Post news RSS It took a lot of persistence to create Perseverance

My vision was to create something small with a small team and a limited number of resources. I'm very satisfied with what we managed to achieve as a team and that Perseverance: Part 1 is worth the time to enjoy it.

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When I first started working on Perseverance I was very enthusiastic. After all, I finally came up with a way of turning one of my first ideas for a story into a game. But before Perseverance became what it is today, a visual novel and a peculiar mix of a horror and drama story, it was something else.

Back in 2008 as I was working as a polish immigrant a season job in UK I used to spend a lot of time in public libraries where I could borrow and read a lot of comic books. Most of them were unavailable in Poland, so I was really excited to read stories from Hellblazer, Warhammer 40k, Lucifer and B.P.R.D. I would spend a few hours every weekend just staying at home and reading. I was amazed how mature and good those stories were. One day I stumbled upon The Walking Dead comic.

Public library in Horley, Surrey, UK. Copyright Ian Capper

Public library in Horley, Surrey, UK. Copyright Ian Capper

The first TPB which I came in contact with was 'The Walking Dead Vol.2'. I immediately felt in love with the concept of a group of people trying to survive in a world filled with zombies and the way the conflict was drawn between the characters. I've read through all the volumes I could get my hands on. I knew this series was destined to be huge one day. I was right ;-)

In 2011, during my studies to become a game designer and producer in Cracow, I began designing a story outline which was strongly inspired by 'The Walking Dead' comic series. It was one of tasks which my and my colleagues had to perform during our studies. I wrote characters and a story script which I called 'I Remain'. It was a fast paced zombie story of a young guy named Jack who needs to find his daughter Hope, trapped in a town filled with zombies.

I remain

Initial logo for the game. Thank god for Sinister Fonts

After I quit my studies due to various reasons (one of them being tutors had a very low level of knowledge about the game industry in general), I got in touch with a friend who was a programmer. In 2011, we started working remotely. Our aim was to turn my script into a hidden object game. Back then, hidden object games were just emerging as a new game genre, and we both saw our chance of creating something unique for the gaming market. Imagine: a zombie themed hidden object game called 'Dead City'. Crazy, right?

The game's structure was supposed to be simple: a static story cutscene followed by a playable hidden object scene, followed by another static story cutscene and so on. I invested my private money and worked with a 2D artist on creating hidden object scenes for our game. The challenge was to design the game and the story in such a way that we could 're-use' each hidden object scene at least twice. The initial story had to be reshaped. Reasons for the main character to perform hidden object tasks needed to be invented. That was a lot of work.

Concept art of car interior

Early concept and final assets for a hidden object scene in 'Dead City'

I devoted a lot of my free time to work on the story and the game after my working hours as an engineer. The first gameplay mechanics appeared. But the whole development process was extremely slow. Too slow for my taste. There was also a huge contrast between a fast paced story and slow paced hidden object mechanics. I wanted the game to have a good pace, one that would engage the player, but since both me and my friend worked on the game after hours, tension arose.

Concept art of Natalie

One of many black and white static concepts in 'Dead City'.

Unfortunately, since my developer was more focused on creating his own technology engine rather than using existing tools to deliver a game to the market as fast as possible, we parted our ways. We had different agendas and expectations on what we wanted to achieve. The project was put in a drawer but I knew I was going to come back to it someday. After all, the first love never really fades away.

During following years I was engaged in creating 9 Clues, 9 Clues 2 as Tap It Games and Crimson Lilly (all are hidden object puzzle adventure games). Back in 2014 my buddy from BitGolem and I tried to approach Dead City as a point'n click adventure game. We even used Visionaire Studio to create a prototype which we had with us during Digital Dragons 2013.

Bob's Gas Station. 2D background for the point'n click prototype.

Bob's Gas Station. 2D background for the point'n click prototype.

When I finally decided to exhume 'Dead City' in late 2017. The more I read through the story and characters the more I began to see it as a perfect material for a unique visual novel.

Sketch of promotional poster for Dead City [never published before]

Sketch of promotional poster for Dead City [never published before]

The characters were there, so was the main plot. The challenge was that the plot involved a lot of dynamic action scenes and many details were skipped. My idea was for the player to 'connect the dots' by himself. But there was just too many dots.

I sat down with one of my writer buddies, and we chopped the story into five arcs. This way the number of characters and plot details that needed to be included in a single arc became countable. We began to see the full scope of a single arc. I decided to deliver the story in episodes.

Visual novels gameplay mechanics were easy and allowed me to focus on making the story deeper and more personal. The initial story was more about zombies and action. The one I managed the development of was more about the characters, their relations and inner struggles. It was mainly thanks to my writing sidekick, Basia. She was very engaged from day one and added a lot of value to the main story. She also aided me in making the characters more believable and likeable. My intial version of Jack was too much of an a**hole.

Jack & Hope

Actual game footage from Perseverance: Part 1

I believe that failing to deliver a big game is easier than actually delivering a small one. That is why Perseverance is an episodic adventure. My vision was to create something small with a small team and a limited number of resources. I'm very satisfied with what we managed to achieve as a team and that Perseverance: Part 1 is worth the time to enjoy it.

'There has been a situation'

Actual game footage from Perseverance: Part 1

We are a few days till the game launches on Steam. I am very proud that my passionate team and I managed to create a game that conveys a message and lays a good foundation for future episodes. You can have a glimpse at the main story by playing Perseverance: Part 1 Demo on Steam right now.

Enjoy and don't miss the games launch.

Daniel, Tap It Games

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Reborn:X - - 3,456 comments

The art style looks very fresh for a Visual Novel genre which always seems to be 98% all about anime stuff and 'dem tiddies' only.

I might buy this game the at some point once the reviews start coming up.

W sumie to też fajnie, że to polski horror VN a polskie gry horror ostatnio okazały się całkiem dobre i ciekawe w fabule. :)

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TapItGames Author
TapItGames - - 8 comments

Reborn:X thanks for interest in our game, check our steam page, there are already some reviews that might be curious for you.

Zgadza się, było ostatnio kilka udanych polskich gier w klimacie horroru, my cenimy Observera od Bloober Team:)

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