Interview: FUN Creators On Their Unique Werewolf Game, Guise Of The Wolf
Welcome to the next eGamer interview where we had the opportunity to chat to indie developers FUN Creators, who are currently making a unique first person werewolf game titled Guise of the Wolf. More specifically, we spoke to game creator Jake Pawloski after the founder of FUN Creators, Fadi Hadi, patched us through. The game is near to release, and a second demo is releasing soon, so you won’t have to wait long to give it a try. Through this exclusive interview, we hope to further your knowledge of the indie scene and game development, as well as introduce you to new developers and exciting indie games that are on the horizon. So without further delay, let’s go in-depth with Guise of the Wolf.
Be sure to read the full interview down below. It’s quite extensive and detailed!
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eGamer: Thank you, FUN Creators, for taking the time to do this interview with us. We appreciate it! To start off, can you tell us a little about yourselves and your studio? What previous projects have you worked on?
Jake: Thanks for the opportunity! Sure thing. We’re a new indie studio with a couple of small teams, aiming primarily at digital distribution like most independent developers. Fadi Hadi is founder of FUN Creators and producer/partner. My name is Jake Pawloski, I’m a designer and director. I work with four other people on the current game title. We have a good time developing the games we ourselves would like to play and it’s been a really enjoyable experience so far. I first joined FUN Creators several months ago when talking to Fadi about some cool project possibilities. He’s an excellent partner with great vision and optimism. I myself starting doing play testing at companies like Gearbox Software and went on to develop casual games published on Big Fish Games. Then I was contacted by Tim Lang (previous EAGames art director) to lead the art on some new social network and iphone games.
eGamer: Tell us, what is your upcoming game, Guise of the Wolf, about?
Jake: Guise of the wolf is a first person adventure-horror about werewolves. More specifically about an alchemist named Dominik who is summoned to a castle to stop a werewolf. Dominik suffers from a bite wound on his arm, causing him to become cursed. Throughout his journey, Dominik must learn to control his wolf form in his search for a cure and to kill the original werewolf that bit him.
eGamer: This is my staple interview question, as I love ripping the bandage off quickly. Tell us, what is the biggest reason to play Guise of the Wolf?
Jake: Ha ha ha. Well, there aren’t many first person werewolf games that I know of. I know that there are adventure games with the subject, but one of the reasons I wanted to make a first person werewolf themed game is because I was having trouble finding a 3D real-time werewolf themed game. Really got me interested in making one.
eGamer: I love the concept of this game. It’s really unique. Our team shared some smiles over the “First Person Wolfer” comments from fans. Tell us, how did this project come to life? How did you conceptualize it?
Jake: Thanks! The comments have been most entertaining. Maybe it’ll be a term from now on, he he he! I’ve always been a pretty big fan of werewolves. I wanted to see more games with the theme, so I started drawing up some concepts. I wanted to use the moonlight as a temporary source and to justify the form wearing off before the night ends, so I came up with the main character being an alchemist who has suppressed the curse in a sense. I pitched the title to FUN Creators, and Fadi was on board with me right away, our partnership began on this title and we hope to make it a really good game for the fans. It’s similar to Amnesia in the haunting and gameplay sense, but allows you to transition between the wolf abilities and the human abilities to overcome obstacles and puzzles.
eGamer: Following on from that, what were your sources of inspiration for Guise of the Wolf?
Jake: I’m a fan of classic horror films like An American Werewolf in London and Dracula. My cousin and I spent a lot of time talking about werewolves when we were kids. I’m a huge Legacy of Kain fan too. In the game Blood Omen, there are bat, wolf, human, and mist forms. So those are fun for getting inspired.
eGamer: Can you give us an overview of the gameplay?
Jake: Sure! Players assume the role of the alchemist, and must gather letters, books, and information from items and characters to unearth the story while unlocking new paths in the castle. The player must gather ingredients to mix valuable potions to aid in their progress. The first of these potions supresses the wolf curse, allowing them to use it (rather than ‘blacking out’ and waking up the next day with blood on their mouth and ripped clothing, lol). With the wolf form, players must access numerous areas that are an imediment to the human form, and vise versa. Players can mix a certain number of special potions to gain certain effects. Players can find a secret in every main castle location. The player can read back story, and mythology within book pages, and make conversation choices. On top of obtaining a map, the player can access journal updates in the form of story details and goals.
