Interview

Interview: Henry Lane (Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time)

Doc Clock and the Toasted Sandwich of Time comes out on WiiWare today and we had a chance to sit down and talk with Henry Lane, the CEA of Stickmen Studios.  He’s going to talk about some of the things you can expect to experience in the downloadable puzzle platformer.

Can you introduce yourself to our readers and let us know how you’re involved with Doc Clock?

My name is Henry Lane and I’m the CEA at Stickmen Studios, I have primarily helped to coordinate the promotion and distribution of Doc Clock across all platforms.

Can you tell us a bit about the game itself?

In ‘Doc Clock™: The Toasted Sandwich of Time’ you get to play as the kooky inventor DocClock, the creator of incredible and frequently backfiring contraptions. Accompanying him is his contemptuous companion SACK, a mechanical arm-wielding backpack with a less than favorable opinion of his master.

Players are immersed in a world of ingenious inventions and unpredictable outcomes. A world where techno-phobic hippy robots are bent on your destruction and the only means of escaping their cartoonishly-menacing wrath is by building creative contraptions from random objects encountered on your journey.

Doc Clock is a new puzzle adventure game that tests both the player’s cognitive ability in building bizarre inventions from propellers, garden gnomes and bathtubs, as well as the player’s skills in piloting their inventions through the robot-ravaged landscapes.

Where did you get the idea for Doc Clock?

The Doc Clock project team designed all elements of the IP for Doc Clock from the ground up. We wanted to make a fun, creative adventure where players could overcome obstacles in many different ways by literally inventing their own solutions. We created a physics engine which enabled the inventions and puzzle mechanics to function, and our heroes (Doc Clock and SACK) were created as the humorous lead characters to bring in comic dialogue to give the adventure a fun personality that everyone can enjoy.

The backpack that the Doc wears appears to be alive, much like F.L.U.D.D. was in Mario Sunshine.  Will there be interactions between him and the Doc?

Absolutely! SACK, otherwise known as ‘Strap-on Android Carrying Kit’, is Doc Clock’s deeply cynical sidekick. The game is loaded with amusing banter between the two as SACK never misses an opportunity to insult his cheerfully oblivious creator, whom he secretly plans to overthrow on his way to becoming supreme overlord of the world.

The Wii is known for multiple controls schemes in many games. Are there going to be different ways of controlling the game and can you explain some of the controls?

Currently there is only one control scheme; players use the control pad to move left and right as well as up and down when they control a vehicle. ‘A’ and ‘B’ are used for activating SACK’s mechanical arm which can grasp and tilt objects while moving them with the Wii Remote’s pointer. Finally one of the most important aspects of the game is triggered by the ‘Time Slider’ on button ‘2’ which allows players to rewind to any point of the level and back should they make a mistake.

How long will the game take players to complete?

On average people are taking between 6 and 8 hours to complete the game, however some are spending much longer thanks to the replay value the game exhibits. There are many achievements available to be earned, and those that complete the story are able to replay with new equipment allowing them to experiment further as well as discover new and previously inaccessible areas.

Were there any challenges in bringing the game to WiiWare?

As with every game one of the main challenges is tailoring the gameplay to suit the strengths of the platform. We were therefore very focused on making the building of inventions fun and easy to understand using the Wii Remote. The result works really well so that players feel like they are actually guiding SACK’s robot arm around. Also, twisting the Wii Remote became a very intuitive way of adjusting the angle of objects to help inventions function at their best.

Was there anything you thought was going to be difficult that ended up being easier than you thought?

Originally we considered that the game’s humor might be difficult to implement given that we wanted to appeal to a worldwide audience. However we all ended up having a lot of fun with this part of the game and in turn we’ve had loads of really positive feedback from many people who loved the humor.Even independent video reviews on places like youtube specifically mentioned how many people really enjoyed the games style, comedy and especially the brutal sarcasm of SACK.

What went into the decision to bring it to WiiWare over other downloadable platforms?

We felt that ‘Doc Clock™: The Toasted Sandwich of Time’ was a great fit for the WiiWare™platform given the interactive controls from the Wii Remote and Nintendo’s background of bright and colorful cartoon characters. Even more importantly is the fact that both Doc Clock and the Wii cater for an audience of all ages, while the game encourages children to be creative and use their imagination to build contraptions and overcome logic puzzles it also challenges the more mature audience who will likely enjoy a lot of the humor too.

When will the game be available and how much should players expect to pay?

Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time is set to launch on the WiiWare™ service on the 17th of January for the cost of 1000 WiiPoints™.

Thanks so much for your time today. Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers before we go?

Doc Clock keeps a regularly updated blog on his Facebook Fan Page with plenty of humorous material about his latest adventures at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Doc-Clock/161544987194418, also keep an eye on the Interactive Doc Clock website to stay tuned for upcoming competitions and promotions! http://www.docclock.com

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I want to thank Henry, once again, for sitting down to talk with us today.  If you’re interested in getting your hands on a copy of the game you can download it today through Nintendo’s Wii Shop Channel.

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