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Hotel "At a Lost Climber" Q&A
(hx) 07:41 AM EST - Dec,05 2004

Gameguru Mania got a chance to talk with Akella's producer & acquisition manager Andrey Batanoff as he talks about Hotel 'At a Lost Climber': Inspector Glebsky's Puzzle, their upcoming non-linear point&click 3D adventure game based on the original story by famous Russian sci-fiction writers Strugatsky Brothers. Hotel "At a Lost Climber" will be released in Q4/2005.

GGMania: Could you introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a little bit about what you do on Hotel "At a Lost Climber"? What games have you made previously?

Andrey Batanoff: Hi. My name is Andrey Batanoff and I am producing, helping creating game design and concept for Hotel "At a Lost Climber".

GGMania: I've seen Hotel "At a Lost Climber" movie many years ago, so I don't remember much what's the movie about. Can you explain the basic plot for this upcoming adventure game?

Andrey Batanoff: First of all, we are developing game based on novel, not a movie. Movie was not really good adaptation of this great story, you know.
There's short description of the movie from official Strugatsky brothers' web-site: "Urgently called, the police inspector has arrived in a hotel, and didn't find any crime, but noticed some strangeness occurring there. He has decided to leave, but a snow avalanche is crushed in the mountains, making it impossible for him to leave. Soon, inspector has found a body of a dead lodger. Everyone who lives in the hotel is under suspicion..."
Currently we don't really clarify itself our position with scenario of the future game. It is possible that we will just follow the original story, or we will make some kind of sequel. Boris Strugatsky currently insists on sequel. I am sure in one thing - all happens in the same place, like just in story and the movie.

GGMania: How is Boris Strugatsky involved into the creation process?

Andrey Batanoff: Our company has long-term partnership with Boris Strugatsky. I want point on that we are developing not only "Hotel", we are also developing "Hard to be a God" (working title) RPG based on Strugatsky Brothers' famous same name novel. He is our consultant and he really helps us keep atmosphere of his stories in our games. I hope we will continue our cooperation in future.

GGMania: Is the game linear or nonlinear?

Andrey Batanoff: Hotel "At a Lost Climber" will have nonlinear story.

GGMania: Is the game primarily adventure or does it have action components?

Andrey Batanoff: I think, it will be primarily adventure game, not action. Maybe there will be some little action puzzles. But we don't want to discourage any adventure games fans.

GGMania: Can we expect similar atmosphere like in Benoit Sokal's Syberia?

Andrey Batanoff: As I write before, we are trying to move unique atmosphere of Strugatsky Brothers story to this game.

GGMania: The press release claims that "the gameplay is based on the "living world" concept". Can you explain it?

Andrey Batanoff: Did you played The Last Express? In this game all characters were independent from the player - they just lived in the train itself as it hurtles through Europe. We will try doing the same thing in Hotel, but with much advancement. It will be "real-time" quest, if you understand me. I cannot tell you more details, sorry.

GGMania: What kinds of puzzles are primarily found in the game?

Andrey Batanoff: It is too early to disclose these details.

GGMania: Will it use mouse for inventory management and manipulating things in the environment or is it all keyboard controlled?

Andrey Batanoff: I personally don't like adventure games that use only keyboard. Except, maybe, Grim Fandango - Grim was an excellent game so it was easier to forgive the keyboard interface :) At the moment the mouse is the best computer interface for adventure games. Certainly, the keyboard is not! So, In Hotel player will control things only with mouse.

GGMania: What can you tell us about the engine that is being used for the game?

Andrey Batanoff: The game uses our own in-house graphical engine, which was created specially for adventure kind of games. In the game, there will be many weather effects and day/night changes. I don't know what else to say about graphical specs in adventure game :)

GGMania: Who is doing the voice acting for the game?

Andrey Batanoff: We are planning to invite some popular Russian actors for voice work, however, I don't know yet who will act our characters in English.

GGMania: What type of music will be played during the missions?

Andrey Batanoff: We don't know yet...hard to say.

GGMania: What's the current status of the project, and what remains to be done? When will it be released?

Andrey Batanoff: As I told here, we had started developing of this game few months ago. Currently we are developing a scenario and making game locations concepts. Release date - End of 2005.

GGMania: What is your personal favorite game? Least favorite game?

Andrey Batanoff: My favorite? Fallout, Broken Sword and Grim Fandango. Last good game I've played is Half-Life 2. Most disappointing game? Probably Doom3 and Master of Orion 3.

GGMania: Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. Is there anything else you'll like to tell our readers about

Andrey Batanoff: I just want to add, that I'd advise you to read at least one Strugatsky Brothers book.

Ed.note: I would recommend to read ROADSIDE PICNIC. It was the first book of A.& B.Strugatsky I've read when I was 15. After that I have re-read it 2 or 3 times. Brilliant thing about the meaning of life, about the place of human being, about happiness and despair. You can understand this, if you understand in what country this book was written. I'm Czech, so it's easy for me to understand the ideas behind the story. Developing the theme of postcommunist society, authors have created their own world, and you can find a lot of analogies and heroes that are common for some other books of them. Yes, Picnic is one of the best, but don't stop - there are other exciting works such as Beetle in an Anthill, Monday Begins on Saturday, Hard to Be a God and of course Inspector Glebsky's Puzzle. Sadly, I don't have this one in my library.

genre: point&click 3D adventure
release: 2005/Q4
developer: Akella

last 10 comments:

xxxx(11:27 AM EST - Dec,10 2004 )
Graphics look ok, game looks and sounds like it will be boring as hell.

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