Interview with Misty Mountain Studio - The Rewinder
At PAX Aus 2019, we were fortunate enough to be able to speak with Felix from Misty Mountain Studio about their upcoming point and click puzzle game – The Rewinder.
Alex: Hello everyone, this is Alex from Switchaboo and I’m joined here by Felix. How are you today?
Felix: I’m good, how are you?
A: I’m good, thank you. So please tell us about The Rewinder.
F: The Rewinder is a 2D point and click adventure puzzle game which draws inspiration from Chinese mythology and folklore. In the game, you play as a special agent who helps the spirits of death be reborn to the living world.
A: And does The Rewinder aim to bring anything new to the point and click genre?
F: Of course. So first of all, we use the Chinese background and culture and also, in terms of puzzle design, we not only design them in the concept of space but also in temporal space. It’s called The Rewinder because you first come to an abandoned village and you are able to travel back and forth through time. For example, when in the past, you can plant a seed and when you come back to the future, that seed becomes a giant tree. So that’s the key innovation of the game’s puzzle design.
A: That sounds interesting! How long has the game been in development for?
F: We’ve been working on this game full time for a year and a half.
A: So definitely a lot of time and energy has gone into it.
F: I actually have two full-time jobs right now [laughs].
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A: Very busy! So why did you choose this art style?
F: So this is a pixel art Chinese style and as this is our first game, pixel art is a good way to approach it. 3D is probably a bit too difficult for us to start with. Also, we’re trying to use pixels to render ink painting, and we believe that makes it a unique approach and style. I hope people can check out the graphics.
A: Absolutely! In regards to the Nintendo Switch port, have you considered any Switch features like HD Rumble or touchscreen?
F: That’s a good question! We currently have a lot of drawing puzzles; for instance, you’ll need to draw a seal on a tree and it’s a very specific pattern in order to solve the puzzle, so I think that can be done with touchscreen controls. We haven’t thought about this in detail but it’s definitely something to consider in the future.
A: Can you please tell us a little bit more about the game’s development and some of the challenges you’ve had? Especially since this is your first game, you must have found it quite challenging.
F: Yes, definitely. When you play a game, sometimes you think, ‘oh, this game is crap, I can make a much better game!’ but when you get to design your own game, you’ll soon find that it’s actually really challenging. We started working on The Rewinder about a year and a half ago and we tried a careful approach to the puzzle design but after we designed them, we found that they were just not interesting. We didn’t know how to design a game, but we knew the experience of playing one. We did this approach many times and we finally have a good build for PAX. The most challenging part of the game’s development was the localisation because we are trying to present the western audience with the Chinese culture and mythology as a lot of things just do not exist in the western world, but we want to get the translation just right so that they can understand.
A: Will you be handling the translation yourself?
F: I did the translation for the demo version, but we hope to find a professional team to handle that for the final release.
A: We’d like to acknowledge everyone that’s involved with the game’s development, can you tell us about your team?
F: We are currently a team of two. I founded this studio a year and a half ago and I handle the story, puzzle design, I talk with my artist (Zac) and I write the code. Zac is our artist who did a really good job at rendering this game. He also helps me out with the puzzle design.
A: Fantastic! When can we expect to play The Rewinder on Nintendo Switch?
F: To be honest, we are currently fully focussed on the PC build, but we do have a plan to release it on the Switch. We can’t provide a definite date at this time, but the plan is in place.
A: And is there anything else that you’d like to let our readers know?
F: Going into PAX, I was a little concerned as to how the western audience would react to this game, but we’ve just completed the first day and we’ve been completely overwhelmed and received great feedback. So I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has shown interest in our game.
A: And thank you for bringing your game to PAX.
F: Thank you so much!
A: And for those who were unable to attend PAX, where can they go to learn more about The Rewinder?
F: So we’ve already got our Steam page up, and we’re also on Twitter @xinyu217 where will we update all of our news and progress. Please check it out.
A: Thank you so much for your time today, Felix.
F: Thank you so much.
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