It’s always great to discover an exciting new game that’s being developed locally, but Paradigm isn’t just your run-of-the-mill indie title. Up till this point, it’s been a one man project fueled by a love for all those strange ’90s adventure games that made many of our childhoods so disturbingly magical. Having just launched a Kickstarter, Perth-developer Jacob Janerka is now ready to show his game to the world, and to hopefully raise the funds needed to finish it.
Recently, we got the opportunity to play the alpha demo and to catch up with Jacob to tell us more about Paradigm:
You’re a freelance 2D artist based in Perth, right? Could you tell us more about yourself?
Jacob: I love adventure games and sneezing with my eyes open. I spend most of my spare time working on Paradigm, but to avoid poverty I also freelance for various projects such as board games, iOS games and other miscellaneous artwork. On the weekends, I work at JB HI-FI selling Facebook machines to the citizens of Perth. And ice cream is my favourite dessert.
What would you say was the primary source of inspiration behind your new game, Paradigm?
Jacob: It’s quite hard to pinpoint the inspiration for Paradigm as so much of it comes from so many different sources. However, I would have to say that it’s a sort of love child between my love of Lucas Arts games such as Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island, coupled with my love for dystopian fiction. There is also a sprinkle of some my travel experiences in Europe, too.
Paradigm has a really bizarre charm about it. How would you explain the game to someone new?
Jacob: Paradigm is a surreal adventure set in post-apocalyptic Eastern Europe in the not so distant future. You play as Paradigm, the result of genetic tinkering to make the perfect child to sell to rich parents who don’t want to give their fortune to their poor excuses of biological children. However, something goes wrong and Paradigm becomes terribly mutated. He gets dumped in the Post-Soviet union town of Krusz. This is where you start your adventure.
What made you decide that you wanted to develop a point-and-click adventure game?
Jacob: A combination of things really. Adventure games have always held a soft spot in my heart, and I always wanted to develop games when I was a kid. Later in life, I changed my goals to be a concept artist for games, but when I found out there were game engines that didn’t require you to do any programming, it sparked that dream again. Originally, Paradigm started out as a 2D sidescroller, however when I found about adventure game engines, I knew exactly what it had to be.
Tell us more about the characters and story, we got the impression we’re going to laugh a lot?
Jacob: Without giving too much away, and adding onto what I’ve already said – after Paradigm is dumped in Krusz, he grows up and dreams to the best electronic musician the world has ever seen. However, he is stuck in a deserted town with only dial-up internet. One day his computer stops working and he needs to get the recovery floppy disk for the computer which leads him on an inconvenient adventure, eventually leading to an awkward confrontation with the evil but insecure talking sloth, Olof! – Also, here is also a little taste of two characters which aren’t in the demo:
Hair Metal Pug: Before he became a pug, he was a human pro wrestler known for capitalising on the hair metal scene in the ’80s. His signature move was “THE OVERDOSER tm.” After eventually ruining his body from his fast life of drugs, hair spray, and adultery, his body became a husk of a man. That’s when the CEO of Dupa genetics made him an offer to grow him a new body in exchange for a contract. However, the technology is still not ready yet and as such was placed in the body of a pug till further progress is made.
Sentient Water controlled Henchman: Dupa genetics manufactures the smartest “AI” on the market, by changing certain properties of water they were able to create sentient water which allows for extremely intelligent robots at a low cost. Thus, they use them for all their Henchman. One such sentient water henchman that Paradigm meets loves the movie Rambo and has a dream to one day to be released back into the world to be drunk by his favourite celebrities.
What do you think sets Paradigm apart from other modern point-and-click adventure games?
Jacob: Paradigm sets itself apart from other modern adventure games by bringing the bizarreness back to adventure games. The genre is coming back in a big way and there have been some really amazing titles coming out with some amazing polish. However, I found there was a lack of games that really pushed the boundaries of imagination like Day of the Tentacle, or even Sam and Max. This creative desire eventually became what Paradigm is today.
We really liked the visual design! Could you tell us about some of the methods you’re using?
Jacob: Thank you! Everything that I make is done in Photoshop on a graphics tablet, from backgrounds to animation, and occasionally I’ll use After Effects. While the art style is quite labour intensive as I have to paint each frame one by one, including light and shade, I find it gives Paradigm a really unique look that sets it apart from other games.
Can you tell us about your decision to use Kickstarter as a way to fund the game?
Jacob: Originally, I planned to make the game all on my own without any external funding. However, after working on it for awhile I realised that it wasn’t enough. I knew Paradigm had a lot of potential, and I really wanted it to have the polish it deserves. To do this, I knew I needed an amazing soundtrack and professional voice acting for key characters. From that point onward, I started to prepare for launch.
Is there any new information about the game that you’d like to share with our readers?
Jacob: Paradigm has just launched on Kickstarter, along with a playable demo for Windows for your mutant pleasure.
What is platform/release time frame you’re aiming for, and how can we support the game?
Jacob: Paradigm will be released for PC, Mac and Linux, and I’m aiming for release at the end of July. If you like Paradigm, please share the Kickstarter with your friends on social media, and if you can, please vote for us on Steam Greenlight – it really helps Paradigm become a reality!
Here are some other places where you can show your support for Paradigm: