HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Broken Lines started out as a project with the aim of combining a game with core gameplay like Frozen Synapse, but with much improved accessibility like X-Com and with story and atmosphere like Banner Saga. -with a realistic setting.
To achieve this goal, we have prototyped heavily – using physical prototypes (plastic soldiers, sticky sand, paper, tabletop models etc). Before finalizing a gamedesign, we then have implemented – without much wavering. After some initial mockups, we got awarded 15.000 euro from the Danish Film Institute to help us fund the production of the prototype.
When the prototype was completed, we applied several times for supplementing funding, for creating a demo. But got rejections due to our game being “unnecessary offensive” due to scenes with possible slaughter of unarmed enemies and soldiers setting fire to live sheep – aspects which are to show how war can make you digress into barbaric behavior.
With no external funding, the fate of the game seemed grim. But a mixture of pure determination and stubbornness made us roll up the sleeves and carry on working on the game, funded by a hectic mix of the small revenues from our previous games and contract work.
Finally our hard work payed off and we were awarded both a grant from the European Union for the games focus on the Eastern European part of the WW2. Shortly after, we won the regional Nordic Games Discovery Contest Sensation awards where we got to the semi-finals. This allowed us to complete the vertical slice and get increased awareness for our game.
During the development, we have iterated heavily on the UI and AI, to balance control with ease-of-use and realism and smart AI, with fun-factor. The game has been tested with external testers, at least once per week, during the whole development. – always players who had no previous experience playing the game and sometimes also no experience with the genre. To ensure the usability and fun-factor of the game.
PORTAPLAY SHORT HISTORY
We are a game development company that focus on combining involving gameplay with serious stories – inspired by real events.
PortaPlay started as a work-for-hire company, doing numerous games for touch devices, web browsers, on-location PC’s and touch screens.
The last couple of years we have invested all available time and resources to develop our own games. Our game Panzer Geekz became a success on Windows Phone with 500.000 downloads and a 4 star rating (out of 5). Our launch of Tales from the Void were partly a success (50.000+ sales to this day). Our game captured the audience, especially in regards to the story, atmosphere, mood and style. – but the gameplay was not tightly enough designed.
For Broken Lines we thus have 3 major “Improvement goals”:
- Make a new game which keeps the focus on storytelling and atmosphere.
- Improve the gameplay, controls and “feel” of the game.
We really like to push the boundaries a bit with each game. Take classic genres and game types and shake the bag. Introduce new ways of telling stories, new core mechanics and generally give our players a unique experience. Your interest in Broken Lines will help us realize this vision.
PRESS / REQUEST INFO
Hans von Knut Skovfoged