Gaming for Grown Ups
18th September 2012 12:00:00
Posted by Lewis Brown

Q&A - Red Johnson's One Against All

We recently had a chance to chat to Djamil Kemal of Lexis Numérique about the newly released XBLA/PSN Adventure murder romp Red Johnson's Chronicles: One Against All. One Against All follows on from Red's previous PSN adventure and we had a poke around to see what has changed...
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Red Johnson’s Chronicles: One Against All is your second visit to this murder mystery adventure world – what’s changed since we last helped Red solve some serious crime?

We've taken a look at all that was good (and bad) from Red's first outing; tried to keep the good and get rid of the bad. We were lucky enough to have a lot of gamers feed back to us and that was really useful — it was also why we ended up having an XBLA version this time around. And a better help system.

RJC very much differentiated itself from other Adventure games by taking emphasis away from item combination puzzles and instead placing it in examination and conversation based gameplay. How successful do you think you were with this direction, and is it a feature that continues in One Against All?

We've taken a look at all that was good (and bad) from Red's first outing; tried to keep the good and get rid of the bad. We were lucky enough to have a lot of gamers feed back to us and that was really useful — it was also why we ended up having an XBLA version this time around. And a better help system.

The claustrophobic feel, the PI main character, the general elements of the story – all of this speaks of Film Noir influences for the development team. How hard is it for you to take those influences and ensure the game doesn’t feel clichéd on-screen?

Funnily enough, the artistic and creative direction in Red Johnson's Chronicles — One Against All lends itself to being both. We love Noir, so there are some 'new wave' riffs but because we also love to include references to just about every sixties, seventies and eighties cop show; we're maybe a little clichéd? Though very much by design.

One criticism levelled at RJC was that it didn’t seem to offer a large degree of replayability; has this been addressed in One Against All or did you make a conscious design choice to concentrate on providing a high quality single run through product?

Replayability is tough for games of this type. Mainly because you want the player to find as much detail as they can on the way through. There are some things, however, that aren't ultimately necessary for progression. The game though is designed to be a high quality, narrative-driven experience on a single run through.

The resurgence of the Adventure genre continues at high pace with the new funding possibilities provided by avenues such as Kickstarter. What benefits would you say that One Against All provides having been developed within a more traditional model?

KickStarter is great. I guess the traditional model means you don't have to wait for funding?

Can we expect to see more Red Johnson games in the future? Is this perhaps the start of a fully fledged Adventure franchise?

There are three episodes in all, expect one more. Of course, Lexis Numérique will always favour storytelling and puzzles. We believe this type of adventure game is the best way to do that.

Do you have any plans to port One Against All (or the first Red Johnson game!) to a touch capable device such as the Vita or iPad?

I can't answer that at this stage I'm afraid. Sorry.

The first time round you released solely on PSN – what were the drivers this time that directed you to a dual PSN/XBLA release?

As I hinted at eariler we had a lot of XBLA gamers who were less than happy about Red Johnson being a PSN exclusive. Fortunately, this time we were able to bring the game to them.

Have you included any tools to help players with the pixel hunting, or have you stayed true to the more hardcore?

The help system is pretty much as flexible as you want it to be, you can never get really stuck. If you want to remain hardcore — don't use it when you're stuck.

Imagine that we are an Adventure fan who hasn’t played the first Red Johnson game and we are undecided on whether to try this one – how would you pitch the sale to us?

That's easy. Red Johnson's Chronicles — One Against All: made by Adventure fans for Adventure fans! :)