Geeta Games' upcoming point-and-click adventure title, Lilly Looking Through, has garnered quite a bit of press as it nears its release. The game was successfully Kickstarted through a crowd-funding campaign and it even managed to pass favorably through the community hands on Steam's Greenlight service. The game features Lilly, the lead protagonist who has to save her little brother while also being able to teleport to different locations whenever she puts on mysterious goggles. The game has a vibrant art-style and has received quite a bit of praise from the gaming press.
Thanks to the kind folks at GOG.com, we had a chance to partake in a Q&A with the husband and wife team developing the game, Steve Hoogendyk and Jessica Hoogendyk, to find out a bit more about this unique adventure title. Check it out below.
Gaming Blend: The art style and character designs in Lilly Looking Through really stand out. The game has what's best described as an “enchanting” design scheme. Where did you get the inspiration for the art and characters?
Geeta Games: Many of our ideas come from trying to observe our world with fresh eyes. We have always had a keen interest in exploring nature and the limitless mysteries on Earth, which ultimately inspire the ideas for Lilly and her world. The inspiration for our character Lilly actually came first. It started when my wife Jessica and I had been brainstorming ideas for creating our own adventure game. At one point, our daughter began wearing these swim goggles on top of her head. When Jessica emailed me a photo of our daughter wearing them, I instantly thought that would make a really fun game character. So maybe it was Jessica’s idea and she just let me connect the dots. Then, once we had the idea of what these enchanted goggles on Lilly’s head could do, things really began to fall into place. The look and art style we chose really comes from old Classic Disney Animated films like Bambi and Snow White. If you look at just the painted backgrounds for those films they are breathtaking, and you don’t see as much of that in games or film anymore.
Gaming Blend: There seems to be a resurgence of the point and click genre lately and many of them are being well-received by the gaming community. At what point did you decide you wanted to make a point-and-click title and when did development get underway for Lilly Looking Through?
Geeta Games: Ever since Myst came out in 1993, I’ve had a real desire to create my own adventure game. I’ve attempted to make two other games along the way and Lilly Looking Through is really my third go at it.
The seed of the idea for Lilly Looking Through began in 2009, and we started working full time on the project in 2011. We are thrilled that this game is finished and will be released on November 1st.
Gaming Blend: How long is the game estimated to be, play-wise?
It’s always hard to determine how long a game is play-wise. Every person seems to play adventure games in a different way and depending on how often they use the help button, we would estimate anywhere from about 4-6 hours. It’s funny because in other mediums like books or movies "play time" might seem like an odd question. Our main goal in creating Lilly is that people really get lost in her world and absolutely enjoy the time they spend there.
Gaming Blend: Are there multiple routes, branching pathways or various endings to the game? Or is it a more traditional, character-driven point-and-click title with a singular story to tell?
Geeta Games: When creating Lilly Looking Through we’ve always talked about it as if the player is actually helping Lilly on this adventure. Lilly has a specific journey that unfolds, but she needs your help along the way. So while there are many twists to our tale, we do have a singular story to tell.
Gaming Blend: Even though Lilly Looking Through managed to succeed in its Kickstarter goal and get a timely November 1st release across multiple digital distributors, is piracy still a concern as to whether or not the game will be able to sell to its full potential?
Geeta Games: Piracy is definitely a concern for any small indie studio that loves making games. We obviously hope to make enough money back to cover our cost of production, and be able to continue to pursue our passion of creating games.
That being said, at the end of the day, we aspire to create worlds and stories for people to play in and escape to. We want it to be as easy as possible for everybody to play Lilly Looking Through, so we are thrilled to be on GOG.com, and selling our game through Humble (both of which are DRM-free).
Gaming Blend: Depending on how well Lilly Looking Through does, would you consider doing a direct sequel to the game or would you instead branch off and try designing another type of game?
Geeta Games: We would love to continue to expand the world of Lilly and definitely have more stories to tell. Of course it does depend on how the game sells. That being said, we also have a few other ideas that we would love to explore.
Gaming Blend: The game is already receiving a lot of positive press and gamers seem quite excited for it, but has marketing been an issue or getting more gamers out there to recognize the potential of the title? Or have you been able to hit your key demographic(s) without too much of a problem?
Geeta Games: We have been very thankful for the positive press. It’s really been an amazing journey so far.
I would also say that by partnering with digital distributors like GOG and Steam, they have definitely helped us market Lilly Looking Through better than we would have on our own and reach a much larger audience.
In a way, our demographic is a bit of a mystery to us. When we were at PAX Prime this year, we would ask people if they had played a point and click adventure game. To our surprise, many people hadn’t heard of them before. It was really fun showing them the demo, because quite often they would start off somewhat skeptical, but by the end of the demo where hunched over and really enjoying the game.
The key for us is to get people to try out our demo and just give Lilly Looking Through a go.
Gaming Blend: After getting through a successful Kickstarter and with the game's release fast approaching you have a lot on your plate. But following this experience, have you considered potentially using Kickstarter again to get your next game off the ground or would you consider going the traditional route of a publisher, if offered the opportunity?
Geeta Games: Doing a Kickstarter campaign is an amazing opportunity that really helps you learn how to better sell your ideas. It also gave us a crash course in PR and marketing, which is a vital lesson for any small business to learn.
It’s also been great to connect directly with people who are interested and excited about your project. We are very thankful for the support the Backers have shown throughout the production of Lilly Looking Through.
To sum it up, we would definitely consider using Kickstarter again for future projects!
You can pre-order the game right now from Good Old Games or learn more by visiting the official Kickstarter page. Lilly Looking Through is set for release on November 1st for PC, Mac and Linux (so it's SteamOS compatible).