Our first game The Little Acre is now on Xbox One! It’s a hand-drawn animated adventure game set in 1950s Ireland that follows the life of Aidan and his daughter Lily as they discover another world through their garden shed.
While we aren’t the first point-and-click adventure game to show up on Xbox One, it’s a pretty rare thing to see. One of the challenges was how to make a point-and-click without, well, pointing and clicking! We originally had the player using an analog stick to move an on-screen cursor around. However, after we brought this to the Pre-PAX Microsoft event in Seattle we realized that we could make this work better. We opted to give the player direct control of the character and instead use proximity based pop-ups for object interactions as the player explores the environments.
This felt much more natural and intuitive, and it’s also the reason I don’t think I’m allowed in Germany anymore. While demoing the game at Gamescom for a German videogames show, I suggested that I actually preferred playing my adventure game with the Xbox controller. I suppose this is akin to telling an Irish person that Guinness tastes better in another country — you just don’t do it.
Luckily, we had the support of famed adventure game creator Charles Cecil who vouched for us and allowed me to stay on the show. As our Executive Producer, Charles has been a huge asset to The Little Acre. Even before he was officially part of the project, his games like Beneath a Steal Sky and Broken Sword were huge influences on our game. To have him on board was a dream come true.
One huge thing Charles brought to our game was perspective. We were deep in the trenches of production with our faces right up against our screens. To have somebody with experience sit back and make you question certain parts of a game really helped us to re-frame and tighten what we were working on. From character motivations to musical beats, Charles helped make sure we were delivering on our original vision. The main menu and opening of the game are direct reactions to Charles’ feedback that players will experience straight away.
The Little Acre is a lovingly created game that took a small team a long time to bring to life. We hope that you take your time and soak in the love and attention that each member of the team brought to their specific role. Go forth and enjoy the adventure, with a controller (sorry, Germany).