Interview with Anthony Case of Call of the Wild

Call of the Wild

I came across this amazing game on Kickstarter. Call of the Wild it is called. After trying out the demo I was really amazed just how much thought went into the game.
Call of the Wild is a mysterious narrative-driven, randomised wilderness survival game, for Windows and Mac PC’s, made by Anthony Case.

Call of the Wild is a mysterious narrative-driven, randomised wilderness survival game, for Windows and Mac PC’s, made by Anthony Case. Your big enemy will be your staminabar and the upcoming winter. You are to discover why you got in this magical realm and will have to find a way to escape it. The game has a great story with a lot of humour. The game is a metaphor for finding mental and emotional closure in trying times.

The simple yet, fantastic looking graphics combined with funny texts, a deep storyline, well worked-out gameplay and the ambient music, make it really worthwhile.

The game engine in use is capable of rendering the retro graphics with a modern lightning look, which gives it a great immersive feeling.

As winter is so important in this game (you will have to survive it), the game will include seasosn. The seasonal changes will have a big impact on everything in the game. From graphical changes where you will see snow and ice, to the direct effect on the gameplay where you will have to come up with different solutions to get your decent amount of food and a warm fire to survive the next night. Not doing so might cause you to catch a flue or worse and this could mean game-over to you.

I would like to thank Anthony Case, the creator of the game, for taking time to answer these questions.

1. Please tell us more about yourself and your knowledge in game development.
Well I played a lot of video games growing up so moving into designing them felt like a natural progression really. I’m not much of a coder at all so I’ve had to rely on existing tools to create stuff. My first design experiences were with Klik n Play where I made a bunch of simple top-down shooters, before much later moving on to making maps and mods for existing games like Unreal Tournament. I then moved on to making freeware with GameMaker, before being inspired by other indies to try and make it my career.

2. What inspired you to create the game “Call of the Wild”.

Generally a lot of different things inspire my games that I then try and pool together to form something more coherent. The biggest influence on “Call of the Wild” was probably the Ray Mears TV programmes where he travels to areas of wilderness showing bushcraft skills. The various wilderness lands around the world are pretty magical in their beauty which is something I wanted to try and encapsulate in the game.

3. How long have you worked on your game so far?

It’s hard to say since “Call of the Wild” is based on one of my earlier freeware games which I used to tend to work on quite sporadically. I’d say a good few months… it doesn’t sound much but the graphics are pretty simple and it’s extremely quick to make games with GameMaker once you’re used to it.

4. What made you choose to develop the game style in retro?

Timescale mostly and I’m not all that much of an artist either. I’m doing everything myself and I knew I wanted to add a wide variety of landscapes so just to get the project finished in a reasonable amount of time I couldn’t do something like spend a month carefully spriting each area. Perhaps I’ll do a HD remake some day in the distant future, who knows…

5. Will the game contain enemies/combat system?

Nope there won’t be any combat, but on occasion there will be a ‘thing’ you have to run from. It’s not the focus of the game though, I see it much more of a puzzle game really.

6. Will it be possible to play multiplayer?

I don’t think so. The story is meant to be more of a personal experience really. I’m not even sure co-op would be all that fun.

7. Will there be multiple solutions to win the game?

Yep. Although there’s a single end-goal, a lot of the gameplay is randomly generated so there’s many different ways of using the resources you find.

8. Will our choices reflect on the ending of the game?

I’m only planning on doing one ‘succesful’ ending right now… but I’ll definitely look at doing more. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do with the core of the game, but I’m open to suggestions for most things.

9. Please do share your most memorable/funny moments while developing the game.

Oh my, I don’t know. I guess a bit of trivia is that the ‘death’ area where you go when you run out of stamina was inspired by a bug where none of the graphics show except the player and the sky blue background. I Just thought the dreamy plainness looked visually interesting in contrast to the wild forests so I found a way of squeezing it in.

10. Will we see your game on gaming consoles? (Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft)

Ha! I doubt it. They aren’t really interested in us lowly solo-indies…
To me this game really sounds fantastic check it out on and pledge on http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/caiys/call-of-the-wild-0

The Game Mistress

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