Thanks to Kickstarter, original creators Philip and Andrew Oliver are now giving us a brand new adventure named Dizzy Returns. We chat to the pair about using the crowd-funding service, how it will compare with the original and the challenge of new audiences.
Why choose Kickstarter to fund a new Dizzy game?
"Dizzy Returns is the game we've wanted to make for many years but until now there's not been a good model that would provide the funding we needed while still allowing us to retain total control over the creative decisions.
"Kickstarter is the perfect platform, as not only does it allow us to gauge interest in the finished game, and of course fund it if there is enough interest, but most importantly it lets us work directly with the fans of the series to come up with the game that THEY want."
How did the remake of Dizzy: Prince of Yolkfolk last year influence your decision to create a new, original Dizzy game?
"Making a brand new Dizzy game certainly isn't a new idea around here! Whilst the iOS remake last year was certainly well received by fans it wasn't a deciding factor for us in going for this now."
You mention the project will give you "the chance to introduce Dizzy to a new generation". What steps will you take to successfully do this?
"Making Dizzy Returns relevant to gamers today is really important, especially as the way we play games has changed so much in the last 20 years.
"The original Dizzy games were obviously a product of their time, so one of our main aims is to bring them bang up-to-date, not just graphically of course, but gameplay-wise too.
"Gone are the days where you had to sit and play a game from start to finish in one go (or three lives!), so we'll be designing gameplay with both short and long play sessions in mind."
Will the new Dizzy game be similar to the originals in terms of mechanics, pacing and controls? What specifically will you keep and change?
"We want to keep the spirit and sense of adventure of the original games, so things like platforming, exploration and puzzle-solving will still be key gameplay elements. We had some frustrations with the original series of games, especially because the technical limitations at the time meant that we couldn't do all the cool stuff we wanted to.
"The size and scope of Dizzy Returns marks a big difference - a much bigger world for Dizzy to explore, more puzzles for him to solve, featuring new mechanics like light and time and physics objects.
"As we mentioned above, we also want to offer the player a choice of play session length, so you'll be able to solve a quick puzzle on your phone between bus stops or, if you like, carry on for much longer in a more prolonged play session. We'll also include an adaptive hint system that the player can use if ever they get stumped!"
You mention leveraging touchscreen devices for puzzles and also bringing it to PC. Will certain sections work differently on both versions? Can you give us some examples of these puzzles at work?
"The story itself will be the same in both versions but the obvious difference is that the iOS version of Dizzy Returns will of course feature touch-control. The player will be able to move Dizzy along and interact with objects and puzzles by touching and swiping - moving levers, pushing buttons, turning and twisting objects , all these things will add a new dimension to certain puzzles in the iOS version."
One of the perks available on Kickstarter is the ability for fans to supply feedback. To what extent will you use this to design the game?
"It's one of the main reasons why we've used Kickstarter! Being able to talk directly with the fans is a fantastic thing, and means that we can take on board all their feedback and comments, as well as asking specific questions relating to gameplay.
"There are several game design issues that we'll be asking our backers about throughout the campaign, to involve them in helping shape the final game!"
There has been some backlash over whether Kickstarter should be used to revive established properties - such as Dizzy, Shadowrun, Elite and Broken Sword - over funding new and original ideas. What would you say to that?
"There's room for both types of project on Kickstarter - a new take on an old idea can be just as valid and exciting as a brand new one. Kickstarter is just as much about celebrating creativity as it is originality; a Dizzy game may not be an original idea, but the direction we'd like to take the series in definitely is."
Dizzy Returns will be coming to iOS and PC; what about downloadable services on consoles, such as Xbox Live Arcade, PSN or PS3 or Vita, and Wii U's eShop?
"We'd love to be able to bring Dizzy Returns to as many platforms at possible, but that is of course dependent on us being successfully funded."
Finally, what would you say is the core essence of any Dizzy game that you'll be implementing in this brand new title?
"We want to capture the core Dizzy experience - quirky characters and story, interesting and beautiful locations, platforming challenges, the satisfaction of a puzzle well-solved, exploring a colourful, fun world!"
> Dizzy: Prince of the Yolkfolk interview: How last year's comeback happened
> Retro Corner: Dizzy
Dizzy Returns is available now to back on Kickstarter, and if successful, is scheduled to release on iOS and PC in late 2013.