Just a couple of days ago I got the chance to do a Q and A interview with Breton Fabrice from Cowcat studios. So we talked about everything from his upcoming point-and-click adventure game “Demetrios – The Big Cynical Adventure“, Kickstarter to his plans for 2016. So I hope that you will enjoy my interview with Cowcat studios =) And “if” you enjoyed the “Demetrios” demo, then you should keep your eyes and ears open for our “Demetrios” giveaway (which we aim to launch shortly after “Demetrios” Steam release). With that said, enjoy!

Robin TGG
Would you be so kind and give our readers an introduction of yourself and your studio? =)

Cowcat studios
I’m a 31-year-old French guy, and this is a one-man studio! I come from a software developing background, and I’ve always been a video game fan. I play all kinds of games, but my favorites are adventure games obviously!

demetrios the big cynical adventure

The name “Cowcat” is a mix of the two animals which Breton Fabrice (the founder of Cowcat studios) loves the most.

Robin TGG
How did you come up with your studio name “Cowcat”? And does it represent anything?

Cowcat studios
I wanted something unique, funny and easy to remember! My favorite animals are cats and cows, so I figured… how about blending them together? 🙂
It does represent something – to be self-sufficient. Cows make milk and cats drink it!

Robin TGG
For how long have you developed games? And when did you decide that you wanted to do it professionally? And which adventure games do you like the most? And why?

Cowcat studios
I began to program at the age of 10, on an Amstrad CPC (an equivalent of the C64 here in France) in BASIC language, and made a ton of games on it! (unfortunately lost forever…). I saved up money from my previous job. Two years ago I was getting bored with it and figured we only have one life, so it was the right time to “live the dream” and make this very personal project a reality!

demetrios demo

I enjoyed the “Demetrios” demo quite a bit.

Robin TGG
If I´m not wrong now “Demetrios – The BIG Cynical Adventure” is your (and Cowcat´s) very first commercial game right? Could you perhaps tell our readers what “Demetrios” is all about?

Cowcat studios
Yes, Demetrios is my first commercial game (and I sure intend to make more!). It’s a funny Point & Click adventure seen from first person and borrowing some elements from visual novels. Bjorn, an antique seller, is drunk and gets back to his apartment when he’s suddenly knocked out by a thief. The police isn’t helpful so he investigates on the case. He notices a statue tablet has disappeared, which is the starting point of the adventure!

So you have this “everyday man” getting involved into dangerous situations, meeting all kinds of silly characters and solving problems in many different ways. It may sound déjà-vu, but the plot fits the game – it’s silly 🙂  It’s not exactly a parody of classics like Broken Sword but it’s definitely seen from a cynical point of view with lots of stupid things happening! 🙂

Robin TGG
How exactly did “Demetrios” came about? And for how long have you developed the game? Because I heard something about “Demetrios” being a remake of a game which you made around 1999-2001, but apparently that game was never released?

Cowcat studios
Yes, I originally made this game on my first PC when I was 15, and I finished the first version in 2001. It was a complete, varied and long game! The remake retains everything that made the original game unique, but everything has been recreated from scratch and improved – the graphics, the musics, the gameplay, the interactivity, the humor… along with tons of additions!

demetrios the big cynical adventure humor

The humor is very raw and “right in your face” in “Demetrios”.

Robin TGG
Is it true that “Demetrios” is about eight to twelve hours long? And will there be any Easter eggs and achievements in the game?

Cowcat studios
So far most people reported me that it took 10-12 hours to finish it once, and most of them also did a second run to get all cookies, gameovers and achievements. Of course the length means nothing if the game is boring, but I’ve made it very varied and you’ll be regularly surprised and wanting to see more. And yes, there are sometimes easter eggs 🙂 Finding all the cookies on-screen (which serves as game hints) unexpectedly resulted in a very addictive “game in the game” too!

Robin TGG
I recall something about “Demetrios” being made in Game Maker Studio. Am I far-off target? Or is it close to the truth? If so, what do you think about Game Maker?

