PAX West 2018 Highlight: Tick Tock: A Tale for Two
We spoke with Tanja and Mira from Other Tales Interactive about their upcoming game, Tick Tock: A Tale for Two. It is a two player cooperative puzzler, think Myst with a second player. That might sound simple but each of you has a separate set of clues and puzzles to solve. So, be prepared to work hard together. It is available on a multitude of platforms, from the Nintendo Switch to an Android phone. Nearly everyone with a mobile device can play with one another. They don't even have to be matching, you can play with a friend on a Switch and you on your iPhone.
When we asked them how this all got started they had a funny answer. This was part their thesis project at the IT University of Copenhagen. It has been in development ever since. Both of them have a background in narrative and literature so shifting to programming and designing was a huge step and a difficult one at that. Mira spoke about having been able to only do a specific piece of the programming and then going out and having to learn another specialized piece. Both of them worked on the story and Tanja did the artwork. It was a whole new world to them and a complicated one. However, that hasn't deterred them from finishing their dream of making a truly cooperative story that makes sure both players are necessary for success.
At the convention, the screens were right next to each other with one person on a tablet and the other on a computer. The problem I saw here was that both of the people playing can see the others screen. When I asked them about it they said it was partially out of necessity and partially to keep people moving through the booth. If the players can see each others screen it is easier and faster to complete the demo. In real life you will have to communicate with your teammate much more and be clear about what is going on in your half of the world. Mira said that you could even add others to the experience through discord or through a streaming service. I think getting the community involved is a great idea. I have always loved watching the "Twitch Plays" because it is just a fun disaster. In the case of Tick Tock, those people would actually have to work together to get anything done.
Mira and Tanja were excited that they were selected for the PAX 10 and were seeing a lot of traffic. While we were there a sizable line had formed and it was just after the show floor opened, we were glad we got there when we did. After speaking with them about nearly every aspect of the game we got around to what the cost would be and when it would come out. Tanja said that they weren't sure they are trying to work it out but that they wanted to keep it reasonable because both players need to purchase it. Mira and Tanja also said that they are working with distributors to try and sell buy one get one or some sort of discount. If that is possible it would be a great way to get their player base up quick.
Tick Tock: A Tale for Two definitely deserved to be in the PAX 10. The gameplay was smooth and lots of people were having a blast playing it. If you are interested in learning more about Tick Tock check out their website and subscribe to their news feed.