Bringing the serious world of detective mysteries and the classic mechanics of the point-and-click style adventure together and then mixing it together with comedy is Spooky Doorway with their upcoming game The Darkside Detective!
Launching for PC on July 27th via steam, this game will take you through a series of investigations in Twin Lakes City. Are you able to figure what crimes have been committed? Take control of Detective McQueen and complete the investigations that only his division, the Darkside Division, can solve to find out!
Where cultists crawl, where demons dwell, where the occult… occults? *ahem* That's where you’ll find Detective Francis McQueen, the lead investigator of the criminally underfunded Darkside Division. When evil darkens the doorsteps of Twin Lakes City – hell, even when it just loiters around shop fronts or hangs out in shady alleyways – he’s there, ready to investigate the cases that nobody else will. He is the Darkside Detective.
Interview with Paul Conway
What inspired you to make Darkside Detective?
"The Darkside Detective started as a silly idea myself and Christopher Colston came up with at a game jam here in Galway. We both love adventure games a lot and hadn’t worked on anything together before, so we decided to give it a shot in the time we had. We injected the game with a daft sense of humour, referential of the 80s and 90s TV shows of a similar ilk. It was silly, but we had fun making it.
The resulting demo had only 4 screens, and the puzzles made little sense. We didn’t really expect much more from it, but when we posted it online with some screenshots we got a really positive response. It was broken and awkward, but people seemed to really like it. We got our writer friend Dave McCabe on board to help us polish up the demo, and expanded it quite a bit. We posted it again and suddenly we started to get a lot of media attention which we weren’t expecting. Big websites like PC Gamer and The Verge were covering us and the new demo quickly started to rack up tens of thousands of plays.
At that point we knew we had something interesting on our hands. We brought Tracey McCabe on board as lead developer and The Darkside Detective went into production."
Who is your target audience?
"Our target audience are players who loved the classic 90s LucasArts and Sierra point and click games, much like ourselves. But after demoing it at various events, we’ve discovered that The Darkside Detective seem to have a very broad appeal."
What type of experience can players expect?
"Players can expect to have a funny adventure game experience, but in a bite sized format. The game is broken up into 6 different investigations, so players can easily jump in and out of the game over a few evenings and not have to keep track of a larger story. We wanted players to be able to sit down and get the satisfaction of solving a case each time they played."
Which genre is it?
"It’s a classic point and click adventure game, but a little more stripped back and streamlined."
Why did you decide to use the pixel art graphic style?
"The low resolution pixel art style was born from its game jam origins. It was a short jam and we had only 8 hours to produce something, so I decided the use and extremely low base resolution, even lower than the classic games we were homaging, and then I added some HD lighting effects to the image to make it appear a little more dynamic. It was quick and dirty, but the result was a strange mix of old and new that gave the game a lot of character and atmosphere. The graphics style felt uniquely Darkside, so we decided to keep working with it."
How expansive is the story?
"Each of the 6 cases is a separate story from each other and could easily be enjoyed out of sequence, but each case expands the strange world of Twin Lakes City a little more and introduces some recurring characters. In this regard, you could almost say it’s like a weekly TV series, like a mix between The Simpsons and The X-Files."
Will this be a long game to play through or a short series of events?
"The average playtime of the full game is 4 - 5 hours, based on test plays. It’s broken up into 6 different cases, each a little longer than the last, so players can complete the game in a single sitting or over a few days."
What has been your favorite part of developing Darkside Detective?
"I’m really enjoying where we are at right now with the game content complete and being prepped for launch. It’s nice to see the whole game come together. We had a lot of fun building the bizarre world of the Darkside Detective, but seeing it all as a cohesive whole is amazing. We can’t wait to show it to the world."