Theodore Waern.pngThe Journey Down by the talented people over at SkyGoblin has reminded us just how stunning a 2D adventure game can look and that pixel-art isn't the only way available to indie developers.

Happily, artist and designer Theodor Waern has made himself comfortable on the virtual IndieGames interview couch and is ready to further enlighten us.

So, now that we are all comfortable, what is a SkyGoblin?

A SkyGoblin is a vile, theaving mischevious creature, often found zooming around in their makeshift airplane-contraptions and robbing/looting/pillaging peaceful villages and friendly passers by. They were the main enemies in one of the first games we produced together "Baron's Gold". It was meant for mobile phones back in the j2me days. We built an absolutely awesome prototype, but after the epic flop of our first finished j2me game (METAL COMMANDO) we decided that this was not a path for us to pursue. We knew how to make games, but not how to make money off of them. We adopted the name and logo for the very simple reason that their flag turned out awesome.

You do seem pretty enamoured with point-and-click adventre games. Am I correct in my assumption?

That's right, I love 'em. That being said, I don't believe that the classic games of the golden age were by any means flawless, not even the best of the best. (Sadly this goes for our games as well. We all have our limitations and everyone needs to cut scope somewhere, that's just reality.) I like to think however that we have improved on the formula, or at least have tried to slim it down to the basics of what once upon a time made the genre as a whole... magical.

And you have already released your first take on to The Journey Down. A brilliant, low-res, freeware game. How would you describe it?

I'd call it a neatly packaged, unpretentious homage to the magic of point 'n' click storytelling.

How would you desrcibe the spankin' new The Journey Down then?

I'd describe it as an easy to get into modern adventure game with none of the bad stuff from the old days, and all of the good, with a refreshingly new cast, setting and atmosphere.

Why did you decide to go with a commercial remake?

I desperately wanted to keep the project going after I released the free version of chapter one, but this coincided with me becoming a father. Needless to say, I wound up with no free time whatsoever, and I figured the only way to make sure that I could keep on working on The Journey Down, was to convince my fellow SkyGoblins to pick it up as a commercial project - in order for me to keep on working with it during daytime hours. Somehow magically, I managed to convince them to do this. How on Earth this happened I don't know. It must have been my bambi eyes!

What's new in the, uhm, new The Journey Down?

First off, it looks great. The original doesn't look great. If you think it looks great you are wearing your nostalgia-glasses and are for some odd reason enjoying the low-resolution because of this. The original art I painted for the game wasn't made to be that small. I didn't want it to be that small. Details disappeared and it all got smudgy. Back then I chose the low resolution out of necessity- Now finally I get to have it as high-res as it was originally meant to be. As an artist, this is a big deal for me. (This is not me dissing low-res pixel art, on the contrary I love it when it's done right, but it needs to be designed for it.)

On top of the HD art and brand new cutscenes and animatons, we've also added lots of new music, and perhaps most importantly of all, we've added a fully voiced cast - the original was all text. We've also expanded the story and gameplay by adding some new rooms, puzzles and backstory. All this in my opinion certainly sums up to a big fat upgrade worthy to be played by anyone whether they've played the low-res original or not.

When should we expect it? Will it remain an episodic offering? Will it indeed be multi-platform?

Well, it's rather "multi-platform" already. Chapter One is currently live on Pc, Mac and Linux and will hopefully pop up on iOS and android some time this summer, they're both coming along nicely and the game works like a charm in its handheld form. As for the following chapters and when they will be released, depending on how sales go we may have to take on some more consultancy work to stay afloat, which obviously will slow TJD production down a little bit, but we are used to working with several projects in parallel so this shouldn't be a problem. I don't dare set a timeframe for the actual release of chapter two but a rough estimate would be late 2012 / early 2013.

What does the future hold for SkyGoblin?

Preferably the immediate future sees us keep on being down and dirty with the production of Chapter Two. We've come a long way already with the second episode and I'm proud to say it's really shaping up - but there's still tons of stuff left to do. We haven't even started working on cinematics and none of the speech has been recorded. So, lots left there. After Chapter Two, Three and Four, who knows? Having foresight and planning stuff isn't really our strong side. Right now, we're just 100% dedicated to squeezing out great chapters, as fast as humanly possible.