Interview with “A Day in the Woods” Developer, Retro Epic
How about we start with what is the overall goal of the player, and what’s the story in A Day in the Woods?
The goal is to get Red to her granny’s house, scoring extra points when done in a certain amount of
moves. On the way you need to avoid certain dangers and solve some puzzling problems, all the while
collecting berries and flowers to take to granny.
Tell us about the mechanics of the puzzle system built into A Day in the Woods, how do players complete levels?
Players move Red around the board by manipulating the world around her, clicking on any movable tile
adjacent to the empty space will move the tile to that space, highlighted by the player’s customizable
sprite. The player can also pan and zoom the camera around the board to check out the detailed tile
pieces or get a different perspective on things.
What sort of challenges can players expect to face while playing through the puzzles?
With the help of bunnies, beehives and a woodsman, you must outsmart Bears, Wolves… and HUGE
Trapdoor Spiders to make your way through the levels. But beware, some animals don’t play nicely with
others! Some animals will be blocked by fire, which can make some puzzles very tricky. There also seem to be a lot of strange people living in the woods on the way to finding granny’s house.
Was this system based off of any previous games (board games included)?
It was inspired mainly by sliding tile puzzles, which are popular kids’ toys and web games. Usually
they’re used to create a picture by sliding squares around until the picture is complete, but it gave us the idea of using the same principle of moving pieces around to introduce new gameplay. The kids toy aspect also inspired the carved wooden toy aesthetic of the game.
RetroEpic is based out of South Africa, how’s the indie game scene there?
It is definitely on the upswing, with great companies like Luma Arcade (Blade Slinger), Tasty Poison
( Pocket RPG ), IGF winners QCF Design ( Desktop Dungeons ) operating out of Cape Town. We
definitely have buckets of talent down here in Sunny South Africa!
Having been a software developer years prior to the development of your first game, what made you guys decide to start developing video games?
We’ve wanted to create games since we figured out we could get to the source of our old ZX Spectrum
games, the old cassette tape loaded games written in Microsoft Basic. Between then and now a whole lot of life happened but the only thing that’s changed is now we REALLY want to make games!
How many people worked on A Day in the Woods, and how long did the game take to develop?
We have a team of seven who each put in time between other projects to complete the game over 6
months or so.
Thanks for your time, Xavier. Where can players pick up their own copy of A Day in the Woods?
It’s been a pleasure! Right now players can grab a copy from A Day in the Woods‘ official website or
if you’re on Desura you can grab a copy there.