Cow Cat Games’ Fabrice Breton, discusses “Demetrios,” a new point-and-click game inspired by the “Broken Sword” series, preparing itself for an eventual release on Steam through the site’s Greenlight Program. Chatting about the development process, as well as his inspirations and goals for the series, lets us know exactly what to expect once the game is released.
Review Fix: What has the development process been like?
Fabrice Breton: I actually developed a first version of Demetrios in 1999, which was completed three years later. It was a full-length adventure game (4 to 5 hours), full of humor and puzzles, a very varied game. The few people who played it were quite impressed. But I lacked marketing skills at the same (I was only 15) so I never released it.
I thought it was a shame that (almost) no one could play it, so I’ve always wanted to release it someday. And recently, that opportunity came to me. Now I’m making a remake of Demetrios “from scratch,” retaining everything that made it fun and unique, but improving everything – art, music, interactivity, gameplay.
Review Fix: What inspired the game’s art style?
Breton: I’m a big fan of traditional animation and I wanted something colorful, similar to the Disney and Ghibli animated films. I can’t really say I’m an artist, I’ve never drawn or colored much in my life before this project so they were a big source of inspiration. I’ve spent a lot of time studying how they were done, just by looking – how the lighting was set, how the painting was done.
Review Fix: What games did you play as a kid and how did they impact this one?
Breton: I’m a big gamer, I’ve played countless games in pretty much every genre, console or computer. However, my favorite games are single-player narrative games. Give me a good story, good characters and good puzzles, and I’ll play it for sure.
One obvious source of inspiration is the Broken Sword series. I had played the two first Broken Sword games right before the development of the first version, so they obviously had a big impact on my game.
Review Fix: What do you think makes this game so special?
Breton: The possibilities, combined with the humor! How many games actually allow you to do stupid things, such as peeing on a plant in a police department, or take a crap in the toilets? This is what I want to see in a game. Give me fun choices and see the consequences! The humor may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s something you don’t see every day.
Not only that, but the game has a ton of text due to being highly interactive. Almost all items combinations lead to different dialog.
I see so many modern games having huge open worlds, as if you were “free” of your actions. But it’s actually the opposite. Each time I play them, I get bored. Because they’re extremely repetitive and empty – just walking from one point to another and killing things on the way. Give me small locations with tons of stuff to do instead. That’s my philosophy.
Review Fix: Why do you think point and click games still resonate with so many gamers?
Breton: They don’t only resonate with gamers, they resonate with everyone! Because they’re both very accessible – you just click to make actions, and that’s enough! But at the same time, they have great stories, interesting puzzles, and they’re fun!
Hickey Jr.: How would you like this game to be remembered?
Breton: As a varied, fun-filled game with stupid things to do and surprising events.
Hickey Jr.: What’s next?
Breton: I have plans for another game, of course. It should be even more ambitious, and pretty unique. I’ve actually hidden some hints about it in Demetrios! But it’s WAY too early to talk about it, first I have to finish the development of Demetrios and make it a success.