The Dracula Files, Developer Diary #1

My name is Greg Zesinger and I am the Product Manager at eGames, and one of the designers of the upcoming hidden object adventure, The Dracula Files.  While the game won’t be available until the second half of the year, the good folks at Gamezebo have graciously allowed us to present you with an ongoing developer blog giving you some insight into the making of the game.  I am anxious to hear your comments and questions, so make sure to post them in the Dracula Files forum on this site, and I’ll look to address them in future editions of the blog.

That being said, a press release is going out today announcing the game’s development to the world.  As a publicly-traded company, eGames likes to share good news with its stockholders, and we all feel The Dracula Files qualifies!  We also are announcing that fans can follow the latest game news on The Dracula Files Facebook and Twitter pages.  You’ll get deeper insight here on the blog, but I would definitely encourage you to check them out, and interact with the game’s villain, Vladimir Draco!  More on him later.

So obviously right now, with recent and upcoming movies, books, and television series popping up, vampires are a hot subject.  We’ve had the idea for a Dracula-based game for quite a while, but weren’t initially sure if a more supernatural based game would resonate with casual gamers.  However, strong performances from titles like G.H.O.S.T. Hunters: The Haunting of Majesty Manor, Blood Ties, and of course, the Ravenhearst games helped make our decision to move forward easier.

So what kind of game is it? The Dracula Files belongs to the growing genre of hidden object/adventure hybrids. There will definitely be items you’ll need to find, but the hope is that the majority of the items will make contextual sense. You’ll add some items to your inventory and use them to solve different puzzles. You’ll also be challenged by a mix of traditional and unique mini-games in your quest to end the reign of the lord of the undead once and for all.

So about that lord of the undead…didn’t he perish in the original Bram Stoker novel over a hundred years ago? As most know, a good vampire is hard to keep down. In The Dracula Files, you’ll play the part of the descendants of the Van Helsing and Harker families who originally laid Dracula to rest. As part of this blog, I am going to reveal some of my pre-development research, part of which involved interviewing various individuals who might serve as good subject matter for the game.

My first interview is with none other than Vladimir Draco, whom I met with at his winery in Napa Valley, California. He insisted on an evening appointment for some reason.

GZ: Mr. Draco, I appreciate the opportunity to interview you.

Draco: My pleasure. I do apologize for the late hour, but it is nearly impossible to rip me away from my daily routine.

GZ: No problem, so how long have you run this winery?

Draco: Draco Winery has been in my family for generations.

GZ: I understand that up until recently, the winery was struggling, but within the past year or so, you’ve generated enough money to replace the main buildings with a replica East European castle?

Draco: Yes, this is true. While much of the country struggles in the recession, our business has been booming. I find that even in the worst of times, humans are reluctant to give up their wine.

GZ: But surely a boom in the wine business alone wouldn’t fund the construction of such an elaborate castle?

No, you are quite astute. We recently introduced a brand new product line to a hungry market. You could say they were absolutely dying to be serviced. The results have been extremely lucrative. Which reminds me, what was your blood type again?

GZ: Um… I’m not sure.

Draco: I would guess a B+.

We’ll stop here for now (where it was starting to get a little creepy), but I will include additional excerpts from my interviews in the coming weeks. Be sure to check out the concept art of Draco we’re posting here! (We’re probably going to go with the touch of gray in his beard – what do you think?)

For now, I look forward to reading your comments, and please let me know if you have any questions. As development is ongoing, I obviously can’t reveal everything, but I will do my best to keep you up to date on the latest from The Dracula Files. Till next time, keep your wolfsbane watered and your stakes sharpened!

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

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