As mentioned in our review, Rite of Passage: Child of the Forest is one of the best Hidden Object Adventure titles this year. With awesome visuals, engaging story and clever gameplay - Rite of Passage 2 is surely unforgettable. We had a chance to got in touch with Nenad Tomic, the game producer at Mad Head Games to talk about the game in more depths.
It is indeed very clear that you have put so much effort into the game. Please tell us a bit more about how Mad Head Games is founded and your love of casual games.
Mad Head Games is the result of a long search for our place under the sun. Long before we became Mad Head Games, we spent years on various outsourcing projects, which were painful - since we were not working on our own games - but at the same time extremely useful because we gained a lot of experience working on games from many different genres, platforms, levels of complexity, etc. Honestly, just before we decided to start working on HOPA games none of us had prior involvement with the genre, but through exploration of these games we learned that they are the perfect ground to deliver these great, complex stories and push our artistic expression to the limit, so we decided to try and make something different. As it turned out, it was the coolest idea ever, because suddenly we started making games which "ordinary" people (not necessarily gamers) enjoyed and we could show our games to our friends and families and have them acutely wish to sit down and play. So, we grew to love the reactions of the casual audie
What is your inspiration to create Rite of Passage, since the first one?
When we started working on Rite of Passage we were fighting a battle on two fronts - one was to develop a technology from scratch and a workflow which would allow us to materialize our ideas, and the second was to learn how to successfully transfer story into a playable game. Our primary goal was to create a storyline that is deeper and more layered than your typical HOPA plot. We wanted to create a nostalgic feel of mid XX century and tell a dark story concerning deep personal dilemmas that lurk within each of us. At first, we wanted to exclude any supernatural phenomena, but our bias towards fantasy (luckily) led us away from this path and hence Rite of Passage franchise was born. The sequel follows the idea from the first part - an ordinary person is dragged into a paranormal situation which transforms her personality from an everyday person into a true hero.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
There are actually two challenges and I cannot make up my mind which one is more difficult: whether to make a visually impressive game and still maintain low hardware requirements and size of the game, and the other is to design and try all new features and still manage to complete the game in an acceptable time frame. Both of these things need to be taken care of if you aim to make a really good game.
What is 'unique' about Child of the Forest, that makes it worth playing?
First, I think the story is much more mature and unpredictable. Second, we've done a lot to explore, develop, test and deliver new gameplay mechanics that would turn "your everyday HOPA" into something bigger. And it turned out that it was good call and investment. New features of the game are very much appreciated among our audience, and it seems to me that aside from the awesome visuals, this is the biggest treat that the game offers. We've also added not one but two bonus games, which is very uncommon in this type of games.
How long it took you to develop the game?
As any love child, it took it whole nine months from inception to the moment it saw the light of the day :)
What do you think is the most important aspect of a HOPA game?
The most important thing with any game is to understand your audience. Since our audience plays games mostly for relaxation, it is critical to find a sweet spot somewhere between it being too relaxing and too challenging, and at the same time create a believable world in which players cam immerse themselves.
Are there any upcoming projects or sequels currently under development that you would like to share with us and the readers?
The third installment of ROP franchise is already in the production, and aside from that we plan something completely different for the Q3 of 2013 - our new franchise: Nevertales. We have a sneak preview of the game inside ROP2, so make sure you check that out as well!