Howdy folks, it’s time once again for another edition of The Dracula Files Developer Diary with eGames Product Manager Greg Zesinger (that’s me). As always, follow us on Twitter and Facebook for your chance to win some very cool Dracula-related swag! We last awarded one copy of The Complete Dracula #1 comic book to a lucky Twitter minion, and this week we’ll be giving away at least one advance reader copy of Dracula: The Un-dead, the Stoker family-endorsed sequel to the original classic, set for release in October.

We’re nearing the home stretch in the game’s development, with only a few things left to add before we put it through strenuous QA (quality assurance) testing. While QA testing will focus more on the technical side of the game, making sure we squash any bugs and test for compatibility with as many computer setups as possible, we’ve also been working with a group of passionate casual game fans to help us "field test" The Dracula Files. We call this group the eGames Casual Gamer Advisory Board, and they are instrumental in pointing out areas of the game that might, for example, be too dark or just plain confusing. I am really enjoying working with them, and hope that by opening our game up to them early in our development process, we will be able to deliver a more satisfying experience to all of our casual game fans.

Through working with the group, we have scenes that start out like this:

…and change into this:

We’re continuing to give all of our levels a makeover as needed to make sure in addition to creating a game with a dark and spooky atmosphere, it’s not so gloomy and poorly-lit as to frustrate even the most dedicated vampire hunter!

We’re also almost done implementing the mini-games. Here’s a teaser image of one of the games Quinn and Michael used to play when they were kids:

Finally, as we near the end of development, I wanted to post my interview with the last of the key players in the game, reporter Mark Roberts.

GZ: Thanks for meeting with me, Mark. I understand you are good friends with Quinn and Michael Harker?

MR: Yes, I’ve known them for several years. Mike and I were roommates in college for a while, and Quinn hung out with us quite a bit.

GZ: I understand you are on the trail of a big news story?

MR: Yes, I’m looking into the disappearances of several tourists, mostly young women, in and around Napa Valley. It’s been going on for a few months.

GZ: Do you have any leads?

MR: Maybe something. There is this winery out there, built like a castle. The owner is very mysterious, hardly ever seen. I’ve been talking to eyewitnesses and people in the area, and I’m starting to think that the winery is involved somehow.

GZ: You wouldn’t be talking about Draco Winery, would you?

MR: Yes, do you know it?

GZ: I was actually there a few weeks back, interviewing Vladimir Draco for a project I’m working on.

MR: Notice anything suspicious?

GZ: Aside from the pale complexion, oversized canines, and the distinct feeling he was envisioning a giant juice box every time he looked at me? Not that I recall.

That’s it for now! We’re getting close! Keep your questions and comments coming on the Gamezebo forum and check us on Twitter and Facebook to win prizes! Till next time, remember to be home before dark and whatever you do, don’t look in the closet!

Chat about The Dracula Files developer blogs in The Dracula Files forum.

Previous Developer Diaries:
The Dracula Files, Developer Diary #1
The Dracula Files, Developer Diary #2
The Dracula Files, Developer Diary #3
The Dracula Files, Developer Diary #4
The Dracula Files, Developer Diary #5