Machinarium Interview

The great looking trailer above is for Machinarium. Machinarium is an indie game coming from Amanita Design and, as you saw, it is a point and click adventure with brilliant visuals and interesting puzzles. Platform Nation was able to have an interview with the makers of Machinarium about the game.

What would you like people who haven’t heard of the game to know about it?

Machinarium is a puzzle-adventure-point’n’click, indie, 2D, “hand-made” game about little robot who has been unjustly thrown out to the scrap yard out of the town, populated only by other robots. In the game he must return to oppose the evil Black Cap Brotherhood, save the town and rescue his robot-girlfriend.

The art style is very unique. What inspired it?

A lot of inspiration came from old rusty machines, abandoned factories and industrial buildings. Besides that we are influenced by many science fiction books and films (Stanislav Lem, Douglas Adams, Jules Verne, Ray Bradbury, Stanley Kubrick, Karel Zeman) and also by older adventure games (Grim Fandango, Myst, Gobliins, Discworld, Neverhood or Monkey Island) .

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Each location is very detailed and beautiful. I have read that there will be over 30 locations. How long would you say it takes to make one of these locations, from drawing it, to making the gameplay in the location, to finalizing it?

It’s not easy to say how much time we need for one location, but we have spent about three years on this game so it’s more then one month for one location.

I love the music for the game. Who did the music?

The music was composed and recorded by Tomas Dvorak aka Floex who also did music for our previous games Samorost2 and Questionaut. In Machinarium there is more then one hour of music recorded with many live instruments etc.

There aren’t many point and click adventure games left out there. What made you chose that genre for Machinarium?

We like stories and interesting puzzles, therefore the adventure genre is the most suitable for us. Adventure games used to be very popular, but then the puzzles in them become too illogical and people stopped playing them. We’d like to resurrect the genre by taking what was good and refusing to repeat what was bad in older games and of course we are also trying to invent some new and original ways to create puzzle or how to tell story in the game.

It seems like some of the puzzles in Machinarium are very involved, is the game more for core gamers or can anyone pick it up and make it through the story?

It’s quite a hard game so core gamers should be happy, because there’s enough challenge, however it’s also good for beginners as there’s a simple hint-system and if they still don’t know how to solve some tougher parts of the game, we have prepared a nice funny walkthrough in the form of a comic book.
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As an indie developer you obviously do not have the budget of a Gears of War. What is the worst part of having a small budget and what is the best part?

The best is that we can’t lose much money if we didn’t manage to finish the game or if it will be a bust. The worst was all that time only eating potatoes with butter. Only joking, but honestly it’s not very pleasant if you don’t earn any money and you’re just spending it for three years đŸ™‚

From the trailers it seems like the world of Machinarium is very thought out and full of charm. How did you go about creating it and making sure all the locations fit together?

Inventing the whole Machinarium world and then each place, location and every detail took us pretty a long time, but it was maybe the most enjoyable part of the whole development process. It required hundreds of sketches and notes and of course you must literally live in that world for some time.

Will gamers find out more about the world of Machinarium or does the story focus on your little robot?

The story is mainly about the little robot, but there are some more interesting characters who will communicate with the main character and tell him their small stories.
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I read that the first puzzle of the game is to put your robot back together after he was thrown into the junkyard. How did your robot end up in the junkyard and why is he going back to the city?

It’s all work of the bad guys from Black Cap Brotherhood đŸ™‚

Any chance we will learn our little robot’s name?

He hasn’t any name because there are no words, text or speech in the game – all the communication is created by animations and symbols. However we have working name for him which is Josef after Josef Capek – Czech artist who invented the word ROBOT.

Machinarium was chosen as one of ten indie games for the PAX showcase. How did it feel to have your game chosen from the over 150 submissions and what does it mean for the game itself?

We are happy about that:) I don’t know what does it mean for the game, but probably better exposure. I’m looking forward to Seattle, I have never been there.

What video games do the people at Amanita Design play and love?

My colleagues only rarely play some flash web-games, I don’t have much time for playing either, but I like other indie games, recently Dyson, Windosill or World of Goo.

When is the game coming out and for what platforms?

It will be released in October for Windows and Mac systems. We also hope to manage Wiiware or XBLA versions in the future.

Thank you to Amanita Design for your time and good luck with the game! Check out the official trailer and other info for the game at the Machinarium site. I already have my pre-order ready and waiting.