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Interview: Kheops Studio (english)

del 09 Novembre 2005
Interview: Kheops Studio (english)

A cura di Adriano Bizzoco


Q: Can you introduce yourself and Kheops Studios to our readers?

A: I'm Benoit HOZJAN, co-founder and Managing Director of Kheops Studio. We are a video game developer company based in Paris. Most of us were previously employees of Cryo Interactive and we are specialized in adventure games.

Q: In your games, you often cooperate with other companies, as Totem Studios, Mzone etc. We would like to know how you are able to find this collaborations and how important is their contribute.

A: We were colleagues few years ago at Cryo and as we have complementary skills it was interesting to work together. Mzone used to create all the graphics for many (all) our games. Totem has game design skills but not graphical team nor technical capabilities. For “Secret of the Lost Cavern” it was a partnership alltogether to finance the game.

Q: Why do you decide to produce adventure games? Which games/developer gave you more inspiration?

A: This is the kind of games we are working on for years, so we have some experience with this genre. We have a great respect to old Lucas games or more recent Syberia.

Q: In your opinion, what's the current state of health of adventure games? Do you think this market is growing up or is it destined to remain a niche one forever?

A: Well, I would love to be optimistic but I fear that the genre will remain a niche. I'm talking about puzzle adventure games with a storyline, for adventure-action games it's different because this not really the same audience.

Q: You released four adventure games, in just a year and an half. How can you handle such a high rhythm of work and be sure to make always a good product, like you do?

A: Steroïds ! ;-) In fact, we have no choice, we need to be efficient because budgets are very tight for this kind of game, so the cycle need to be short. We try to work with two productions in parallel, one with internal game design capabilities and for instance an other line of production with Totem. So the programming team can switch from one project to the other easily.

Q: What's the average budget you invest to realize one of your adventure?

A: Depending on the point of view : Not enough for us and too much for a publisher ! ;-)
It's, maybe, 10 to 20 times lower than Fahrenheit ... Sometimes we have the feeling that this element is forgotten during a review and our games used to be sold at less than 30€ in Europe and 20$ in North America.

Q: Are you satisfied with the sales of your games, so far?

A: All our games are profitable for the publisher but the sales and the budget are far from a AAA game ! If sales grows up, publisher will accept bigger budgets and then bigger projects.


Q: You often take inspiration from Jules Verne's story. Is it just because he's your favourite writer or do you think that his novel can be easily “converted” in adventure games?

A: Yes Jules Verne is a great source of inspiration for adventure games and 2005 is also the century of his death which is a good thing for the marketing dept ! Jules Verne is also well known worldwide and especially North America.

Q: With Voyage you've gone for sure a step forward in terms of puzzles and balance. I think that the feedback you received from gamers helped you to make these changes, isn't it?

A: It's true that we are attached to the feedback from gamers and some new features are directly coming from their comments (forum and reviews).

Q: We like your bizarre graphics very much. How that idea come from?

A: We knew that it will be difficult to represent this strange vision of the surface of the moon. It was a Game Designer and Art Director idea. The other interesting point for me was to test if gamers may accept a bizarre and never seen world or if they prefer hyperrealistics scenes. Finally, we have seen as many people who like it than people disappointed.

Q: In Voyage there's a very clever and “hidden” hint system. Will we find something similar in your future games?

We use to test and improve features from one game to the next one, this feature will be back !


Q: All your games are realized with a first person view. Is it in your project to do a third person's perspective adventure, in the future?

A: Yes, we are currently working on such a project, we hope to find a publisher soon.

Q: On your website you assert you're developing two new games. Some information on the first game of these has been released here and there. So we know it's called “Da Vinci Experience”. What can you tell us about this exciting new project?

A: Not really, this part is dedicated to Nobilis and it's difficult to interfere yet.

Q: Can you give us some clues about the other new game you're developing?

A: This is 3rd person's view game with prerendered scenes and realtime 3D characters. This is a mediaval investigation.

Q: Finally we arrive at the end of the interview. Is there something you would say to italian readers, to conclude this very interesting chat?

A: Thanks for the support and the feedback of our italian fans and hope that our future projects will fit their expectations.

Thank you very much for your time and kindness.


Info Requisiti
Conosciuto anche come: The Crystal Key 2
Sviluppatore: Kheops Studio
Distributore: Atari
Data Rilascio: Q3 2004
Piattaforma: PC
Genere: Avventura/Mistero
Visuale: Soggettiva
Controllo: Mouse
Doppiaggio: Italiano
Sottotitoli: Italiano
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Requisiti minimi
OS: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
Processore: 600 Mhz
RAM: 64 MB
Scheda Video: 32 MB
Hard Disk: 1 GB
Supporto: 2 CD
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