onceupon1

Jasmine Greene Discusses Once Upon a Runner

By Julie Morley

[divider]

onceupon2Once Upon a Runner is a side-scrolling mobile runner adventure created by SaltyPepper Games. Currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign attempting to raise $5K for Once Upon a Runner, lead designer Jasmine Greene was kind enough to answer some of our questions. Here’s what she had to say:

Cliqist : For our readers who are unfamiliar with the game, could you explain a little bit about Once Upon a Runner?

Jasmine Greene : Once Upon a Runner is, as you might be able to tell from the title, a side-scrolling “runner” game steeped in fairy tales. It takes place in a world where there are portals that lead to different worlds. Our young heroine, Ella, stumbles upon a portal and finds herself trapped in these different worlds. She must find a way to get back home, but it’s not easy. She faces challenges along the way from familiar characters like the Big Bad Wolf. Luckily she has guides who help her along her way.

 

onceupon3Cliqist : What inspired the story for the game and are there references to them in the game? I see a lot of classic fairy tales mentioned in the story description of the Kickstarter page.

Jasmine Greene : Originally Once Upon a Runner started as a side project that would flesh out one of the characters of a world that we had created for a previous game. That character was Ella. This game was to serve as a sort of prequel to the main game that we had been working on. Due to our limited staff, we had to shelve the main project, but we do plan on revisiting it in the future. The world of SaltyPepper (the game world) is full of mysteries, one of them being these portals. Where did they come from? Why do they lead to fairy tale worlds? We don’t answer these questions in this game, we just wanted to introduce people to this world to give them a taste of what’s coming up. If you look at our promo poster closely you’ll notice that most of the females, aside from Ella, have the same face. Why is that?

 

onceuponartoneCliqist : I’ve never seen a game rely on comics rather than cut scenes in between levels. I love that idea. How did the idea for comics as the narrative come about?

Jasmine Greene : We wanted something that was visually appealing while at the same time minimizing the amount of work that our animators would need to do. All of us are also huge comic book nerds and this was the most obvious decision.

 

Cliqist : Will the comics provide a stronger narrative angle for Ella’s story as compared to animated sequences?

Jasmine Greene : It will provide a narrative that will show you who Ella is and see how she progressives throughout the story. We like her personality she’s (pardon the pun) quite fiery. If you’ll notice we also don’t have any text in any of our comic panels. That was a deliberate choice as we wanted people to come up with their own dialogue/story to go along with the pretty pictures.

 

onceupon4Cliqist : Why design it as a 2D side-scrolling, level based runner? Were there other game types you were interested in designing the game in instead?

Jasmine Greene : I’m going to date myself here, but as someone who grew up in the era of the NES, I’ve always had a love for 2D and different levels. We kind of touch upon that with our game as the characters themselves are reminiscent of childhood cartoons. We also wanted to separate ourselves from the group. There are so many runner games out there but none of them really have a beginning or end…there’s no plot progression. Sure in Temple Run you’re trying to get away from a bad guy, but other than that there’s no why. You don’t actually care about the character. I personally love stories and love the feeling of actually completing a game, which is why we went the level-based approach. Of course, we also will have endless mode to increase our replayability.

 

onceupon5Cliqist : What made mobile devices the avenue you wanted to take for Once Upon a Runner? Can backers expect to see a version for PC in the future?

Jasmine Greene : I’m a big mobile gamer as are many of the members on the team. It just seemed natural, especially considering how strong the mobile gaming market is becoming nowadays. We will definitely have a PC version available in the future!

 

Cliqist : In the Kickstarter video, you had mentioned that the feedback from Once Upon a Runner will be utilized for future games. Would SaltyPepper Games pursue crowdfunding for future game projects?

onceuponartJasmine Greene : We love getting feedback from the community and Kickstarter is a great way to gauge interest. Not only that, but it’s also improved my marketing skills! As for pursuing crowdfunding for future projects, we are definitely considering that avenue as we also have another idea for a game in the works right now.

 

Cliqist : Lastly, if you could sum up Once Upon a Runner in 5 words, what would they be?

Jasmine Greene :

A quirky, colorful, fast-paced running adventure!

I don’t count A as a word 🙂

[divider]

Thanks to Jasmine for taking the time to answer our questions!  You can learn more about Once Upon a Runner by heading over to its Kickstarter page.

[divider]

[Google][pinterest][follow id=”Cliqist” size=”large” count=”true” ]

[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/julie.jpg” ]Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling.  Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.[/author]

Julie Morley
Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling. Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.
Julie Morley