Like many indie developers, the four members of the Foot Prints team want to leave their mark on the gaming industry by mesmerizing players in the same way they were inspired at a young age. Based in central Italy in the city of Macerata, they're focusing on recreating the magic of some of the most beloved American point-and-click adventure games of the 90's. In fact, this goal of telling classic stories of their own is where the studio derived their name. Here's what drawer, animator, story editor and art director, Maurizio De Angelis, says about how the team came up with the idea of Detective Gallo:
"After so many years as fans of adventure games, one day we thought of a story that could (be) turned into a video game. Since that day four years ago, little by little, we developed the initial idea and defined the game design, always aiming to the same goal: to tell a story to entertain players, taking the core from the golden age classic adventures and bringing it to a new, up-to-date level."
That story became Detective Gallo, the tale of the namesake feathered private eye on the trail of a serial plant murderer. With the help of Thorn, his assistant cactus and confidant, Gallo must vet a colorful gallery of characters to get to the bottom of the case. Taking inspiration from some of the great LucasArts point-and-clicks, Detective Gallo maintains that same dry humor and art style. As De Angelis says, the studio was inspired by many games of the genre:
"Sam & Max Hit the Road inspired our detective-comedy story. Day of the Tentacle helped us to define the bizarre and deformed graphic style, while The Curse of the Monkey Island was a good reference for the cartoon style of the characters' animations."
Watch the Teaser trailer for Detective Gallo below:
From the game's teaser trailer, it's clear that same tounge-in-cheek humor has carried over into Detective Gallo. It's hard not to smile while watching Gallo grill his animated suspect, as nearly every facet of the game's art direction oozes charisma.
Gallo himself is a mix of multiple video games, animation and classic noir film influences:
"We mixed up Humphrey Bogart and Dick Tracy's attitude with a colorful style inspired by Disney's DuckTales 80's series, with a touch of bizarre from LucasArts' golden age adventure games. The result of this work is Detective Gallo," said De Angelis. "Since we wanted to create a comedy-noir video game since the very beginning, we had the idea of building a protagonist based on a clear contrast between a funny/goofy visual and his tough/overconfident nature."
While Gallo feels plucked straight out of a retro point-and-click adventure, he won't be carrying the extra baggage. As fans of those classic LucasArts games, Foot Prints can now look back and also examine what didn't work about them. They aim to modernize the point-and-click for today's audience and ditch the features that make some of those games feel antiquated. Here's what team at Foot Prints has improved:
"First of all, (we wanted to improve on) the old-fashioned user interface. We wanted something much more immediate and user-friendly in order to improve the game experience and to make the game appealing for the nowadays adventurers. Secondly, we avoided writing too many long dialogues to make the story flow well, with a good pace."
After completing Detective Gallo, it's likely that De Angelis and his team will be working on similar adventures. He says that Foot Prints will continue to focus on creating more point-and-clicks for the immediate future, but the studio is always open to making other types of games going forward:
"Who knows. For now yes, we'll be focusing on adventure games that we like a lot and about which we have lots of ideas!"
Detective Gallo is aiming to release June of 2017 on PC with a Mac version potentially arriving later.