LucasArts veteran Bill Tiller brings new adventure title to mobile
The adventure genre has seen a bit of an upswing in recent times. With Telltale Games and Double Fine’s recent efforts helping to revitalize the genre, a new generation of gamers are experiencing a type of game that was once relegated to a niche audience. The adventure genre has also proven to be a natural fit for the mobile space, which sees many ports and recreations of classic titles. But now, we’ve got brand new title to keep an eye on.
During this year’s Game Developers Conference, I got the chance to check out an upcoming adventure title, The Perils of Man, from former LucasArts developer Bill Tiller, who worked on such classic titles as The Dig, Full Throttle, The Curse of Monkey Island, and A Vampyre Story. And this one seeks to recreate and renew the wonder from the genre’s past.
Developed by IF Games, The Perils of Man takes players on an adventure through time as Ana Eberling, who must uncover the mystery behind the disappearance of her father and other members of her family. While exploring her family mansion, she uncovers a secret lab possessing technology for time travel. Following clues left behind by her father, she travels to various areas in the past looking for answers.
During your adventure, you’ll collect clues, interact with the environment, and talk with NPC characters to uncover the mystery. With lead writer and designer for 1954: Alcatraz Gene Mocsy providing the story, IF Games wanted to illustrate the narrative’s density while at the same time giving players the opportunity to find solutions to puzzles and other obstacles.
“We wanted to convey depth and richness for the dialog,” said producer Nathan Ornick. “There’s a number of opportunities for investigation, and more dialog trees open up revealing more about the characters, and it shows just how much depth is there for interaction.”
Initially, players will explore the family mansion, using wits and other neat tricks to solve the mystery but, eventually, Ana and her clockwork bird companion will travel back in time to such locations as Chicago, London, and the South China Sea. With every new location, the investigation changes up and interactions with characters become more difficult, as Ana’s modern-day personality doesn’t necessarily mesh well with others in the past.
The developers of The Perils of Man were keen on creating a game that was rich in story content, but also one that is accessible and intuitive to control. IF Games went with iOS, as it can provide both. “We knew this would be a game we wanted to release onto mobiles first — it’s been designed from the bottom up for touch interface,” said Ornick. “The interface fits for point-and-click-style games, but also the way you interact with this narrative game. It’s very much like a story book.”
I fancy myself an admirer of the adventure genre, and this title seems to channel much of the charm and magic from the past. One of the benefits of this adventure game renaissance we’re in now is that we’re seeing a lot of talent return to the genre, and The Perils of Man looks to be another charming, fun title for devotees of the genre.
Currently, a demo of The Perils of Man is out now on the App Store for the iPad. The full game, clocking in at around 10-12 hours of length, is expected for release sometime this summer for the iPad and other Apple devices.