April 23rd, 2011 | By David Bruggink
Tagged in: interview
IGM recently had the opportunity to talk with Josh about his inspiration behind the game, the development process, and some of Gemini Rue’s unique features. Josh is currently an undergraduate in UCLA’s department of Design Media Arts.
IGM: Gemini Rue’s gorgeous visual style brings to mind classic adventure games of the 1990’s. How did you decide to go with the pixelated look?
Josh: I went with the pixelated look for both aesthetic and practical reasons. Aesthetically, pixels represent a period in gaming in which adventure games flourished, which helps to establish the tone and context of the gameplay in Gemini Rue. Practically, pixels are easier to animate than high-res assets, and they also let you get away with a lot of ambiguity in smaller details. This also helps players to embody themselves in the characters easier instead of being emotionally detached from a nearly photo-realistic character model.
IGM: What led you to develop the game in Adventure Game Studio (rather than another engine)?
Josh: I chose to use AGS for Gemini Rue because that’s what I’ve used for all of my past projects. I discovered AGS in 2001 or 2002, and have been making games with it since then. It’s consistently gotten updated, people are always on the forums to help you out, and it’s always been able to do whatever I wanted to achieve.
IGM: What draws you to the narrative structure of adventure games rather than more open-ended or arcade-style gameplay?
Josh: Adventure games’ narrative qualities appeal to me because they can challenge or engage players, in my opinion, on a deeper level than many other genres—not to say that it can’t be done in an arcade game or sandbox game, for instance. But adventure games are perhaps a more natural fit to synthesize narrative with gameplay. And when you allow the narrative to becoming embedded in the gameplay, it allows for a much deeper emotional experience.
IGM: What are some of the influences behind Gemini Rue’s story?
Josh: A Clockwork Orange, Blade Runner, Cowboy Bebop, LOST, Ben Croshaw’s non-Trilby games (yes, they exist!), Portal, and Monkey Island.
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Gemini Rue was a winner of the Student Showcase award at the Independent Game Festival in 2010. You can purchase the game and download a playable demo at www.geminirue.com.