Exclusive: ‘A Vampyre Story’ Progress Report with CEO Bill Tiller

We chatted with Bill Tiller, CEO and Creative Director for Autmumn Moon Entertainment about his work on ‘A Vampyre Story’ “A Vampyre Story 2′ and an unannounced upcoming title.  We’re very excited because he mentioned that their latest “unannounced” game “should appeal to fans of Lucas Arts adventure games”.  Amongst our conversation I used my Jedi mind tricks to sway some screens (found above) our way.  Below is our fireside chat* with Mr. Bill Tiller himself.

*No logs, twigs, or firewood were harmed.

So right now we are working on three games, yes three games so that is why I haven’t had time to update our web site. So AVS1 is till in test and we are optimizing the engine code for AVS1, AVS 2 and our third game. We are also doing final pick line recordings to cover anything we missed or to help fix puzzle bugs. But most of our artists are working on our new unannounced adventure game and a Vampyre Story 2. AVS 2 was designed two years a go so that really helped us just jump in to AVS2 without much preparation or preproduction. To accommodate doing three games we expanded from five people in house to eleven in house people. And we about that many out of house now too. We also now have a business manager and president, and he has really helped us grow and get more organized, and soon will get us involved with investors to help expand the business even more. We also have a new background painter, rigger, programmer, writer and two engine programmers. So it has been an incredible last six months and exciting things are starting to happen at an alarmingly rapid pace. We are stressed out but actually having a lot of fun at the same time, which may be hard to believe. But I am excited how the game is turning out and everybody has just worked their butts off trying to get this game out the door. In a way we kind like the Blizzard business plan in that we don’t release a game till it has reached a certain high level of quality, because we want to have the reputation of putting out a few games, but of high quality. So that is why the game has been delayed. It’s there at that level now, and the game pretty much matches what I had envisioned in my head. It isn’t perfect but I think it is going to really entertain people and I think most people will like it, hopefully a lot. I’m really proud of it.
And AVS2 will be even better because of all we have learned a lot working on AVS1. This experience is going to benefit from more engine work and better and more efficient pipeline procedures and tools that we have now. Game development is finally reaching the point at AME where it is getting routine and easier, at least on the technical side. I worked on two games that had to develop their engine at the same time as developing the assets (background, animation, sound, etc) for the game: Brian Moriarty’s revision of The Dig, and Indiana Jones and the Infernal machine. And that just added pretty much a year to the production time. But with AVS2 and the new unannounced adventure game we don’t have the problem, we just use the game engine and pop the new assets in easily and the game already works. That was what made SCUMM so great, it worked on so many games. That is why on CCMI we could play the game with temp art right away, no engine or pipeline problems. On Avs1 it took about 8 months before we saw Mona walking around, and there were a million bugs. This time around it has been sooo easy.
Anyway I just wanted to give you an update. And we plan to update our web site, possibly redesign it to coincide with the Leipzig game convention in August. We are in discussion with some web designers now about it. So we are aware we haven’t updated the site and will address that in the next six to eight weeks.

That’s right people, expect two “A Vampyre Story” point-and-click adventure games. I then asked Mr. Tiller “Can you give us any information on the unannounced title”, which he responded:

All I can say about the second game is that it is being published by a different German publisher than Crimson Cow, and it should appeal to fans of Lucas Arts adventure games, and that it will be announced very soon. And it too is point and click adventure game with 2D backgrounds and 3d animation, and it is an original idea and story, though it is inspired by a certain genre that is popular in movies, games and books, and it was heavily influenced by a certain place I visit a lot. Sorry to be so obscure, but I’m under a NDA so I can’t give out anymore details.

We are also working on a fourth adventure game, though we have not signed with a publisher yet. We are just in the conception stage and have just started on concept art for it. We will be announcing that game shortly too.

Hmm, Bill gives us plenty of clues.

  • original idea and story
  • inspired by a certain genre that is popular in movies, games and books
  • heavily influenced by a certain place I visit a lot

Could it be “Day of the Tentacle 2”, doubt it.  Stay tuned for future updates as we pest Bill for more screenshots.  Like a midget at a urinal, I’ll be on my toes!

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