As the wolf, players can jump further, run faster, tackle enemies, break barriers and feed. As the wolf, players are vulnerable to numerous guards, fire and traps. As the human, players can collect items, ingredients, talk to characters, mix potions and solve puzzles. As the human, players are vulnerable to wolf traps, the predecessor wolf, and fall damage. Players must navigate with a curse which causes sudden hallucinations in darker places such as dungeons, woods or catacombs which tend to startle or frighten. Players must elude the predecessor wolf by running and hiding when they see it. Some other key features include autosaving, 360 controller compatibility with vibration function. Game will feature multiple languages including English, Slovak, Russian, Spanish, and Italian, it is also planned to have German and French.
eGamer: Of course, being a werewolf is the highlight of the game. But what can you tell us about the differences in gameplay between your human and werewolf forms? What changes?
Jake: Well, the wolf can do certain things that the human cannot, and vise versa. For example, when you are the human, you can collect items, ingredients and clues. You can unlock certain doors and pull switches, you also hide from the other werewolf on a few occasions which you encounter it. The wolf form allows you to leap across gaps which are too far for the human to jump. The wolf can also break certain barriers such as fences, gates and cracked stone walls. After the wolf absorbs moonlight, the aura depletes as you are away from the moonlight, but sometimes if the thing which needs to be broken or crossed by the wolf is too far from the moonlight, then the wolf will need to kill someone on the way, because killing guards or villagers prolongs your wolf stamina.
eGamer: I’m very intrigued by the werewolf gameplay. Will you transform at set parts in the game – is it scripted? Or will the moonlight be dynamic, and your transformations vary while you play? Will there be day and night cycles?
Jake: Anywhere that is hit by strong blue-ish moonlight is an area which can be used to transform. The player is in pretty strong control of when they transform, although sometimes it’s also necessary to avoid the moonlight, because in certain situations there are guards needing persuasion in order to get to something, metal traps which the wolf is vulnerable to, or wooden floors which are too weak to support the heavy wolf, etc. In these moments, it can get tricky in some areas not to absorb too much. The game’s story takes place during a single night, so it’s always night time. The always night setting helps to sustain the mood of the game and allows players to keep using moonlight throughout.
eGamer: What would you say are the best parts about being a werewolf in the game? What cool gameplay features open up to players?
Jake: Well, I’d say some of the cool parts of being the wolf in this game are getting to unreachable areas, often which are secret areas. This can be pretty rewarding, especially as you become good at quickly killing a guard and darting down halls at a faster speed. It’s just the slight platforming of it which allows players a unique ‘monster’ feeling in the first person which is the cool part, just being able to know that you have this power that is also a curse.
eGamer: Your features list reveals that you’ll be able to create potions from ingredients you find. Can you tell us more about this? How will it work in the game? What are some of the benefits of using potions?
Jake: Well, as an alchemist, Dominik is specifically summoned to the castle to contian or control the original wolf somehow using potions. This plays a pretty important part in how and why Dominik is able to control his own form to a certian extent and why he is potion mixing throughout the game. There are many ingredients to gather, and there is the ultimate goal for the ‘elixir’ to cure the curse and another to stop the predecessor wolf. There are also several other potions which have different effects. Some of the effects for potions include:
-Controlling wolf form (first potion)
-Sustaining wolf form longer (temporary and useful)
-Repelling the original wolf away while you are vulnerable
-Charm (for castle inhabitant persuasion)
-The elixir (the cure)
-Spoiler (cannot say)
Potions are kept in small vials which the player can collect.
eGamer: Can you tell us anything about the puzzle solving and RPG elements in the game?
Jake: I would say the puzzle solving is kind of similar to RealMyst, using similar ‘pointer’ interaction and often involve switches, books, cards or mechanisms to proceed. We are aiming to bring some interesting and challenging puzzles into the game. Some elements are being said by fans to be a little reminiscent of Fable, Morrowind or Arx Fatalis. Although there are no player stats, and is not RPG length (it’s a point and click adventure), if we’re talking in terms of elements as you said, then things like potion mixing, inventory, medieval setting, open exploration, story orientation and dialogue choices are likely some of the RPG-like elements.
eGamer: How big is the castle in the game? Will you be free to explore wherever you please?
Jake: It’s quite a large castle. It’s actually based on a real castle in Slovakia where the game takes place during the 17th century. The castle name has been changed from Lietava to Lietovisko due to it’s difference from the real castle, although some gamers have already taken notice to subtle things in the castle such as Slovak and Hungarian artifacts. The castle is fully explorable, with environments ranging from towers to dungeons, foggy woods outside to courtyards and bedrooms, to library and kitchen, etc. There is an obtainable map for easy navigation as well. Not all of the castle will be readily open for exploration at first, and so paths must be accessed or unlocked as you go, but you can return to any area pretty much anytime.
eGamer: You’ve said that in the game you’ll need to “survive being hunted in the darkest of places”. Can you elaborate on that? What is hunting you in the game?
