Irish animation studio Straandlooper is making their iPhone debut soon with Hector: Badge of Carnage Episode 1 “We Negotiate With Terrorists”. Hector is a comedic adventure game that looks to push the boundaries of good taste (the series was originally titled Hector: Fat Arse of the Law). We spoke to Hector creator Dean Burke about what to expect from the series.
Who is Hector, and who is his police partner?
Dean: Well the game is a crime spoof, placing you in the shoes of Detective Inspector Hector, a flawed, misanthropic anti-hero with his standard issue, “thick as a stick” partner, Constable Lambert.
Episode one begins when a hostage crisis kicks off in the town of Clappers Wreake, the crime capital of Britain. The Police have a “we negotiate with terrorists” policy, so Hector has a tough decision to make: Either execute the terrorist’s strangely unselfish demands, or watch as his fellow officers are picked off one by one. Hector’s still on the fence. Not only that, still hung over from last night’s party for one, simply getting to the crisis could prove messy.
You’ll get to investigate the filthy corners of Clappers Wreake, using your witty banter to provoke and offend the unusual characters you encounter in order to crack the various twisted puzzles and dilemmas thrown at you.
Do you plan on releasing these games episodically? How often?
Dean: Hector: Badge of Carnage is a three part episodic game, the series debuts with the thrilling We Negotiate with Terrorists! Each episode has its own unique story ending in a nail-biting cliffhanger, plus there’s an overall story that will tie together toward a climactic payoff.
Production time on each episode is around 4-6 months, so if all goes well once we straighten out little things like funding, budget and schedule, we should be able to start work on the next two episodes promptly. The plan is to make each one bigger and better than the one before it, keeping the gameplay fresh with new types of player challenges. This won’t be easy as the first episode is already mind-blowingly incredible.
Any plans to support the iPad?
Dean: For now you’ll be able to play the iPhone & iPod Touch version of the game on the iPad. The iPad is just about to surface here in the UK, but once we get our hands on one we’ll see if we can work something out.
How will your studio try to push the limits in terms of humor and good taste?
Dean: Hector: Badge of Carnage will be 17+ so it’s not for everyone, but when coming up with game content we never let things get too unrestrained. For the most part the humour is appropriate for the situations Hector finds himself in and ultimately, it’s a comedy, so it’s all in the name of entertainment! Hopefully you’ll have as much fun playing it as we had in bringing it all together.
What does your game do differently from a lot of the other adventure games on the iPhone?
Dean: Well, we’ve updated the point-and-click control interface and relabeled it “touch & slide” to better suit the touch-screen platform. So it’s very easy to pick up and use.
To date many of the iPhone point-and-click style games have largely been ports and updates of existing games, Hector: Badge of Carnage is an entirely original idea exclusive to the iPhone. Just as with the classic point-and-click games that paved the way, characters, humour and story drive the game, making poking around, exploring and achieving tasks a gratifying way for any player to keep themselves amused. Plus, you get to smack a tramp with a crowbar, proposition ladies of the night and kick a junkie. Can you ask for anything better than that?!