About putting one's Heart on display...
I promised earlier to shed some light on the production of Oceanhorn. So, here I go and present the people behind this game! Jukka and Antti Viljamaa are the brothers of Cornfox & Bros. They still work as Lead Programmers in the Death Rally iOS project and are busy working both updating Death Rally Multiplayer and coding new features for Oceanhorn. Their creative talent combined with their university doctorate diplomas make them unstoppable forces of nature when it comes to game development, and they are also nice guys! :) Previously they worked on games such as Star Wars: Force Unleashed (Mobile) and de Blob Revolution (iOS).
I (Heikki Repo, Fox of Cornfox & Bros.) work as a Lead Artist and Lead Game Designer in Death Rally, but since my work is somewhat finished at the moment I can concentrate on creating art and game design for Oceanhorn. I've made my career as a Lead Artist, Artist, and Animator in multiple iOS and Mobile games, such as SW: Force Unleashed (Mobile), Star Wars: Cantina, and de Blob Revolution.
One of the most important aspects of Oceanhorn is a 3D tile map editor, called "OCEAN: Tile-Based Worlds", developed together with Mountain Sheep, creators of Minigore and Bike Baron. Together with their wonderful coders (e.g. Tim Wiren and Erik Hakala) we have been able to create a fun and efficient world editor that can be used for all our upcoming games. Editor is still work in progress and it will be developed at the same time with Oceanhorn. It runs on iPad, so we can immediately test controls and gameplay in the maps we create. Because of the 3D tile map approach, we can efficiently create lots of level content with a small team.
Why are we making a retro-adventure game for today's market? We just loved those games back in the day and we feel like action adventure genre should take a look back and learn something from its past. Too many good ideas have been forgotten and left untouched for years now. What happened to worlds were you can travel to all four winds? What happened to the interactivity in those worlds? Back in the day, you could spend time exploring one screen full of bushes and grass with your sword - or bomb through walls or just test all your equipment with your environment. Maybe you found a coin there, or a secret seashell, but certainly you found depth from the game's world. There are still games that value these traditions, especially one very big game series we all love, but other than that the evolution of console style adventure games has grown thin, or stopped even.
PS. We put hearts in that heads-up display because we think numbers are a very unintuitive way of communicating one's health and other such things. It's good for counting ammunition or money, but other than that - let's leave numbers for programmers and their ilk. :)