Posted 9:29pm

Relaxing puzzler Quell Memento slides onto PS Vita soon

In developing Quell Memento for PS Vita, we realised that the project was first started 20 years ago! You see, the game prototype was originally created on an Amstrad CPC computer, way back in 1993! Having said that, it was very different back then – it was called “Last of the Smileys” and was a lot more 8-bit in style.

As we set about improving the game for a modern release, we knew that we wanted to have a much more unique visual style. After much discussion, we decided upon a gentle old-fashioned look, in part because we read that the human brain is more intelligent when it is relaxed.

Quell Memento is intended to feel familiar, and to evoke feelings of nostalgia. After all, a game called Memento is always going to be about memories! For this reason, we wanted all the elements to be recognisable from the real world (water droplets, pearls and roses, for example). This would mean, we felt, that the player is able to establish the rules of play quickly, because they know that a pearl is valuable, or that a thorn will likely burst a droplet.

We also decided that the puzzles would be set within an old abandoned house. What could be more peaceful than that? We designed the room to be an attic crumbling with decay. It took a while to get right, because we didn’t want it to be creepy or unpleasant, but we did want to arouse curiosity and make the player wonder “who lived here?”

Quell Memento on PS Vita

Quell Memento on PS Vita

The reason for this intrigue is that we had felt that a backstory, gradually revealed to the player, would help maintain their interest across the game (we have over 150 puzzles), and keep them going even when it gets challenging.

An old man speaks to the player at intervals throughout the game and tells his story. His memories are a little muddled though, and he needs help to reorganise them and bring closure. As the player progresses through the nine chapters, the house transforms back to the way it was when lived in.

Things really clicked into place when we commissioned some beautiful music by composer Steven Cravis – a favourite of ours. He wrote a selection of soothing tracks that not only perfectly suit the story and style, but also actually help players to think.

Most games try to make you feel excited or stressed. We wanted to create a game that helped people unwind, maybe after a long day at school or work. The rear touchpad on PS Vita is a great way to play Quell Memento, as it means the screen is completely unobscured as you try to figure out the best way to complete the puzzles.

Quell Memento on PS Vita

Quell Memento on PS Vita

We’ve tried to explore the core sliding block mechanic as fully as possible and in doing so we’ve added variations of the game rules based around things like light and electricity. As the player advances through the game, the mechanics layer up. Players will need to become smarter by letting the game train their logic skills.

Quell Memento is a very unique game, and we hope it finds a home with people who like ‘thinking’ games. 20 years in the making – does that make it the longest PS Vita game in development ever?!

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Comments

17 Comments 6 Author replies
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Love a good puzzle game! This looks like a must buy! I would suggest an option to disable the back touch though if you want, it’s just in the way if you have long fingers like me :)

    Lewis Boadle 28 April, 2013 @ 11:17 am    

    Already done dFuse! It’s entirely optional, and the game can also be played with Dpad or Left stick (I’ve amended the post to make this clearer).

 
MaxDiehard 26 April, 2013 @ 11:01 pm   2

Looks great. :) Can’t wait to try it out.

The soundtrack sounds beautiful. :)

    Lewis Boadle 27 April, 2013 @ 1:43 pm    

    Hi MaxDieHard! Thanks very much! Steven Cravis has done an amazing job on the soundtrack, and we think it adds a lot to the experience!

Chaosprower 26 April, 2013 @ 11:28 pm   3

Is this just a port of the 0,80€ smartphone game or does it have anything new?

    Lewis Boadle 27 April, 2013 @ 1:44 pm    

    Hi Chaosprower!

    This is a completely original game, with entirely fresh puzzles, art and music.

 
InLikeFlynn- 26 April, 2013 @ 11:49 pm   4

Does this remind anyone else of the ice cave part of Pokemon?

 
Aces73High 27 April, 2013 @ 2:22 am   5

I also love a good puzzler, and just like fellow Blog readers dFUSE and MaxDiehard, Quell Memento is one that I am very much looking forward to. Clever, challenging, and very pretty, it definitely appears to have all bases covered.

You know, if there’s one criminally underappreciated side of Vita gaming that I for one positively adore, it’s the systems range of smartphone-centric games that are knocking around on the Playstation Store. As gamers, we all love to get our hands on triple-A blockbusters, such as Uncharted and Gravity Rush, of course we do.