Jake: In the game you are hunted by the werewolf which bit you. This werewolf is the reason you were summoned to the castle. Since you cannot kill it until you devise a certian potion, you must always avoid direct encounter. If you see it, hide or run. When you are a werewolf yourself, it never crosses your path (well, not during most the game anyway), because it could be walking into its own demise from an encounter with its offspring. I don’t want to give anything away though. You are also in danger of being hunted by guards if you are in wolf form. Other dangers include traps set throughout the castle. Another thing which is particularly startling are the hallucinations which occur while Dominik is his human self. This is a symptom of the wolf bite, and causes many nightmaric visions to appear in the castle.
eGamer: What can you tell us about the story?
Jake: It’s one about desparation, deception and power. It has some cool back story too. There are books such as the Alchemist’s Herbarium and the Devil’s Bestiary, which includes pages on the different kinds of werewolves that players can look into (something I think werewolf fans might appreciate). Dominik’s form term is Lupus Mortalis (also known as Lupine form), but there are also Lycan and names for oddities which I won’t go into. I want to give the sensation that even though it’s quite simple, there’s some backbone there. Primarily Dominik is summoned to stop the beast, finds out about his curse, sets out to stop the curse and ultimately destroy the wolf which bit him, the plot thickens as he begins to unearth his true purpose in the castle, and is ultimately led to make a difficult choice.
eGamer: You’ve said that the game will have multiple endings. I suspect you’re keeping this under wraps, so this is a shot in the dark here. Are there choices you make throughout the game that influence this? What determines how the game will play out?
Jake: The final decision is left up to the player, and the other choices in the game are independent of this final choice, so that they can successfully see the other outcome later if they wish without having to do everything right to get to it. Although earlier decisions may lead to items and/or secrets. The dialogue often offers two choices, and the player can only choose one. This has a mild affect on the unearthing of certain character behavior, information and items.
eGamer: How long will Guise of the Wolf be?
Jake: I’d say between 5 and 7 hours, about the length of Soul Reaver 2. It’s not a huge diverse game, and the story and atmosphere are the focus.
eGamer: What are you most proud of with Guise of the Wolf? What are you most excited for gamers to experience?
Jake: Well, I guess the experience itself, but I hope most that they enjoy the story and characters as they play, because it’s mostly about story immersion.
eGamer: The game is listed for release in Q1 of 2013. Do you know when you’ll have more information for us? Also, how much will the game cost when it’s released?
Jake: All I can say is that we’ll definitely keep everyone posted on the latest details as we go. It’s hard to say how much, because this depends on where and when you obtain the game, but I’d estimate between 9,99 and 14,99. Though portals like Steam and others can have frequent discounts.
eGamer: What are your hopes for the future of FUN Creators? What comes after Guise of the Wolf?
Jake: Well, all I know is that we’re planning to release a few other games in the near future that are either throw backs to some of our favorites, while offering a pretty unique experience. We’ll see where it takes us. I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of FUN.
eGamer: Do you think Guise of the Wolf is still a better love story than Twilight? Alternatively, do you feel like it will repair some of the damage done to Werewolves’ image and reputation as of late?
Jake: Lol. It’s true there has been some ‘teen hunk’ quality to the gothic horror scene lately. Even in casual games with murder mysteries involving werewolf and vampire romance following the release of Twilight. However, Guise of the Wolf is not technically a love story. It has some mild affection in a few parts, but doesn’t focus on love. Also, in the Twilight Series, the transformation is an instant ‘poof’ into a wolf. So the ‘were’ in ‘werewolf’ is used very loosely there. In Guise of the Wolf, the transformation is much closer to a painful bone cracking mutation into a monster. This monster has an even mix between human and wolf traits. Fortunately, this game does not fall into the romance or teen hunk categories and I certainly hope it helps shed off some of that other bad fur to restore some former werewolf glory– in a small way.
Well, I hope this helps sheds some moonlight on the game’s mythos. It’s been a pleasure talking to you, and we look forward to showing you all the latest content from Guise of the Wolf!
That wraps up our exclusive and extensive interview with FUN Creators regarding Guise of the Wolf. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it! I’d definitely like to extend a huge thank-you to FUN Creators for taking the time to do such a great interview with us and show eagerness to tell us a lot about their game. And of course, we at eGamer love it when we successfully troll someone, and we had a good laugh over the developer’s response to our final question. FUN Creators aren’t the first developers to take the final, lighthearted joke question of our interviews seriously! They’ve become a staple, so watch out for them.
I’d like to wish FUN Creators all the best for the rest of development, and especially for the game’s launch. I hope it turns out awesome. To those reading this, you know where to be when our full review surfaces. Guise of the Wolf is certainly unique, and I can’t wait to give it a shot when it’s out.