An exclusive adventure interview with Dave Gilbert, founder of Wadjet Eye Games!

We've featured many of Wadjet Eye's games over the years from the very enjoyable ghostly adventure series of Blackwell, to the Apocalyptic Shardlight and my personal favorite Unavowed. In fact I don't remember an adventure game released via Wadjet Eye Games that I haven't enjoyed. Well here's were it gets interesting, as recently, our good friends Cola Powered Gamer had the opportunity to interview Dave Gilbert, the founder of Wadjet Eye Games; a company behind those brilliant titles with an exclusive interview and the challenges of game development.

-So, you started to develop commercial games in 2006, what made you decide to get into game development?

Actually, I developed several games before deciding to do it commercially in 2006. The Shivah was the first game developed commercially. I got interested in game development around 2001 and developed several smaller games, before doing my first commercial game.

-What was the hardest game that you worked on?

I would say Unavowed since there were so many character combinations that you could do in the game and all the different outcomes that would be created from them. In terms of the scope of the game, it was also the biggest one that we have developed so far.

- You manage a small team of people at Wadjet Eye. It consists of you, Ben, Francisco, Shelly, etc. Is it hard to manage Wadjet Eye?

Yes it's Ben and me, while Franciso is currently working on his own projects, and Shelly is our casting director. It isn't that difficult, and it's usually telling what goes where.

- Wadjet Eye also helped publish several games. What made you go into publishing?

I saw that I could help others finish their games. For a long time, I thought that I was doing them a favor, but instead, it was them that did me a favor since I got to learn so much from all the other talented developers. The way they deal with design, overcoming obstacles, and finding solutions. Right now, Wadjet Eye is publishing a new game, Strangeland.

- Is it harder to develop or to publish games?

I started helping others, giving them advice and direction, but eventually, I start to think, what about my games and then want to develop new games (😅). I remember when we published Gemini Rue, back in 2011, Joshua approached us with the basically finished game. Both my wife and I played it and were amazed that this young developer, created such an amazing game. It came to us at just the right time and helped put us on the map.

- All of your games were developed using AGS. Are we going to see some HD remasters?

Sadly, no. I was thinking of revisiting Blackwell Legacy, and doing it again and improving things, but every time something would change. It's best to keep Blackwell Legacy the game that I made in 2006, and it is what it is.

- Several rumors are going around that you're switching to Unity? Are you switching to Unity?

Technobabylon, was the first game that was considered to be made in Unity, as James Dearden previously worked on Unity. Ben and I after Unavowed wanted to make a game in Unity, and we just couldn't get into it. I can't remember who it was, maybe it was me, and I asked him "are you having fun?". It just wasn't fun, and we decided to get back to AGS since we already had experience with the software.

- You have been credited as the man who reignited the adventure game genre and brought back the adventure games that we needed. Would you agree?

(😂) Thank you, but I wouldn't agree. I'm thankful that people love my games and play them, but that's just too much praise.

- What was your biggest inspiration when it comes to developing games? People usually compare your video games, to those from LucasArts, Sierra, Infocom, etc.

I think that a lot of comparisons come from the graphics and the style of gameplay. One thing you need to know is, that I don't want to make a LucasArts or a Sierra game, but just make my own game. I'm not looking to emulate or recreate a game from a different era, and not pigeonhole myself, by tying myself to old games. But, if it reminds them of old games, then that's great.

- You don't use moon logic in your games, and your puzzles are usually more realistic. Is it hard coming up with a puzzle, that is both challenging and has a meaning in the overall story?

I'm not that good at designing puzzles to be honest, which why some people say that my games are a bit easy. While I do design puzzles, for the most part, I want to focus on telling a good story.

- In your last game Unavowed, you left a possibility for a sequel. Is there going to be a sequel?

I would love to do a sequel, but right now I'm so burned out. I would love to do a sequel to Unavowed, just as soon as the story is ready.

- Are all of your games going to be set in NYC, or are you gonna change the scenery eventually?

Never say never! (😂)

Obviously, I love NYC as I live and work in it, but as you might have noticed there aren't that many historical landmarks in the games. The biggest landmark in our games was the Wall Street Bull in Unavowed, but not focusing on landmarks so much, it made the city more lively and unique. There are parts of the city that I like, such as Central Park, or Roosevelt Island. I think I sent the players, to Roosevelt Island for no particular reason other than the fact that I love going there.

- What are you currently working on?

Currently, we're finishing helping out with Strangeland, which is coming soon, this year. It's about a man, being stuck in a perpetual nightmare carnival. It's being developed by the same guys that made Primordia. Abe Goldfarb naturally, voices one of the main characters (😂). Unavowed is coming to Nintendo Switch, which I'm very excited about, and also, I'm currently working on a new game "Old skies" involving time travel, that hopefully won't take too long to develop. Also, this time it's going to be in HD resolution, 1920x1080.

- And Lastly what is your advice for new, and up and coming developers?

I hate this question, as I'm not really the advice guy (😀). I would say start small and learn from others. Game jams are an excellent way to connect with other devs and see the way that other people deal with design and obstacles. Eventually, you will have enough experience that will help you grow and make a good game.

 And that's the interview done, thank you Dave Gilbert for taking the time to talk to us at Cola Powered Gamer, and what a pleasure it was. For anyone else looking for many great Adventure games, games that I'd class as highly regarded, make sure to check out the Wadjet Eye Games website linked (here)

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