Jacob Janerka has done an excellent job with Paradigm, a game well covered on GameCloud, and many other sites, for being a fantastic success for an indie developer. At the Perth Games Festival in October, and at this year’s PAX Aus, the game demo was coupled with an additional demo of a dating mini game. I’ve played it a couple of times now, and there’s one character that’s captured my heart in the most unhealthy fashion. When he had a quiet moment, I pulled him aside to ask him something very important. Something that I knew no other press member would ask, but something I’m sure was on the mind of everyone who stopped past the booth.
Jacob? I have some very pressing questions. Duckman – how do I get into his pants?
Well, there’s quite a few ways you can do it. The obvious thing is that he really loves bread, so obviously bread-based gifts would be the best way to go. He mostly likes Wonderbread, but he might meet you halfway and go for some rye, or something like that.
Is the dating game going to be a part of the final version of Paradigm?
Yes, it’s inside the final game. Originally, it was a Kickstarter stretch goal, but I decided to make it a lot more complicated than I said I would. I think the results were worth it for the amount of time I invested into it.
Are the characters of the dating game actually part of the main game?
No, they are separate characters, but who knows – maybe they might turn up in the future.
So… You’re telling me that the point of the main game isn’t to romance Duckman? Cos that’s… That’s kind of how it felt.
Unfortunately, after I did it, I briefly considered making the game about only romancing a toaster, but I was too far into development. I don’t think the Kickstarter backers would be too happy if it was just about putting your loins in a toaster.
I think you underestimate Kickstarter backers. So, can you set me up with Duckman?
I can, uh, if you hook us up with some extra bread. I love bread, as well.
So, I’ve got to butter you up to get to Duckman?
Are you, in fact, Duckman’s pimp?
I do, occasionally, slap a duck-ho, but I’m not full time – maybe more like a casual pimp.
So, the game is nearly finished, right? How long has it been in development for now?
Yeah, it’s coming out in January, so mostly it’s just polishing and voice acting, primarily, that’s left. I’ve been working on it for about two years, full time, but before that it was on and off. The Kickstarter was when I really started to take it seriously, like, “Okay, people like this, let’s make a full game.”
Have you got plans for future projects? I’ve been seeing a lot of pixel Seinfeld adventure game mock-ups on your twitter, is there a possible licensed Seinfeld game on the horizon?
Probably not, I don’t think I could ever get the rights to make a game, but I’d love to make a legitimate pitch just for my personal enjoyment. And see what happens, maybe if they didn’t pick it up there could be some other opportunities on my horizon from that. But I like the idea of working in, or having a studio that does, like, kind of like Telltale, but using those different IP’s to make money for other, really weird games that you wouldn’t be able to get funded anywhere else. So, making things like IP games, and then invest all that money back into making these crazy, weird things that people would never think about investing into.
Point and Click adventure games are a little bit out of vogue, did you really just want to bring it back, or did you think the weirdness of Paradigm was enough to sell that genre?
To be honest, I think the genre has been coming back quite well recently. A lot of the developers that I know that have released adventure games over time, they’ve sold, I mean, for adventure games, it’s not huge compared to mobile games, but they’ve sold three hundred thousand copies in a year. Which is insane, for a genre they thought was dead. I really started it because I just like adventure games, it’s also a good starting point for my first game. Like, you need to keep it simple, which is why I compensated with the art.
You mentioned Telltale earlier, do you see games like theirs being a kind of progression or evolution of the point and click genre?
I don’t think it’s a progression, I think it’s just an alternative to it. I like it, but I still kind of prefer the task-orienty gameplay. I feel Life Is Strange did it better than Telltale, if you’ve ever played that, I feel like that was better narrative gameplay, rather than just clicking dialogue options only, it was a nice combination of the two.
Have you got future projects planned for once Paradigm is finished?
Yeah, so, other than the Seinfeld pitch, I have some other ideas. If this is successful, I want to spend six months in research and development – I’d love to pitch an Adult Swim show, if that’s possible. I feel like if this has done okay, I’d have a bit of clout to do that.
Would you consider a licensed videogame pitch for the Eric Andre Show then?
Haha, I actually only just started watching that, I love it so much. It breaks through the barrier so strangely, I love the interviews, they’re the best part.
Author’s Note: Eric Andre Show: The Game, Jacob – do it.
Here are some other places where you can show your support for Paradigm: