Adam Jeffcoat Discusses The Breakout
By Greg Micek
Cliqist : We have seen so many “Reformed Thief turned Air Force Capitan turned Prisoner in WW2 escapes prison” games. What makes The Breakout different?
Adam Jeffcoat : Haha I am embarrassed to admit I did not realize there were other games with this same background storyline, I actually thought we had come up with something quite original by making our main character Guy Kassel an ex-thief. Well our aim with the Breakout is to make the characters very rich with distinct personalities that you really care about. Once you feel for a character you invest in them and really care about their plight and if they make it or not. Guys background also means he can use his thieving skills to good use as when night falls the camp become his domain. The player can sneak around undetected by climbing, scaling roofs, hiding and breaking into guard huts.
Cliqist : The art and lighting in the game seem to have a strong sense of self and style. What came first? Did the art inform the game concept or was it the other way around?
Adam Jeffcoat : To start with all we had was a concept that you had to escape from a POW camp during WW2. So I started doing research for both the types of real life characters during that time as well as art styles of the 1940s. We found all these amazing propaganda posters of the era and a lot of the graphic design styles were a big influence on the breakout.
Cliqist : How many hours a week do you devote to the project?
Adam Jeffcoat : As I am largely heading up the project by myself I seem to barely leave my desk so about 60 hours a week. But hey, I love what I do so I can’t complain too much!
Cliqist : Some people would describe your character as brave. Would you use bravery as a defining attribute for Guy?
Adam Jeffcoat : Actually Guy was always more of a loner and only looked out for himself during his days as a criminal, until he met his Fiancée that is. She gave him something to believe in and taught him the value of fighting for something he loved. So Guy only really becomes brave once he is placed in the camp and the desire to see his fiancée again and regain his freedom gives him the courage to battle against all the odds. We want the player to realize Guy is flawed and doing his best with what he knows, we didn’t want a clean-cut goody two shoes hero as it makes for a more interesting story like Indiana Jones or Breaking Bad.
Cliqist : How is The Breakout Kickstarter campaign going so far? Is it everything you wanted it to be?
Adam Jeffcoat : We’ve had a really great response from both the fans and the press which gives us motivation and the confidence that we have a game people want to play. Although the Kickstarter has slowed a little we hope that the release of our playable demo at the end of the month will pick things up again to the finish line.
Cliqist : At what point in the game does Steve McQueen drive a motorcycle over a fence?
Adam Jeffcoat : Haha well we couldn’t have a Great Escape inspired game without that scene could we. We are actually hoping to include a homage to that in the flashback sequence of when Guy gets captured.
Cliqist : I see the early style pixel art which is in itself beautiful. Why did you transition to the more developed art style?
Adam Jeffcoat : I originally designed the game as a pixel art game and the POW camp was initially from an isometric view. However we found that the game felt a little stale looking at it from above and I wanted to get the camera down into the action more like a movie. Around the same time I visited an animation/illustration show over in California and was so inspired by all the awesome modern artwork and characters that I redesigned The Breakout to have a more graphic approach that could be animated with a lot more personality than pixels. When I put it to vote to my Facebook audience I was surprised to see that around 75% of people preferred the new look. Although the pixels gave people a feeling of nostalgia a lot of them felt the graphic style was a lot more unique and wanted to see a whole game in that style.
Cliqist : You took a big risk going to Kickstarter without a lot of game to show your audience. That’s not really a question, but can you answer it like one? If not, let’s just move on.
Adam Jeffcoat : Yes we actually intended to have a playable demo ready earlier than this but as always these things take longer than you expect. We are hoping to release a playable build by the end of the month so people can really get a feel for how this game plays and what will set it apart.
Cliqist : What about The Breakout will blow my mind?
Adam Jeffcoat : We want people to remember the story first and foremost, we want the audience to have felt like they have been taken along a real journey where you go through all the hardships the character goes through and you feel the sense of elation when you finally break free. We also want the player to experience genuine tension at the fear of getting caught, something that is missing from a lot of Point n Click games.
Cliqist : What would be the thing you want people who haven’t pledged yet to know about The Breakout?
Adam Jeffcoat : As soon as the playable demo comes out I think people will see what we are going for with this game, an atmospheric, intense movie style experience within a point n click game. Add in a choice of multiple escape plans, a bunch of truly evil villains, a classic A-team style partnership and an atmospheric score and you have ‘The Breakout”.
Cliqist : Can you finish us up with a Breakout inspired haiku?
Adam Jeffcoat :
A ruthless POW camp,
an ingenious escape plan,
one mans will to be free.
Thanks to Adam for taking the time to answer our questions! You can learn more about The Breakout by heading over to its Kickstarter campaign page.
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