Earlier this year adventure game developer Frogwares formed a second studio called Waterlily Games to focus entirely on casual titles. Waterlily’s first project is to develop the sequel to Frogwares’ popular point-and-click adventure Dracula: Origin with a casual twist. The result is Dracula: Love Kills, a game that picks up from where Dracula: Origin left off with gameplay that now incorporates hidden object scenes as well as adventure-style exploration. Gamezebo spoke with Frogwares about the new studio and the ongoing development of Dracula: Love Kills.
Dracula: Love Kills will be the debut game from Frogwares’ casual studio Waterlily Games. Tell us more about Waterlily Games and how its game development strategy is different from Frogwares.
Waterlily is dedicated to the casual audience, while Frogwares concentrates on the core audience of adventure games. When we started to develop casual games, 4 years ago, the difference in the audiences wasn’t clear to us compared to the nature of the games themselves. But, game after game, two different ways of developing them began to emerge: adventures and casuals, with some common elements and also some very different ones. Naturally, inside the company two different teams arose, so it was also natural that they got different names. The new studio is called Waterlily and is in charge of developing all our casual games on PC, Mac, iOS and Nintendo 3DS.
In terms of story and plotline, how is Dracula: Love Kills connected to Dracula Origin?
It’s a sequel to Dracula: Origin with the same main characters: Van Helsing, Mina, Igor and Count Dracula himself. The surrounding atmosphere is sealed with blood and romance, fatality and love.
The main storyline is certainly the eternal conflict between Good and Evil. The Evil is artful and ugly, though, hiding behind a seductive Queen of Vampires; the Good is harsh and extreme, it will go all the way, sacrificing its own life.
Also, as with Dracula: Origin, the new game is distinguished by the depth and counterpoint of action juxtaposed with picturesque locations and scenes. Gothic backgrounds are built into puzzles and HOGs; players will have to rely on their wits during the whole game.
Dracula: Love Kills represents the entwining of life and death.
Do you expect fans of your point-and-click adventure games to play Dracula: Love Kills as well, or is it intended for a brand new audience?
The audience of 2.5D adventure games is decreasing constantly. In every country, the demographic is changing, and the new platforms have had a lot of influence on the audience erosion. It doesn’t make sense for us to propose games of that kind anymore in terms of market.
We believed that if there was to be a sequel to Dracula: Origin, it wouldn’t have been on the Frogwares side, but more on the Waterlily side. The casual audience at Big Fish Games loved Dracula: Origin. The game has internal assistance and accessibility that fills the gap between adventure and casual audiences, while the story and atmosphere of the game resonate well with the casual players.
So, it’s aimed more at a new audience that already knows the brand very well.
Are there any fun or interesting stories you can share about the development process of Dracula: Love Kills?
The Waterlily team is composed of 70% women, and we had a lot of brainstorming at the beginning of the game about the atmosphere, the relations between the characters and so on. After many arguments, we ended up asking everyone what they would want if they were in the position of Mina. Women usually think that the Dracula character is pretty hot, and our girls replied generally that they would gladly bring him home and get bitten by him. We had a lot of laughs in the meeting room after that, when one of the guys quickly exited and came back dressed as Dracula himself trying to convince one (or more?) girls to take him home.
Do you have any plans to develop or port games to other platforms such as the iPad, Mac App Store or Android?
Frogwares and Waterlily Games are very committed to the mobile space. One of our games, Secret Mission: The Forgotten Island, was already ported to iPhone and iPad, and now it’s in the first place at Big Fish Games Top 10. Meanwhile we continue porting our latest casual titles for iPad. Currently you can play our Mac games through Big Fish Games portal / App Store, and we are also researching the possibility of working with Google on Android.