Monday, June 14, 2010

Freeman, Eufloria, and Transmedia – Chatting With Rudolf Kremers

freeman Eufloria creator Rudolf Kremers likes to keep himself busy – when he’s not working on Freeman, his next major game project, he’s working on ventures into “transmedia,” or helping Alex May port Eufloria to the Playstation 3. We talked a little with Rudolf via email to get some more information on his latest projects.

On Freeman

Kremers is keeping the specifics of his next game close to his chest, but he was willing to divulge some details.

“The idea of Freeman is that it is an ode to classic sci-fi and the beauty of scientific exploration, in the guise of an indie game,” says Kremers. The exploration theme works on many levels – you’ll physically explore your environment, but you’ll also explore your place in the narrative and the game mechanics themselves, “as well as on other levels that I am not ready to share yet,” says Kremers.

Fans who have been paying attention will notice that Freeman is the first name of physicist Freeman Dyson, whose surname was Eufloria’s original title. When asked about this, Kremers said that the games shared no overt connection. More than that, he wouldn’t say – just that we should expect Freeman sometime in 2011, and that we can expect a better look at the game not more than “a few months” from now.

On going “transmedia”

Kremers did tell us that he had aspirations for Freeman beyond the game itself – something that he calls a “transmedia approach.”

“The game is set in a sci-fi universe that I have been working on for a while, and I decided that I really want to explore this universe further through other media projects as well. As it stands I am planning a graphic novel and investigating a cinematic exploration of sorts.” Basically, Kremers wants Freeman to be just a piece of a larger narrative puzzle.

“The reasons why I think Freeman can be at the centre of a transmedia approach are mainly to do with the fact that the project touches on so many of my permanent interests, and I would be exploring them in one way or another anyway. After some advice from a friend I realized that I may as well develop this new IP as a coherent universe in which various creative efforts can find a home, and that way support and strengthen each other. For example, I recently re-evaluated my other comic project "Spire" and found that it would fit absolutely perfectly in the Freeman universe. So with some minor alterations that project can be added to the whole transmedia approach.”

On Eufloria and the Playstation Network

Eufloria_ScreenShot_5_thumb[15] Lastly, we talked once again with Kremers about his and Alex May’s superb Eufloria (read our review, our first interview, and our follow-up interview), which is coming to the Playstation 3 via the Playstation Network in early 2011. Why the Playstation Network? Simply put, greater creative freedom.

“[The Playstation Network] is the only natural place for the game really as a WiiWare version stranded early after Nintendo approached us at the IGF (they don't like that we work from a home office) and Microsoft put so many extra demands on an XBLA port that it would be both too much a financial risk as well as introduce things in gameplay terms we are not that interested in. Sony on the other hand have been genuinely enthusiastic, and have shown to be very welcoming to the indie approach we bring to the table. We agreed on the direction of the game, both in terms of scope and creative content, which was also crucial. We also think that PSN audience would welcome a game like this. So in short, it makes sense for us to do it this way.”

While Kremers has not announced plans to bring Freeman or any other project to game consoles as of this writing, he says that it’s certainly not out of the question. “At least I expect this to be the case,” he said.