Chat with Charles - We talk to Mr Broken Sword about adventure's place in 2016

Not SO broken

Chat with Charles - We talk to Mr Broken Sword about adventure's place in 2016

Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse recently launched on Apple TV, giving you a whole new way to experience the fifth entry in your favourite point and click adventure series. Because seriously, which is better?

What this means in practice, is that you can now literally point your Apple Remote at the screen and click on things that you want George to make a snarky comment about. It's a bit like the Wii U version of Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars.

Anyway, we thought we'd take this opportunity to talk to Mr Broken Sword himself - Charles Cecil - about the place of point and click adventures in this wild new world of 2016 - as well as the future of the genre on emerging platforms like AR and VR, and what's next for Revolution and Broken Sword in general.

It's split into three parts, and this one focuses on point and click adventures in 2016. So grab a hot cup of your desired beverage, sit back, and enjoy the feature.

Does the Apple TV version do anything better than the mobile version?

"[laughs] Right, you’re asking me to decide which of my two children I love most?"

Well, not necessarily. Let me rephrase - Were there any surprises during development? Any aspect of the game you think were improved using the remote control?

"I must say, I do think we're incredibly lucky that adventure translates extremely well to other control interfaces.

"In this instance, we had already had some experience with the Wiimote so we kind of felt like it should work.

"Obviously, we were delighted when it did. We did a prototype. It felt good. We approached Apple, and they were dead keen. So we decided to move ahead.

"I'm really pleased. And the reviews so far have been very positive. So we're thrilled."

That’s fantastic. I’ve got another difficult question for you next. They’re all going to be quite difficult by the way.

"Except I sidestepped it." [laughs]

Do you think there’s a place for point and click adventures in 2016? Or do you think narrative-driven experiences, like what Telltale or David Cage are doing, have taken over?

"No. Not at all. A Telltale game is much more like an interactive narrative - more like an interactive movie in terms of your experience. It doesn’t ever claim to be particularly cerebral. It very much focuses on the storytelling and the cinematics over the gameplay per se.

"I admire David Cage enormously. Quantic Dream's games are even niche-ier than point and click in many ways because they require the player to understand the grammar of a joypad.

"That kind of contradicts one of the core traditional views of what an adventure should be - in that it should be primarily cerebral, rather than requiring Twitch gameplay.

"And I think the point and click is pretty much at the centre of the adventure in that it conforms to the key rules that the gameplay is cerebral, it doesn’t require manual dexterity, and that it weaves the story in with the gameplay."

What do you think the best platform for a point and click adventure is in 2016?

"I'm going to sidestep that question slightly. Adventures are very expensive to create because there's so much content. And because the gameplay is cerebral, they do actually work across the platforms very effectively.

"If you look at Broken Sword 5, for example, you had point and click on PC, slide and touch for mobile, and joypad control for consoles - which actually worked really well. We got great reviews on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

"Now you've got remote control for Apple TV. And there’s absolutely no reason why adventure games shouldn't work really well in VR. And that’s because the focus of the genre is not the UI.

"Think of a first-person shooter - the UI is at the heart of the gameplay. With an adventure, we lift it above that, and it's primarily about problem-solving. And it's about the cerebral aspects, rather than the manual dexterity. Which is why we have so much flexibility with regard to UIs and, therefore, platforms."

Tune in next time where we discuss with Charles the future of adventure on emergent platforms.

Chris James
Chris James
A footy game fanatic and experienced editor of numerous computing and game titles, lively Chris is up for anything - including running Steel Media! (Madman!)