Void And Meddler, An Exclusive Interview With Dorian Sred

void and meddler logoLast week we shared the exciting news that the gritty cyberpunk thriller Void And Meddler, is being expanded from the original Dev Jam entry into an episodic full release on PC. Just in case you missed our original article, here’s a quick overview of what Dorian is currently working on…

The Story

Void and Meddler is a deep trip inside the mazelike mind of Fyn, wandering in an uncertain era, in an undefined city. People are used to taking hormone drugs and collecting false memories. This make it easier to change their life and become the person they want to be.

Features

  • A non-linear adventure in 6 acts (3 episodes)
  • Each act can end in several ways (different puzzles, different stories)
  • Surreal atmosphere inspired by Philip.K.Dick, William Gibson, David Cronenberg, Shinya Tsukamoto and Gregg Araki
  • Your actions may alterate the world around you
  • A not so subtle mix between good old point and click features and a totally fucked up story!

And now that you’re well versed in what Void And Meddler is all about, check out our exclusive interview with Dorian Sred.

Why do you take part in game Dev jams? In your opinion, are they a benefit to the Dev community? Why?

It was for me the best way to start creating video games. First as a musician, and then as a game designer. I like to try new things in an artistic way, in an instinctive way. Jams are perfect for that, you don’t know where you’re going, but you give everything of yourself for a weekend. At the end you stink but hey, you’re fucking happy! You learn new things, you meet people, etc. So yes it’s positive in my opinion.

From concept to completion, how much time did “No Wave” and “Void and Meddler” take to develop?

For No Wave, the jam lasted 48 hours, but I had to start again from scratch when our coders left the project the last day. So 48 hours + few days for a playable version. With Void & Meddler we had 15 days, but we could work on it only 12 days because you know, day job… Now I’m completely independent, no more problem to work on our games.

How much of yourself do we see within “No Wave” and “Void and Meddler”? Is there anything you would’ve liked to add/ say but didn’t/ couldn’t within the time constraints? If so, what would it be?

The basic idea came from Trevor and I. No Wave was a tribute to a music scene we greatly appreciated. It was our first game, made in a weekend, so of course it has a lot of imperfections. More interactions, more animations, and after that it would have been really fun. For Void & Meddler, this is exactly the kind of game and universe we wanted to create for a long time, it looks like us with our cultural background. Again, there was insufficient time to incorporate mechanics with different choices properly. And it’s not enough polished, we couldn’t create nicer animations, etc.

When you set out to create “Void and Meddler” for the Point and Click Jam, did you have an initial concept or a fully realized story in mind?

We were allowed to create the story before the jam, so we had well-developed ideas when it was time to develop. But as I said, we follow our intuition when we work, so a lot of ideas have been added during development.

Was it always envisioned as a starting point to be continued or did the decision to continue stem from fan feedback?

Initially the game was created for the jam only. But during development, we were so excited: It was exactly what we wanted to do if we should made a full game. Add many positive feedbacks and you have your answer: we had no choice, we needed to go further!

We’re thrilled that you’ll be expanding upon the world and continuing the story, will it continue to be as gritty as the original entry?

Thank you, we are very happy to continue the development, and yes it will be without any compromise, like the prototype. A dirty cyberpunk world without Manichean plot, no morals, only people feelings, their vision, and character development, according to our actions.

That moment in the subway with the punk in white was phenomenal, will the game feature the ability to approach these situations, and others, from a variety of options with multiple outcomes?

This is exactly what we want for the gameplay! Several approaches for a majority of situations. For example, this chapter will be different in the final version, but in addition to offering several options to interact with the punk, your choice will influence the way you will meet him again later. This will change the type of memories that you get. And it may shorten or lengthen the way to solve another puzzle, etc.

Can you provide any insight into the main character and what has them set on their course? How will the hormone drugs and false memories play into their story and interactions?

First, we tried to make Fyn nor female or male, well, at least, so androgynous no one could identify her (yes, “her”) gender. It’s now quite clear that Fyn is a girl, but still, we really needed to keep this whole thing abstract (but not blur at all). No boundaries between genders, it’s like putting transhumanism to a brand new level. Like, before trying to mix humans with something else, why not mixing all humans themselves? Fyn is in the middle of all this. We can’t tell you much more for now, you’ll need to find all those false memories to dig her character deeper!

Have there been any changes/ updates from the original entry to what we’ll be seeing in episode one?

In Episode 1, the first chapter, which may correspond to the prototype, will be modified yes. The main idea stays the same, like I said, but we needed to change some little things with the story. More situations, more puzzles, and of course the game will be much more beautiful, thanks to our new artists.

Anything you can share about whats next for you and NO CVT?

With NO CVT we don’t like to anticipate the future but for at least 1 year, we will be fully focused on Void & Meddler for PC-Mac. After that we will consider mobile release.

On my side, I needed to travel: I’m moving in Canada next month (but rest assured, I would be even more focused on Void & Meddler).

What are your favorite types of games to play? What’s your current favorite?

I grew up with LucasArts game. I did play games before, arcade games, etc. but with Monkey Island I had a revelation. I annoyed my friends to help me on puzzles, and you know, the universe was so fascinating, I thought about it day and night! It has not changed, I take more pleasure in adventure games where the story makes me dream. I loved RTS games for a while, like Age of Empire, Warcraft 3, and oh yes, I enjoyed so much action games like Max Payne! So, about my current favorite, I think it’s Kentucky Route Zero. Just listen the sound, I thought I was losing my mind the first time. And this is the same with the narration!

What advice would you give to someone in developing games? Is there anything in particular they’d best be served to learn first?

As an Indie developer, you must be flexible and perseverant, very very perseverant. My advice: be organized, manage your stress and put your ego aside.

Please let us know what you thought of the interview and if there is anything you’d like us to follow up on with Dorian, I’m sure we’d be able to get a little more time with him to get your questions answered…

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