Hi, I’m Roman Tomilin, the coder and producer of The Long Reach, the upcoming puzzle horror adventure that releases next week, 14th March, on PS4.
The last time I was here, I outlined what our game was: a brutal 2D side-scroller set in a research facility the experiment of which has went haywire; your worst nightmares no longer haunt your dreams but prowl the institute’s corridors while you’re awake.
The game’s been a long time in development and lead to all manner of challenges. We wanted to showcase just some of those moments in the below video which hopefully offers some interesting insights behind the scenes of game development.
But as we also near release – only a week away! – I wanted to reflect (and share) some of the development secrets and insights about the team at Painted Black Games.
- The Long Reach started as a completely different game. It was another story, an alternative setting and a separate character. But we realized early on in development that our small team lacked the technical resources to implement the idea. We dropped the lot and started again. We still believe the original story was pretty cool – Maybe we’ll return to it sometime.
- Initially, the game had two parts – a 2D, side-on section for quests and a top-down view for a stealth mode. We removed the latter because we were unable to link both conceptions and art styles harmoniously. Early playtests showed that the combination frustrated players rather than delight them.
- Our development team isn’t centralised; we’re spread out over the country. While this has its perks (home comforts!) we’ve had to make sure we’re in constant contact and arrange regular sessions face to face. (Who knew brainstorming works best in person?) Yeah, independent game development can present difficulties, but on the other hand, there are lots of benefits. You can always count on the support of the gaming community. Moreover, when you are an IndieDev many game conferences are open to you, so you can show your game and collect invaluable feedback at every stage of development. This has helped us shape The Long Reach for the better.
- The Ukraine is cold and Roman is seldom seen outside without his trademark red beanie.
- The appearance of one of the game characters (one that you’re going to take your time with) is based on one of the development team. (Can you guess who? Watch the video closely to find out!) We don’t take ownership of ‘one’ role in the studio. We were task-oriented during development, dividing up the work as fitted best at any given stage during development. As a result, we’ve found we’re a versatile bunch.
- Our composer Ruslan is, in fact, a cat. Of course, he has his own human to serve him in his everyday routine and creative process.
- True story: the main storyline for the game was the result of a chance meeting between Roman and Evgeni at Casual Connect in Amsterdam. Written on the back of a beer mat, it managed to survive the night and was rediscovered in the morning when sobriety was regained.
The Long Reach is released for PS4 on Wednesday 14th March.