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Author Topic: Interview with Jaromir Plachy & Peter Stehlik (February 2013, IndieCade) [ENG]  (Read 5306 times)
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« on: March 15, 2013, 12:19:40 pm »

Interview with Jaromir Plachy & Peter Stehlik (February 2013, IndieCade in New-York)
Original Source

I had the chance to sit down and chat with Peter Stehlík and Jaromír Plachý from Amanita Design while attending IndieCade this past weekend. The two were there showing of last year’s April release, Botanicula.
Note: It was explained to me that Jaromír’s English wasn’t the best, so there are moments where Peter translates my questions and Jaromír’s answers for us..

Luke Pensiero with Psychobuttons.com: So you launched Botanicula in April last year, right

Peter Stehlík: Yea.

Jaromír Plachý: Yea.

PB: So how did that go, the reception of Botanicula?

Peter: It did well, it was released in the Humble Bundle. There was free copy of Machinarium and the Kooky movie if you paid more than the average price, with some other bonuses. It was received pretty well. The press liked it, and what’s more people liked it. So we were pretty happy about it.

PB: So you guys launched with the Humble Bundle, that was the initial launch of Botanicula?

Peter: Yea, for the first two weeks it launched with the Humble Bundle, then it was sold normally after that. Later, we managed to sell it through Steam…

Jaromír: iTunes and so on.

Peter: And later it was released as a box version in Germany and Russia.

Jaromír: Now there’s the English version too.

Peter: Now there is an English collector’s edition bundled with Machinarium, it has a puppet of the robot from the game.

PB: Wow, sounds like a lot of releases all over. I do remember with that Humble Bundle in particular the donation was for the World Land Trust. That brings up a really good question that Botanicula is very… environmentalist in a lot of ways. You can interpret it as largely pro-environment. Can you elaborate on this a little bit; was that originally a driving force behind the game?

Peter: I have to ask Jaromír.

*The two speak to each other in another language, what I believe to be Czech.*

Peter: Jaromír didn’t really just come up with this pro-environment idea, it kind of just popped out because he enjoys going out into nature and the wilderness.

Jaromír: I like nature, that’s the reason.

QS: It definitely shows because the art style of the game is very organic. Is that definitely something you guys looked at when designing and building the game?

Peter: Yeah, definitely. The inspiration came from when Jaromír visited some garden in the Czech Republic. The garden had really old trees and it was kind of bushy.

Jaromír: But it’s a world in my head too [laughs].

PB: One of things that really stood out to me about Botanicula was the music, which I thought was fantastic. Where did you get the inspirations for that?

Peter: We really don’t know exactly, the music was done by the group called DVA. They kind of saw some animations…

Jaromír: We were on the same wave length…

PB: So you kind of showed them what you were thinking and they gave you crazy music that worked really well with Botanicula?

Peter: Yea.

QS: I noticed on the game showcase floor that a younger kid was playing. Is that something you look for, to make these games accessible to all, from younger kids to older people?

Peter: Yea, it’s more casual like Machinarium. The puzzles are simple, people should not be stuck in any part of the game. It wasn’t a design decision, it just happened.

PB: You just kind of made the game and it ended up that way. Seems like a common theme in the development of you games; you guys say, “this is cool,” and, “so is this,” then go from there.

Peter: The game really evolved from the beginning to the end. There were a lot of changes made throughout the development process.

QS: Any cool lessons learned after the development of Botanicula? Anything from how players played it to what they might want more of?

*Speaking to one another in Czech again*

Jaromír: It’s our first game and we are learning along the way [laughs].

Peter: We are learning all the time. Some people thought that it was pretty short, but we wanted it this way. Adults don’t have a lot of time to play games. The game is really relaxing and only takes like 5 or 6 hours to complete. Everyone can take their time to finish it; it’s not like those RPGs where you spend countless hours playing.

PB: Yea, it was definitely bite-sized and had some semblance of chapters. So where do you go now? What’s next, do you have your next game lined up?

Peter: We are porting the game to the iPad. We also plan to port it to Andriod devices and tablets. Amanita Design’s next game is Samorost 3, but us two are not working on that. The other half of the studio is working on that one. It sill has a pretty long way to go before being finished.

PB: Do you know when the port will be done?

Peter: Well… when it’s ready. We really don’t know yet.

PB: No timetable, nothing?

Peter: We are an independent studio, so that is one of the benefits.

PB: One more question: How exactly do you pronounce Botanicula?

Peter: Bo-tan-i-cu-la

PB: Oh, that works?

Jaromír: It doesn’t really matter.

Peter: The idea behind the titles at Amanita is that if you type them into Google you will really only find those games.

PB: Ah, alright. Well then, thank you very much as always for answering a few questions. I hope you have a great IndieCade and a lot of people stop-by to play your game!

Jaromír: Yes, you’re welcome!

Peter: Thanks!
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