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Interview: Wadjet Eye CEO Dave Gilbert

Wadjet Eye Games CEO Dave Gilbert discusses the trials and tribulations of developing and publishing indie adventure games, Gemini Rue, and the future of the genre.

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If you're a fan of point-and-click adventure games, you may already be familiar with indie developer Wadjet Eye Games. Founded back in 2006, Wadjet Eye has released a handful of adventures, including The Shivah and three games in the Blackwell series, as well as Erin Robinson's charming robotic adventure, Puzzle Bots.

Wadjet Eye Games was also nominated for a "Best New Studio" award at GDC 2007. Most recently, the studio published developer Joshua Nurenberger’s neo-noir adventure, Gemini Rue, which just became available a couple of weeks ago.

At GDC 2011, I got to chat with Wadjet Eye Games founder and CEO, Dave Gilbert. We talked a bit about Gemini Rue, Wadjet Eye's origins, and his transition to publishing games, rather than just developing them. Dave also shared his thoughts about the future of adventure games, as well as Wadjet Eye's future plans.

Indie Games Channel: You'd been an independent game developer making freeware games for a while before forming Wadjet Eye Games. What drove the impulse to found a studio and get into the publishing side of things?

Dave Gilbert: It started off as kind of a way to avoid getting a 'real' job. I'm not kidding. I had been teaching English in for about seven or eight months. I had done some travelling, and I came home – I had rented out my apartment before I left, and when I came back it was still being rented out – so I wasn't able to go back to my apartment. So I was living with my parents, who are retired. There's nothing worse than living with your parents when they're both retired and you don't have a job.

So, I took my laptop to a cafe every day, and I wrote The Shivah. Just for fun. Just for something to do. I just did not feel like getting a job right away, because I'd just gotten home.

I wrote that over the course of a month. I just really enjoyed working on it so much. And then I thought, "Well, y’know, I've got money saved. It's kind of now or never." If I was ever going to do this, this would be the time. And so, I sold it. I decided to sell that game to see if it would gain any traction. And it did – a little bit. And I thought, "Alright. Now I'll write another game with the express purpose of selling it." And so, I wrote the first Blackwell game. [The process of making games] was almost like putting off the inevitable, but five years later, I'm still doing it.


To continue reading the complete interview, in which Dave Gilbert shares his thoughts about the evolution of adventure games and spills some details about a new proprietary game engine Wadjet Eye is developing, head on over to Shacknews sister-site Indie Games Channel.

From The Chatty
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    March 8, 2011 5:30 PM

    Comment on Interview: Wadjet Eye CEO Dave Gilbert, by Jeff Mattas.

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      March 8, 2011 5:39 PM

      SUMMARY: If you're a fan of point-and-click adventure games, you may already be familiar with indie developer Wadjet Eye Games. Founded back in 2006, Wadjet Eye has released a handful of adventures, including The Shivah and three games in the Blackwell series, as well as Erin Robinson's charming robotic adventure, Puzzle Bots....

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      March 8, 2011 9:35 PM

      i've read about his game before; if they Steam it, I will come.

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        March 8, 2011 11:18 PM

        Yeah, if I'd consider buying it via Steam.

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          March 9, 2011 6:38 AM

          Why do people insist on cutting themselves off from any number of PC games by only buying things through Steam?

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            March 9, 2011 7:09 AM

            I can somewhat relate, because I like having all my games in one central location, not scattered around my hard drive in various places and through various services. However, I don't strictly buy through Steam. If there's a deal elsewhere, I'll jump on it.

            In this particular instance, the game looked promising and worth compensating the guy for his hard work. I wouldn't personally want Steam to take a bite out of his cut of the profits, just for my slight convenience. I wish more people thought like that...

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            March 9, 2011 11:59 AM

            I buy most of my games in physical retail form because that's the cheapest in Europe. If a game is only available digitally, though, I'll only bother with Steam.

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      March 8, 2011 11:14 PM

      I preordered the game after watching the second trailer. I'm about 4 hours in, and I'm continually impressed by the level of graphical detail that was pushed into this game. The story, so far, I could take or leave. But the puzzles have all been just tricky enough to make my brain stop/reassess/experiment.

      Anyone hungry for a modern adventure game that has a taste for SciFi should already have this game.

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      March 9, 2011 6:30 AM

      gives me a beneath the steel sky vibe.

      Animations aren't as great but the environments look quite good =)

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