Questions for Midnight Synergy
In the weeks before the release of Planet of the Z-Bots, we asked forum members to submit questions about Midnight Synergy and our games that you'd like to see answered. Here's a first selection of questions and answers.
What aspect of the Wonderland series are you most proud of?
In regard to the original Wonderland games, we’re very proud to have made games that have stood the test of time. Players are still returning to the original Wonderland games, and are still creating levels for Return To Wonderland (11,000 levels and counting!). For Wonderland Adventures, our goal was to create a puzzle game with a good story. Now that the trilogy has concluded, we think we have succeeded in that regard. And most importantly, our greatest source of pride are the thousands of user emails that we have received over the years - it is wonderful to know that our games have connected with so many people worldwide.
When you design your levels, your puzzles... what do you start with?
There are many paths to a puzzle. We often work backwards, putting the goal first, then blocking its access (e.g. with a gate) and then working on how a player would open the gate. Some levels have a “theme” (e.g. mechanical puzzles in Z-Bot levels) or a setting (e.g. a power core that needs to be shut down) that guide the design of the puzzle. Most often, however, ideas come up as we experiment with different gameplay elements. Often a good idea comes up while designing an entirely different level and observing how two elements interact with each other that hadn’t been considered before. Then that unexpected solution to one level becomes the basis of an entirely new puzzle. After the design, it's "test, test, test". A special "Thank You" needs to out to the team of WA3 beta testers, who did an amazing job!
Were there any scrapped elements from WA3?
Yes, plenty! With the long development cycle, ideas kept popping up month after month. Eventually, we just had to stop implementing them, or else development could have gone on forever. There were preliminary designs for giant lumbering ice crabs on Qwertyx (big enough for you to run underneath), an entire world called “Glop” (a yucky place full of red ooze and muck), and colour coded rainbow tiles (with a very devious puzzle pattern). Some of these features were even programmed, but were never used in the game. For example, there are not only Ice and Fire Wraiths, but also Grow Wraiths. These will be available to everyone, once the editor is released.
What's your opinion on all the hacks made to the WA Editor?
Great! It's astounding what people come up with. While there's not enough time to try out and play the various hacks that people have made, we enjoy looking at screenshots and YouTube videos. Sometimes, it's not even clear how these tricks were done! In fact, we really should feature some of these in an issue of the Midnight Post...
How tall are you in relation to a Stinker?
What do you mean, “in relation to a Stinker?” We are all Stinkers, through and through!
Do you knit your own hats or get them imported from Beanies R Us?
Beanies R Us? Never! Every hat is a hand crafted work of art. We get the wool from a free-range community Scritter farm. These Scritters are given plenty of hopping room and a 100% certified organic diet. We think you can really see (and feel) the difference!
That’s it for this issue... more serious (and not so serious) answers next time!