Review Fix chats with Desert Owl Games’ Derek Chin who discusses the new “The Hunstman: Winter’s Curse” episodic RPG on iOS and PC, breaking down the development process and goals.
About the Game:
Set in a surreal animated world, The Hunstman: Winter’s Curse delivers an original plot through dynamic storytelling involving many of the characters from The Huntsman: Winter’s War, in theaters now.
Players begin Winter’s Curse as Elisabeth, a girl determined to uphold a vow to her dying father to reunite with her long-lost brothers. Her journey leads her to pair with a mysterious, magical young man named Marcus, who has an ulterior motive to support Elisabeth’s reunion.
Review Fix: What has the development process been like?
Derek Chin: A lot of fun and many, many very long hours! Working with a major motion picture studio was exciting and eye opening. This was the first time our studio has partnered on film IP for a game, and we really got our hands dirty in the process – visiting Universal, rummaging through film artistry and footage, and getting to read the script before the film released. We lived an adventure through the production, and we hope that comes through in the game itself.
Review Fix: How does it feel to work with an IP like this?
Chin: Working with existing IP is always a mix of rewards and challenges. You have a tapestry of existing lore and background to tap into, while there are expectations for how the world works, and what the characters in the world can do. In the case of The Huntsman, we not only had the film, but also the cultural expectations of fairy tales to take into account. This informed our decisions on the visual look as well as the script for our game, which we had a lot of fun creating. At the same time, we had freedom to answer questions not answered by the source material, which made it fascinating.
Review Fix: What’s the story like in comparison to the film?
Chin: One of the goals of The Huntsman: Winter’s Curse was to expand upon the universe of, and not just duplicate, the film. To that end, we created new characters and had them navigate throughout the established world. We utilized parallel themes of the film, such as trust and betrayal; for example, we explored the idea that sometimes characters are not what they seem. So while some of those concepts will be quite familiar, the story itself is a fresh one. Those who love the film will have a great time exploring the game. Similarly, those who are not familiar with the film will love the game, as it stands on it’s own.
Review Fix: What games is it inspired by?
Chin: We took inspiration from various narrative-driven games such as The Wolf Among Us and Child of Light, as well as the general genre of Visual Novels, all while implementing collectible cards for combat.
Review Fix: What went into creating the game’s unique art style?
Chin: We decided to go with the dark watercolor look of old classic fairy tales. We chose to work with Abigail Larson for her unique artistry style, because it fit the game perfectly.
Review Fix: What do you think makes this game special?
Chin: We brought in a published author to team up with an established artist to create the look and feel of a truly unique and engaging game. The combat system achieves being both accessible while having depth for those who desire a challenge. Also of note, this project was lead by a primarily female team, which happened serendipitously, and makes it special in and of itself.