But it’s the all too flippantly dismissed smartphone/handheld crossovers like Jetpack Joyride and Plants vs Zombies that are the bread and butter of handheld gaming.

And yet, despite Vita’s library of awesome casual and puzzle games, I reckon that developer Fallen Tree Games’ latest Quell franchised puzzler, Memento will be right up there with the very best that Halfbrick and Popcap have to offer. And the best bit? I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on the game to see if it really is as ‘right up there’ as I think it will..!!

As of right now, dFUSE, MaxDiehard & Co, the wait is almost over chaps!

    Lewis Boadle 27 April, 2013 @ 1:49 pm    

    Hi Aces73High!

    Flattered by the comparison the Halfbrick and Popcap, but I think we’ve got a way to go before we worry them ;)

    However, I agree that there is space on the Vita for more ‘casual’ experiences that give gamers a break from the hardcore stuff. It’s a great platform to develop for, and it really seems to be becoming a hotbed of indie development, which is ultimately great for the consumer!

    Thanks for your kind words!

 
residentSteve 27 April, 2013 @ 7:16 am   6

This is the reason I got rid my vita it’s a great machine but Sony just keep putting games like this on it, games that my iPhone can so easily run its such a shame and with ps4 on the way the vita is dieing a slow horrible death.

    Lewis Boadle 27 April, 2013 @ 1:51 pm    

    Hi ResidentSteve! Personally, I feel the opposite. After a slow start, I think the Vita platform is getting strong every day.

 

@residentSteve, utter rubbish. The Vita is doing anything but die.

 
jokerispoker 27 April, 2013 @ 8:36 am   8

Wow looks really interesting, it kind of reminds me of something like Virtues Last Reward. I feel like these type of games are exactly what the vita is made for :) cant wait!

 
Carnivius_Prime 27 April, 2013 @ 8:53 am   9

I’m not much into puzzlers (though some surprise me and hook me) and I don’t have a Vita (yet) but I just wanted to say YAY for mention of the Amstrad CPC. :) Still got mine set up in my bedroom and I’ve been developing a game project in the style of it’s graphical ‘limitations’ (lovely wide pixel 16 colors yay!)

:)

 
Witcher70 27 April, 2013 @ 11:42 am   10

Got to say i loved the ios versions of Quell and Quell reflect and completed both. Will definitely pick this up.

    Lewis Boadle 27 April, 2013 @ 1:53 pm    

    Thanks Witcher70!

    Glad you enjoyed our mobile games. We’ve really pushed the boat out on Quell Memento, and it’s by far our most accomplished title!

 
AmorousBadger1 27 April, 2013 @ 11:56 am   11

If anyone’s interested I had this message from the chap who runs the Terraria facebook page.

‘Terraria has been going through the submission process, so as soon as we’re able to, we’ll confirm the release date. We really appreciate your patience, and understand having to wait is frustrating.’

There now PSBlog mods, that wasn’t hard was it?

RealPhlik 27 April, 2013 @ 1:08 pm   12

I still can´t play Playstation All Stars on Ps Vita, i bought it on the promotion and i did not received the refund too.

 
Aces73High 28 April, 2013 @ 3:28 pm   13

If you’re still around Lewis, do we have a release date (plus any price details) for Memento as yet? I read somewhere that it was due to launch in April, is this accurate? Like I said yesterday, I’m really looking forward to this one!

Lewis Boadle 29 April, 2013 @ 9:59 am   14

Still here Aces73High! Quell Memento will be released late May, at a ‘reasonable’ but TBD price point. Hope you enjoy it!

TW1STEDH34T 30 April, 2013 @ 3:25 am   15

Sorry, but isn’t 1983 30 years ago? It says this project was started 20 years ago in 1983.
So is it 30 years ago or was the project started in 1993? :p

It looks promising though, I will definitely be on the look out for this little title.

TW1STEDH34T 30 April, 2013 @ 3:26 am   16

Sigh, never mind. I can’t read. =_= *doh*

 
Mr_GoGg4loR 30 April, 2013 @ 7:03 pm   17

looking forward to this little gem. really liked the iphone/Android version and since I didn’t complete it (now that I think about it) I’ll get to it so I can start this immediately when it’s released! :D

I LOVE MY VITA! :D