Cowcat studios
Yes, I do use Game Maker Studio. I’m a programmer so I could have used a more complex environment to program it, but I wanted to stay simple so I could focus on the most important – the result! Game Maker is great for 2D games, it’s dedicated to making them and it can export to most environments very easily. You can expect to see Demetrios on consoles at some point 🙂

discworld

“Demetrios” is inspired by games such as “Discworld”, “Broken Sword” “Gabriel Knight”.

Robin TGG
When I played through the “Demetrios” I felt vibes from games such as “Broken Sword”, “Discworld”, “Monkey Island” and “Gabriel Knight”. And if I’m not wrong now, “Demetrios” are indeed inspired by those games?

Cowcat studios
Definitely! I made the first version of the game 15 years after playing Broken Sword 1 & 2 and Discworld 2 on my PS1. (yes, Point & Click CAN be played with a controller too, and that’s why I’ve added gamepad compatibility for Demetrios!). After that I’ve also played tons of adventure games on PC, so I had a very good idea on how to do it – what frustrates me as a player, what is the most rewarding…However, the game has a very unique identity, with its first person view and its sometimes childish and personal humor that you won’t find in any other game.

Robin TGG
It must have been a really great feeling for you having your game fully funded on Kickstarter. Especially since “Demetrios” got 169% funded. So my question to you would be the following. What was your Kickstarter experience like? And did you run into any problems during your campaign?

Cowcat studios
Well I didn’t exactly ask for a big amount (2500 €) but I did it more for the community side of it, and I wasn’t disappointed! More than 250 backers is no small feat, and I’m very glad for it! They help me with testing and feedback, and they spread the word too! Managing the Kickstarter was very time-consuming (I dedicated pretty much one month to it), but I definitely don’t regret it. I didn’t encounter any specific issue, although I did make a few mistakes. The page was too long and text-heavy, and the project banner wasn’t pretty enough so I guess it must have turned off some potential backers. First impressions are very important!

Robin TGG
What´s your theory on “the rise of the point-and-click” adventure games? Because not too long ago, the adventure genre was pretty much dead and gone for life. So what do you believe is the main reason behind why adventure games have become popular among Gamers again? Personally, I think it´s because games like that are much more accessible nowadays thanks to smart phones, tablets and crowd funding. And small indie developers (like yourself) can actually create, release and reach a niche market without dying in the process.

Cowcat studios
I’m not so sure Point & Clicks have ever been dead. During the early to mid 2000 there were fewer but they were still there, although I really didn’t like the transition to 3D – that just doesn’t work for a Point & Click. It’s confusing, less pretty and doesn’t bring anything new. The indie game movement definitely helped to bring this genre back in terms of releases – there has never been so many adventure games coming out than the last years!

Although I still feel they should be doing so much better in terms of sales, if only they had more visibility. For example I’ve encountered many people absolutely loving Demetrios despite them never playing Point & Click games, and I think it’s a shame! This genre definitely misses some big names to keep it more often on the front line. Big budget games released in physical boxes and some real marketing. (I’m not counting Telltale’s latest offerings, which aren’t Point & Click IMO but interactive movies) The potential is there!  Maybe someday?

Robin TGG
I´ve been told that “Demetrios” is set for a release on the 31st of May via Steam to Windows, MAC and Linux, is that correct? If so, is there any plans for a launch party or such? (giveaways, streams and so on). And will the game really be 100% DRM-Free?

Cowcat studios
Yes, May 31st. I’m preparing a demo version on Steam (which is probably already available as you’re reading this!) I’ll be doing some giveaways on my Twitter account (@DemetriosCowcat). I haven’t set any DRM on the Steam version, but the true DRM-Free version will be sold on the website (along with a very limited DVD edition) and some other platforms like Itch.io! I invite anyone interested to stream the game to reach me so I can provide you with a copy of the game!

Robin TGG
What´s your plans for 2016? And do you plan to tour around and show “Demetrios” at Gaming events around the world?

Cowcat studios
Probably not the world! Lol.  This takes a lot of time and money, it’s hard to do that when you’re a single developer! But I may attend some Adventure games conventions. My plans will mostly consist in porting the game to other platforms and do some pre-production on the next game. Expect a PS Vita version of Demetrios at the end of the year 🙂

tgg author avatar robin ek
Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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