Warsaw, Poland’s 11bitstudios recently brought their PC and iOS hit This War of Mine to consoles. The new version of the intense strategy game, which is called This War Of Mine: The Little Ones, shows the Siege of Sarajevo in a new light. War is rarely seen through the eyes of children, and yet this is what the game replicates.
We Got This Covered recently spoke with 11bitstudios’ Pawel Miechowsk about how challenging it was bringing This War of Mine to consoles, how children change the game, and much more.
Check it out below, and enjoy!
We Got This Covered: Playing through This War of Mine is an incredibly stressful experience due to the player having to make difficult, and morally questionable choices. Do you feel like making players uncomfortable is one of the best ways to immerse them in the harsh realities of the Siege of Sarajevo?
Pawel Miechowsk: Well, the goal was not to put players in uncomfortable role, but rather to get them engaged deeply until they’re very attached to the characters so they are much more likely to feel the loss when characters get hurt or die, or feel badly when one is forced to do something evil like theft or banditing.
That’s what happens in war and Michal (the creative director) came up with brilliant design pillars to make player feel similar to reality and thus to feel similar to what’s happening to civilians in war. Staying as close as possible to reality was the one of the keys to make the game a heavy experience.
We Got This Covered: How did the relationship with publisher Deep Silver come about, and how has it been working with them?
PM: Simply, we had a business contact with these guys for some time, so the relationship is not a new thing. Working with them had its ups and downs, but overall so far it’s been good. We’ll know more after some more time will pass.
WGTC: What made you want to look at war from a child’s perspective in the new content?
PM: That was the last missing puzzle to complete the picture of civilians in a city under siege. We had some ideas to add children to the game when making the basic version, but we had to finish that one as it’s been designed. We didn’t want to deliver an undercooked feature, so we took our time to design all the mechanics behind children properly. And finally we made it, we’ve added the last missing puzzle piece to the board.
WGTC: This War of Mine was already a very emotional, atmospheric game. Do you think that adding children into the mix will resonate even more with players, especially those that are parents?
PM: Yes, I think so, but keep in mind that many of us are parents too, so we looked at it from quite natural side – that even in war kids are still kids. I’d say that the basic TWoM speaks about adult emotions or experiences – helplessness, anger, sadness, depression, moral dilemmas. Children bring their own perspective – a bit of joy, innocence, being very open. Kids add their value too, they’re not like a burden or a resource. But it’s natural that everyone tries to protect them because who would sacrifice a child? So yeah, you look at war from a perspective of a parent, but also that of a child.