Interviews// Penumbra Developer, Frictional Games

Posted 3 Jan 2008 17:59 by
SPOnG: Speaking of licensing? could you see yourself ever licensing out your technology?

Thomas Grip: Yeah, we have thought about it. The problem is we?re two people already taking care of too many things and having other people nagging us for stuff they want to work that doesn?t work, but we see it as income in the future.

Jens Nilsson:: We have had some requests to use the technology from developers and universities, but we have said "No" - just because of the documentation.

Penumbra: Black Plague
Penumbra: Black Plague
Thomas Grip: Yeah, mostly documentation that?s not really done. And also - we don?t want to. (Grins)


SPOnG: Any word on what that next game is? Is it another horror game?

Thomas Grip: We?re talking about it and we think we?ll stick to the horror genre because that?s what we know, but we?re not really sure actually. Right now the talk is mainly in terms of how can we improve the process of making a game, so we can cut down on the budget and just focus on making a game good.

That really for many games is the way to making a good game, you can?t spend half the time on how to do a certain thing. The better thing is to think, "How is it good for the gameplay?", rather than having the technology and getting the technology to work. So, that is the main focus I think right now, and also we really want to focus on this game, we?re just two people, if we have another project, that?s half the people working on the same job, now we want to make this a really really good game.


Penumbra: Black Plague
Penumbra: Black Plague
SPOnG: You mentioned you had a writer onboard, is that something you did in the first game as well?

Thomas Grip: Yeah, but he came in a lot later, so he basically had to work with what he got and for this game he has been in the process from the beginning.


SPOnG: It seems like one of the challenges for a game like this, particularly as you don?t seem to have that many other characters in it, telling the story must be quite a challenge - to work it into the game.

Thomas Grip: When you?ve got a writer, it?s a good and a bad thing. You?ve got a writer who is not concerned about the technical he?s just "I want to do that!". You explain to him it?s not possible, and he says, "It must be possible, we must be able to do it!" But then it?s really good because he can say stuff like ?But that other game did that?, and then you go and implement something just because someone else has said it, and that sort of thing is good.

I really like having this - not too much - but it?s good to have like an opposing force to try and do things a different way instead. Iit gets you thinking in other terms as well. When you deal with technical, and both of us are very technical when it comes to the designs and so on, then we limit ourselves unconsciously. I think to have someone else outside of the box that isn?t really concerned with technical... that just has skill for the design process - that brings a lot to the game.

Penumbra: Black Plague
Penumbra: Black Plague
SPOnG: Thank you very much for your time.

Penumbra: Black Plague is set for release on the PC in February.
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