Jengo Gamescom 2017 Interview
Doom comes to all who live in the Pixelverse. Closely Guarded by a faceless menace, a large crack in the sky slowly consumes the land. In towns like Old Meta, the inhabitants drink and gamble away their final days waiting for the end to come. Precious few hold on to a hope that the Jengo, an outlander destined to avert this crisis, will hurry up and get on with the job of saving the world…
Meanwhile, in a completely different world, a disgruntled gaming prodigy called Jeff seeks a new challenge. He heads off to the local Game Mart seeking his destiny. What he doesn’t know yet is that two worlds are about to collide.
We found Jengo at the Indie Arena Booth during Gamescom 2017, played it and also managed to get a few words in with Louis and Greemo of Robot Wizard.
We asked the devs about their studio and they told us that “my spare room and his loft are basically our studio.” There was apparently a lot of interest from government parties to invest in the game’s development and Greemo exclaimed that they would love to one day have their own physical studio and maybe more than just two people one day.
“We met during a music event back in 2009 and we somehow started talking about games, before we decided to start making one,” Louis explained. The game has been in development for 2 years now and the developers got some friends on board to help with its development along the way too. “I personally used to work for Xbox,” said Greemo explaining that he has quite a bit of experience with game development but this is the first time he is working on something indie like Jengo.
The game is filled with a lot of the “unimportant” characters that many other games had and makes fun of all those little things that are quite funny to talk about in games. The demo being showcased at the expo was only 10% of what the real game will have, even in the areas showcased through the demo. “You will basically slowly advance to the Metropolis as you progress through the game,” the developers said.
They also called the title, a “homage to various characters of older classics.” There are apparently tons of references for people to also find. “We are huge fans of everything that was made by Ron Gilbert,” both developers exclaimed, before throwing a bunch of title names in the mix, explaining one by one how much they loved it and let it influence their current work with Jengo. “We also have quite a lot of influences from Sierra titles and that can be seen from the sociopathic tendencies of our characters.”
The developers also told us that they were even e-mailed by a couple ex-Lucas Arts employees who had messaged them to tell them about how much they liked their game. “You never know, maybe one day we will be the uncles of the genre,” said Louis. I told him I would quote him on that and so I did. We then joked about how developers sometimes say really “deep” quotes like that without realizing it.
They told us that, being indie, they are of course working on the game part-time and that they are continuing to work with a lot of AAA stuff, allowing themselves to survive while preparing the game. “We are looking into crowdsourcing it at some point,” they both said, following with “I would very much love to quit my job next year if it becomes possible.”
During next year’s Gamescom, the studio says they should be really close to release. They also have quite a few plans for porting to consoles, so there is also the matter of preparing all of that too. Both developers also told us about how awesome it was so many people play their game and enjoy it, as well as how happy they were with all the good feedback that they were receiving for it. “At first, we were worried that people wouldn’t play it, especially because it is our first time showing it. It turned out way better than we thought.”
“Germany has Gamescom, Wacken and so many other cool events. It simply just wins.”