Greetings casual game fans!  It’s time for another installment of The Dracula Files Developer Diary.  As always, I’m Greg Zesinger, eGames Product Manager and your host as we tiptoe through the development of our upcoming vampire-themed hidden object adventure.

When last we spoke, I was gearing up for Casual Connect in Seattle, along with one of our top producers, Kevin Bonner.  The show includes many interesting seminars and lectures on the casual game space, but is also one of the best times of the year to meet face to face with your portal partners and discuss upcoming games and strategies.  The show is usually a whirlwind, and we had many instances of back-to-back-to back meetings.  As part of our meetings, we used a brief Dracula Files Powerpoint presentation (which I incidentally finished on the flight to Seattle) to talk a bit about the game’s story, art, and marketing.

Our meetings went very, very well, and we are excited about the level of enthusiasm our partners have for the upcoming game.  Perhaps giving our partners glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth had something to do with it.

I am particularly excited about our early marketing efforts.  One of our early goals with The Dracula Files was to build awareness for the game early and maintain interest through to launch.  Since you are reading this blog, we are doing at least something right!  However, we want to continue increasing the excitement surrounding the game, so we are working with some very cool companies to provide us with prizes for Dracula Files-oriented giveaways.

We officially announced Dynamite Entertainment as one of the companies through a national press release a few weeks back.  They are comic book publishers and are currently producing a five-issue series called The Complete Dracula.  The Complete Dracula, written by John Reppion and Leah Moore, faithfully tells the story of Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel in its entirety for the first time in comic book form.  You can find out more about the series here.

Beginning this week, we’ll start giving away some prizes, initially through Twitter, so if you aren’t following us there yet, please climb aboard and follow Vladimir Draco.  He promises he won’t bite, but I’m pretty sure he’s lying.

Good luck!  Now, it’s time for some Q&A.  As always, please feel free to submit your questions and feedback to The Dracula Files forum on here.

Our first question comes from nevik02, who uses a left-handed mouse setup, and worries that our game could override the setting, making mini-games requiring dexterity or swift reaction times very difficult.  We will definitely look into that, but on the same note, we are not planning to have any “twitchy” mini-games (although “Whack-A-Vampire was briefly considered).  You should be able to finish them playing left or right-handed without a problem.

Many of you, including cspmbs2 and solarsarah, want an update on the release date.  As of now, we are still tracking for late September/early October.  Just in time for Halloween!

And finally, in the next edition of our interview series, I wanted to get another perspective on the infamous Vladimir Draco.  I turned to his stoic assistant, David, to flesh out the details.

GZ: I wondered if you could answer a few questions about Mr. Draco.

David:  I suppose that would be acceptable.

GZ:  Thanks.  What’s your last name again?

D:  David is fine.

GZ:  Okay, so what is it like working for Mr. Draco?

D: It is an honor.  Master Draco is a great great man.

GZ:  How so?

D:  He runs this winery with an iron fist, yet inspires great loyalty.  He is loved by his employees and feared by his competitors.  The products created under his watchful care are without measure.

GZ: It sounds like you’ve said that before.  Is that from a script?

D:  …No.

GZ:  Wow, I had no idea he was such an inspiring figure.

D:  Oh yes, in almost every way, he is the perfect leader for our cause.

GZ:  Your cause?

D:  Expansion.  Master Draco will not rest until all are subjected to his will…speaking purely in wine industry terms, of course.

GZ:  Of course…and you say he is the perfect leader…in ALMOST every way?

D:  (at this point, David glances around nervously)  Err…no, you misheard me.  His power and business acumen are absolute.

We’ll stop there for now.  I’ll end by giving you a sneak peek at Draco’s office.  Will tweak it a little more, but that is a pretty good look at where Draco spends much of his time scheming and plotting.  Until next time, remember a clove of garlic a day keeps the vampires away (in theory, anyway)!

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