Video Games / Interview

Dev on Dev: Dave Gedarovich (Noir Syndrome)

Dev on Dev: Dave Gedarovich (Noir Syndrome)

I recently got the chance to sit down with Dave Gedarovich, whom is the the developer behind Noir Syndrome. Details about the game can be found below. Features: - Procedural generation: Murder mystery scenarios with a new culprit and clues each time, every play-through is unique. - Permanent choices: NPCs, interactions, death, and a slew of other features will all persist until a new game is started. Every action counts! - Notebook: Collect vital clues in the detective’s notebook to help narrow down suspects and solve the case. - Investigation: Interact with and examine numerous objects and characters in a number of environments in the search for more information on the killer. - Countdown: Given a set number of days to solve the mystery, each area visited will decrement the time left, adding to the urgency of every case. - Freedom of choice: Attempt to solve the case, or live out your remaining time doing as you please – be it fighting the law, going after gang members, or just seeing the city. - Gunplay: Combat is generally to be avoided as a single bullet will take down the player. However, when necessary, the revolver is always available for use. - Badges: Complete a variety of challenges to earn unique badges which directly influence future playthroughs. - Statistics and Scores: Statistics and high scores for a wide variety of topics will persist through every game. — Justin (Pixel Gate): Hey there, David. I’d like to thank you for taking the time to do this little interview with me. Noir Syndrome seems like a really cool concept, and I imagine some of our readers on the site will be interested in the project too. Can you tell us where this idea came from? David Gedarovich: I can’t really say there was a direct influence for this game. I had always been interested in film noir, especially detective stories. In addition to that, my past games have all used procedural generation to some degree. If you’re wondering, some of my favorite noir films include: Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, and Rear Window. I was playing around with a few concepts for a new game when it suddenly struck me that I couldn’t think of any notable procedurally-generated mysteries. I thought it would be an interesting challenge, and a very good use of procedural generation. It just sort of struck me out of the blue. I decided to use my prior knowledge of mysteries and film noir to produce an engaging world that set up the scaffolding for the real gameplay elements. Justin: That’s a really neat idea. I can safely say that to my knowledge I haven’t seen anything like it. I also noticed that the game will have permanent consequences/choices from what players do in-game. Can you shed some more light on these details, and what players could expect from this when they sit down to play? David: Thanks! I like to think I’m not copying anything out there, but there are probably some similar ideas floating around. The game basically remembers everything that happens within a single playsession. You can obviously save and quit and come back later, but anything else that “ends” the game will lead to a new world being created. All NPCs, suspects, clues, etc. are generated when the game begins. Some things, such as events happen while the player is playing. Even if you knew what the underlying architecture looked like when the game started, you would have no idea what would occur as time progresses. Any actions taken have a number of side-effects that persist throughout the world. For example, killing a civilian: Civilians in the area will instantly surrender to you. Any witnesses left alive will remember what you have done for the rest of the game. The police will become hostile and people will know what occured. If you happen to run in to any officers, they will be quick to fire upon you. Besides this, the NPC is completely removed from the game, thus preventing any possible interactions they could have had in the future. If the murderer had them on their list, they wouldn’t be able to carry out the crime, thus further influencing the sequence of events. This is just one small example, but I believe it illustrates things well enough. Justin: So, players should be able to expect a brand new experience every time they pick they up the game? That being said, in terms of content. What can players expect to do while exploring this world you have created? Mini-games, quests, collectibles, etc? David: Yep, every playthrough should be unique. The locations themselves don’t change but everything within them and all events do. I’ve setup the game so players can choose their own objectives. Many of them decide to forego the crime solving and simply go for the highest score. Some prefer to be the criminal themselves, other strive for money and power. The way the game is laid out, any of these are viable options. There are no explicit quests, but the player can pick up any tasks they choose that fit their playstyle. There is also a place to gamble, for those interested in that sort of mini-game. Collectibles are in the form of clues, suspects, and evidence for each game. As for things that persist throughout games, statistics are tracked for a large amount of things. Additionally, badges can be earned by completing challenges that allow the player to unlock starting bonuses. These bonuses are especially helpful in the harder difficulties. Justin: The more I hear about your game, the more intrigued I seem to get about it. Sounds great! Most indie devs look to get their games released on Steam through the Greenlight service. What are your plans in terms of release for Noir Syndrome, and what price-point should players expect to hop into this world? David: Glad it sounds interesting! While the Greenlight page for Noir Syndrome is going well, it doesn’t seem like it will make it through in the very near future unless it receives some major spikes. While that campaign continues, I plan to release the game at the end of the month on glassknuckle.com, Desura, the Humble Store, and Google Play. Prices are not final, but expected to be around $7 for the game, $10 for the special edition with the OST included. Justin: That’s not too bad. So, standard pricing for an indie game. Last question. As a fellow developer I have a choice beverage that I drink during game development, etc. What is your choice beverage when sitting down for those long dev sessions? David: I’ll have to pick the typical answer here and say coffee. An iced coffee and some snacks will get me through a few good hours of development. If it’s a late night, I usually prefer tea or water however. White and red teas are especially good. Haha. Justin: Coffee is pretty great! It’s either that or Dr. Pepper for me. I’d like to thank you for doing this interview. I can safely say I’m excited for the game. Can’t wait to get my paws on it. David: Dr. Pepper is pretty good as well. For sure, thanks for the interview. Hope you dig it when it drops in a few weeks! — You can track the development of Noir Syndrome here. Also, be sure to check out the game’s Greenlight page....