts industry funding from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia/Germany, which believes in the weird adventures we create. This is, of course, awesome and a huge help.
Apart from that, we constantly work on secret prototypes that no doubt will see the light of day eventually.
PS4B: And that’s all the time we have for today. Is there something else you’d like to add before we go?
A big thank you to everyone who has tried out our game – it’s been a labor of love, and we sincerely hope that you have fun with it.
Apart from that, stay safe & healthy, everyone!