7 Days a Skeptic Yatzee gives us the inside scoop on 7 Days a Skeptic
Date of interview: 28.04.2005.
Interview with: Yahtzee
Interview by: Michael Zymler
Interview about: 7 Days a Skeptic

And if you don't... shame on you

- One of the main questions circulating around your game is: why name it "7 days a skeptic"? The main character doesn't appear to be particularly skeptical.
- Pretty much because it sounded cool. When I came up with the title for 5DAS, I started with an idea of setting a full game in a single set of rooms over five different days, and started with the title '5 Days'. 'A Stranger' was pretty much chosen because it sounded cool. On reflection, it makes sense, but that was an accident. 7DAS wasn't so lucky.

- Some reviewers have reviewed your game quite harshly, condemning you for adding timed sequences and obscure solutions to your game, what do you think about these accusations?
- I put my hands up to the obscure solution thing, because the towel rail puzzle was a bad idea in retrospect. As for the timed sequences, I put them in because some people said that 5DAS didn't have enough sense of urgency. So you have only yourselves to blame. A lot of people didn't like the chase sequences, so in the new Special Edition for the game I added a sort of 'alarm' system that hopefully makes it less unfair.

- Like in 5 Days a Stranger you use a limited amount of characters, is this because of constraints or in order to create more tension?
- It's definitely not because of constraints; AGS allows hundreds of characters. In horror films and games, the staple small group of protagonists is often used as a kind of timekeeping system, the number of people remaining showing how close things are to the end and therefore how urgent the situation has become.

- Compared to 5 Days a Stranger, do you think you've made a lot of progress in creating games? If so in what way do you feel you've progressed?
- I've certainly made a lot of progress since the old Rob Blanc days, but 5DAS and 7DAS are about on the same level in terms of advancement. 5DAS probably had better characters, but I think the setting was better in 7DAS. I had to make up a lot of stupid shit to explain why no-one could escape from DeFoe Manor, but a drifting spaceship is the very definition of perilous isolation.

- How long did it take you to come up with the storyline, the setting and the characters?
- Not very long at all, seeing as they were pretty much the same as in the last game. Ha ha. Seriously, I was originally going to set 5DAS on a spaceship but changed my mind at the last minute, so 7DAS was pretty much already written.


- Suppose that you'd be an allpowerful programmer and 2D/3D artist, you would have all the time and funds in the world... what game would you make?
- I would make an ultra-realistic FPS game where you play as an 80's style movies slasher icon, and the objective is to murder a succession of overconfident teens in a variety of lakeside and smalltown settings. I'd buy it.

- Any news you can share with us about Gridwerx?
-Beyond what's on the admittedly minimalist website, not a lot. I'm the scriptwriter, and yes, I got into this position on the strength of my amateur games.

- Why did you make the Special Edition? Was it because the fans begged you for it, or because you weren't completely pleased with the original outcome yourself?
- Probably the latter. Being skint played a part too.

-In 5DAS it appears quite a few people didn't understand the 'puzzle' with the salt on the bear and the bed... were there any problems like that in 7DAS?
-Probably the towel rail puzzle.

- How did the little people receive 7DAS? Would you say it was a better succes than 5DAS or not?
- Well, 5DAS still gets downloaded the most, so I guess not. What I suppose I should do is write a third chapter to tie up all the loose ends, but I confess I can't be arsed right now.

- 7DAS is quite a gory game, compared to 5DAS... why did you suddenly add so much more gore? Did fans request it? Did you feel it would increase the feeling of terror?Or are you just an evil evil man?
- Perhaps I'm just a wee bit desensitized to gore from watching so many Jason films. The big bloody butcher room in 7DAS was largely for shock value, I admit, but for me it's just so much red water.

- On that same topic, did you receive any negative 'fan'-mail concerning gore or other things that appeared in the game?
- Not really, I don't think anyone assumes they're games for kids, although I once had a mail from some crazy woman complaining that the occult themes of 5DAS offended her personal relationship with Jesus.

- Why did you create a sad ending for 7DAS? Some people found that quite a let down.
- It was never my intention to end everything with an 'everything's cool and our hero rides off into the sunset' ending, I just wouldn't have been happy with it at all. A lot of people found the 7DAS ending a bit of a downer, but I was almost certain they didn't see it coming, and that made me happy.

- Coffee or tea?
- Yes


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