The game was designed and created by the people in Zagreb-based Studio Spektar, a trio of game creators - Sven Nemet as an author and illustrator, Zvonimir Barać as an animator and sound technician and Aleksandar Gavrilović as the chief and only programmer. As they told us in a brief e-mail interview, “all of us worked together on writing, voice acting, puzzle design, PR/marketing and millions of little details including mixing up release dates and panicking a lot for good measure.”
It took them over two years to develop the game, so here’s what they had to say about how unusual that it in today’s game-developing world: “As one can imagine, it takes years and dozens of developers to make a high quality AAA game like Grand Theft Auto or Spider Solitaire. Our game is an independent project (or “indie” for friends) and it would probably take us less than a year if it was a full-time job. But what makes this feat even more heroic is that we did it with practically no financing, alongside freelance work and part-time jobs and with no prior gamedev experience. It takes a lot of effort and stubbornness to work on a project that will make money (or will it?) after months and months of work. Luckily, we are stubborn people and have nothing better to do with our miserable lives.”
This game features many hours of fun gameplay with a dozen minigames, from puzzles to fight sequences to race games. Viktor's crazy journey takes him through beautifully drawn and animated steampunk versions of Vienna, Krakow, Prague, Budapest, Dante's Inferno, and a few more. Apart from a lot of other silly characters, Viktor will encounter many famous figures, such as Franz Kafka, H.G. Wells, Nikola Tesla, Lake Kubilius, Dr. Jekyll - as you can see, it’s historically quite correct. This is what the creators had to say about their brainchild and the potential market that they are targeting with this title: “'Viktor, a Steampunk Adventure' is not a typical button masher like most famous titles, but a more contemplative and comedic experience where the player needs to solve puzzles and choose the right dialogues to progress through the story. It is a niche, but this niche has a good player base with some very calm and friendly communities. Making 'point and click adventures' and selling them to adventure gamers is a wonderful experience, comparable to selling drugs to minors, only this is legal and you don’t have trouble sleeping after doing it.” (I’d like to add one thing to this point of it being a niche: during gameplay, all of Canada, the US, and a bit of Mexico are equated with "Texas", so I’m guessing the game is probably not aimed too much toward the American market).
Although the game was officially released yesterday, on March 17th 2017, it has been reviewed and given praise by many publications even before it was officially released. Some of the leading sites had to say this about the game: Rincon Games says that Viktor is Taking Indie Games to a New Level of Cheeky, indiegames.com thinks that it’s a "Pretty demented and beautifully hand-drawn point-and-click adventure", Stoned Gamer admits that they think Viktor is "A game so bizarre and incredibly unique that it gives us anxiety to even talk about it." And last but not least, Alpha Beta Gamer describes Viktor as "... a beautifully hand drawn point and click steampunk adventure, full of colourful characters, inventive puzzles and wonderfully irreverent humour." The authors also commented on the feedback they’ve received since the launch: “It has only been hours after the game was released, but currently the amount of Internet talk on social networks and adventure game forums is so great, you wouldn’t believe it! It’s amazing. We know internet talk, we have the best Internet talk, trust us. People love our trailer and have great first impressions. If the sales continue to grow as much as they did by now, we should soon be featured on Steam’s front page and major video game portals.”
I asked them if they planned to port the game to other platforms in the future: “Our next step is porting the game to Mac, Linux, tablets, consoles, microwave ovens and abaci. We are especially looking forward to porting for tablets since point and click adventures are a perfect genre for a touch interface.” And now you probably googled to double-check if that’s really how you spell the plural of abacus, right?