What is your name and where do you live? Chris | The Netherlands. Nicknamed "The Joker". Joker for friends.
The name Joker pops up all the time when you are involved. Who gave you this nickname, and why? Well, I gave it to myself; Being a Batman- and Jack Nicholson-fan, it was the first nickname that came to mind.
What do you do for a living? I'm a freelance Graphic Designer.
Are you working on something right now? Well, nothing big at this moment. Just some illustrating for a magazine. And some free work, just for fun.
There is a picture of you in Femo Duo's homepage playing dart. Do you have any other hobbies? Just for the record: Playing darts is NOT a hobby of mine!! I was playing it at the time the picture was taken, but it must have the been the last time I played it. Another big hobby of mine is composing music, and watching movies.
Femo Duo consist of three members. Who are the other two? HWM & Da Mole. The one playing piano is HWM
Have the three of you worked together for long? Da Mole just worked on 'Enclosure'. HWM and I did some small projects together, like Camouflageman and Hank's Quest.
Who came up with the idea for Enclosure? I did. I wanted to draw and make a game that took place in the snow. That's how it all started. I thought it would be nice when it was a kind of a horror type-of-game. I already knew it was going to be made in AGI STUDIO (Adventure Game Interperter). I just started working on the game - doing a small intro. I had no plot, no clue where it would end. It wasn't even called 'Enclosure' yet; I just called it "Arctic Mission". That was the working title, I guess. The main character Mike is a con artist it the final version, but he started out as a chopper pilot in the first versions. In the first draft of the story (wouldn't even call it a 'story' yet, at that point) Mike had to fly a bunch of people to this desolated station in the middle of Antarctica. There was a will involved in which a millionaire (Maxwell Mayfield, I kept that name in the game) wanted a couple of scientists to find a cure to a rare disease that he died of. He was afraid his kids would have the disease too, since it had been in the family for ages, but soon the first 'error' came along since I could not think of a solid reason why these scientists would do research somewhere in the middle of Antarctica. So I deceided to rewrite the story, and this is where HWM and Da Mole came in.
They came up with the story we know today? Yes and no; The basic storyline was mine, but together we came up with some great new stuff like, for example, the 'Great Oil Scene'. Also, some of the plot holes were filled in.
You said you liked to create music, did you make the music for Enclosure? Together with HWM
You also mentioned that you knew the game was going to be made in AGI. Why did you decide this? Well, after I made Hank's Quest, I just wanted to make another game in AGI. I was curious to see if I was able to make a horror game with low resolution and a 16 color palette. Not to mention the sound- and music limitations.
What was the biggest challenge to make in the game? Good question. I know I had a hard time making the 'Scooter Scene', since the background graphics together with the 'action' on the screen took up a lot of memory. I had to reprogram that bit several times, taking away minor things just to make it work. Also, the end sequence was a lot of trouble memory-wise, but I worked my way around it.
The 'Scooter Scene' was a good scene. Maybe one of the best in entire game. Do you have a favourite scene of your own? I think that would be the end sequence, although I like other scenes because of their appearence (graphics, I mean - Not so much because of the action taking place in it). The 'Scooter Scene' comes second.
Enclosure has gotten pretty famous since its release. How did you promote it on the net? Well, it's funny. We've only mentioned it on the AGI-forum, since that was the right place to launch it. Then people found 'Enclosure', instead of us promoting it. All that went pretty fast after we released it. Lots of email and stuff.. It was very rewarding.
I remember how I stumbled over it. Someone came to me and showed me the trailer movie for the game. The trailer had me convinced after 5 seconds that this was a game I wanted to play. The music especially was very compelling. Will you continue making trailers for future games? The trailer did a great job for us. It convinced people to play the game, like you said. So, I am pretty sure there will be trailers for our future releases.
Will there be a sequel made? Well, I have some ideas for a sequel, but only in my head; I haven't written anything down yet, nor done any sketching - But there's a small chance there will be one...
Have you received any wedding-proposals or other interesting fan-mails? No proposals, but we receive some occasional mail where people tell us how much they liked the game, or how much they were freaked out by a particular scene. That is always very nice to read. I never thought 'Enclosure' would be such a success.
I know that Ken Williams (the founder of Sierra) has a copy of Enclosure on his computer, and that he thinks the game is great. How did you guys react when he contacted you? We were absolutely thrilled! Since 'Enclosure' was our way of 'saluting' Sierra the response Ken Williams gave us was the biggest compliment we could get. It was very very rewarding for us amateur designers.
What can be expected from Femo Duo Entertainment in the future? Are you working on something now? I'm working on a game-idea, but it's in its very early stages. Nothing solid, yet.
Any tips you can share with future game-makers? First of all: Avoid cliché - Try to be as original as possible. I know some people will say that it sounds strange coming from me since 'Enclosure' seems to be based on the movie 'The Thing' by John Carpenter, but let me point out it was not. There are some eggs about that in the game, as you might have noticed.
Second: Try to stay motivated till the end - I know it's tempting to finish the game quickly when you're starting to lose interest, but people who play the game want to be rewarded when they actually finish it. It's better to let production rest for a while when you lose interest than to finish the damn thing quickly just because you're done with it.
Finally, and most importantly: Make sure the games gets tested and listen to your testers! Most of the time they come up with great new ideas or sugggestion to make a particular scene more exciting or understandable. 'Enclosure' had a great beta-tester (Nick Sonneveld), who surely contributed to the game's quality.
Any last famous words from you? "Eat more fruit and vegetables & listen to your parents!"