The Season of the Warlock

Javier Cadenas on how The Season of the Warlock is closer than ever

Classic-style point-and-click graphic adventure The Season of the Warlock has been a long time coming but it looks like the season will finally arrive sooner than later. In this Gamelab 2023 Indie Showcase interview enComplot's founder and designer shares the status of the project and how it's been inspired by the best of its kind, but with a very personal twist to the story and the genre's traditional moon logic.

Audio transcription

"We're at Gamelab 2023 in Barcelona. This is the Indie Sunset event and it's getting later.
It's almost at night. You can hear the house in the background, the house music.
It's such a nice space to learn more about the indie projects that you guys are showcasing."

"One of them is yours. It's a graphic adventure that's been developed for many years now.
What's the status of the project? Because I think we learned about it some time ago.
It's looking nice and I like the lore of it. So what can you tell us about that?
The game is almost completed. It's in the later stages of development."

"It's a game about an aristocrat who is obsessed with the occult.
He goes to the eastern region of Gruldavia to try to find proof of the existence of a warlock years ago.
There he will find a portrait of the warlock who eventually starts talking to him and explaining about this curse that was cast upon him.
If you want to prove that he existed back in the day, you should fulfill the revenge that he claimed while he was being burned in the fire."

"That's how the story starts.
The story of the development of the game itself started, as I said, many years ago.
At which point do you feel like you guys are now? I know it's a small studio, just a few guys.
You've been doing this on your own for so much time, for so long."

"At which point would you say you are? When can we expect the game to be ready?
When can we have fans of graphic point-and-click adventures enjoy this game?
Well, hopefully we will finish this year, the development, and we want to find a release window for next year.
But there's already a demo since a couple of years ago on Steam that everybody can play and have a look at how the game's progressing, which is in its full glory, you know, with voiceover, with the final music, with final graphics, etc."

"And that's how we're doing so far.
How tricky it is to create a point-and-click adventure nowadays?
We've seen some sort of peaks in interest with point-and-click adventures through time.
Sometimes they're trendy all over again, sometimes nobody wants to know about it, especially publishers."

"So, how do you feel about that? You guys wanted to create a classic style point-and-click adventure.
Yeah, here's the thing. We've been writing about adventure games as a press for many, many years.
We had a site that was running for around 15 years.
So, that's what we like. It's what we are specialized on."

"So, one day we thought, okay, it's enough of talking about adventure games.
Let's make one and see if what we say we like is what is actually working on the Nietzsche.
It's been hard on the publishing side because, as you say, publishers don't usually look into adventure games.
They don't actually know how to market them."

"And it's probably a niche too small for them.
But the health of the genre is quite good, actually.
So, you can make a living out of adventure games if you make them properly.
And you pay attention to what people love from the genre."

"So, we hope that we can find it in Nietzsche's people.
Because, as I said, we're making a game the way we would have liked to see when we wrote about them.
Tell me a little bit more about that. About the ingredients fans of the genre can expect here.
Like crazy, a little bit absurd puzzles."

"Crazy objects that you can combine.
Hilarious jokes and dialogue.
Very nice and deep characters, such as the warlock.
So, what can they expect in terms of these staples that you look for in a classic adventure game?
Well, mainly what you said."

"But on the absurd puzzles thing, what we try to do is...
I mean, I know a lot of people talk about this moon logic of adventure games.
And I don't fully agree with that.
I mean, I think that if you pay a lot of attention to internal logic, then that's not moon logic."

"If you properly contextualize the game, if you signpost everything properly, if you give enough clues to the players, they will understand how the design is working.
So, it can be crazy, but that doesn't mean it is absurd.
It doesn't make sense."

"You sort of guide them in a way to understand your rules, so that they come up with a solution.
Exactly. That's what we try to do.
And I think the demo shows pretty well.
The demo you said has been out for a couple of years?
Yeah, it's been out at first intermittently and then not on a temporary basis since around a year now."

"So, maybe they can play.
It's available on Steam, I guess.
So, players should look for...
The season of the Warlock.
Just check for the season of the Warlock and there's a big green button with the demo to download."

"And then in the future you expect it to...
I mean, of course, first it has to be done, it has to be finished, released on PC, and then you want it to release on more platforms.
Perhaps once it's done and released, you guys could probably look for a publisher to then convert it to other platforms?
We hope we can make a multi-platform release on day one."

"Okay, okay.
We're looking into it.
Our engine, which is Visionaire Studio, the same engine that Alec Entertainment used for games such as Deponia, for example, has native port capabilities."

"We can export directly to Switch to most of the main platforms.
For now, we're thinking on PC and Switch, but we're not sure about that.
We need to make tests and, as you say, the game needs to be finished first.
On the Switch you can point and click with your finger."

"That's pretty convenient.
Okay, closing one.
Anything really, really special?
Anything that is lots of fun or that is really obscure?
Something that you are proud of, that you want to highlight about the game for fans to look forward to it?
Yeah, the most distinctive feature of the game is that it's actually two games in one."

"Because we have it crazy and there's a crossroads point in just nearly the beginning of the game, just after the intro.
And then you choose, you can choose if you want to make a pact with the warlock that we were talking about or not.
And depending on what you choose, the main parts of the story arc are roughly the same themes.
The characters and the backgrounds are the same, but the goals of each branch change completely."

"And 100% of the puzzles change too.
So it's kind of like, as I said, two games in one.
Pretty similar to Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, in which you could choose.
But in our game, the puzzles are all different."

"There's no single puzzle which is the same in one branch and the other.
Okay, there you have it.
It's summertime, it's summer vibes, but it's also the season of the warlock.
So looking forward to learning more about the game."

"Good luck with the project, guys.
And looking forward to seeing it finished, probably this year, hopefully this year.
Thank you so much for your time.
It's really nice to meet you here."

"The same. Thanks to you.
Thank you."





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