Last week at WWDC we ran in to Kevin Beimers, the writer, programmer, and game action director for Straandlooper, creators of Hector: Badge of Carnage [$3.99]. Hector is an episodic point and click adventure game where you play the role of a disgruntled police officer in the town of Clappers Wreake. Like similar games, advancing the plot involves solving puzzles using items found in the game world either by themselves or combined in interesting ways with other items. There are also dialog trees to work through with the various citizens of Clappers Wreake and your conversation skills also become a large part in accomplishing the goals set out in front of you.

We really enjoyed the game in our review, and after hearing the story behind Hector, I can't help but enjoy the game even more. Before the filthy world of Hector was even imagined, the guys behind the game actually created a 52 part childrens' series, Lifeboat Luke, which is currently being aired in Ireland. Lifeboat Luke goes on nautical rescue missions and teaches children about safety at sea. Interestingly enough, Hector originally was pitched as a TV show as well, and there was even ground work for a pilot episode laid. Some clips of Hector can be seen in Straandlooper's showreel of animated clips they've worked on:

Aimed at a primetime UK time slot, Hector was meant to go up against South Park and other raunchy evening shows. Unfortunately, the insane popularity of reality TV has significantly cut in to the willingness for anyone to fund an animated project. Or, as Kevin put it, with reality TV all you need is a dozen people in a room with a camera and you've got a show. With the future of Hector as a TV series getting increasingly bleak, Straandlooper decided to turn their ideas in to a point and click adventure game.

Originally they debated building it as some kind of Flash game, but the lack of any strong way to monetize Hector as a browser game pushed them to the App Store-- A place where, as Beimers explained, people are more likely to pay for and appreciate the amusing gameplay and animation quality of Hector: Badge of Carnage. Since the developers have been long time fans of point and click adventure games, the transition from animated short to interactive adventure was fairly natural. (And as fans of the genre, Kevin noted how awesome it was to have his works compared to classics such as Day of the Tentacle or Monkey Island.)

The project so far has been a success for Straandlooper, as from the first episode on the App Store alone they've already made more than they have on any of their other short animated projects. Hector's initial popularity has practically guaranteed the release of the second episode, where players will explore the police station that Hector works with as well as spend time getting to know Hector's various coworkers. They hope to release episode 2 within a year.

Some other fun Hector facts came out of our conversation such as the entire game being voiced by a single person. As many people in our forums have mentioned, Hector is a shockingly raunchy game to be approved on the App Store. Straandlooper actually planned for this, and had contingencies in place to do things like replace the porn shop with a store similar to Wal-Mart. Hector was under development for 6-7 months, with another 2 months spent on the "last 2%" of the game making sure everything was as refined as Straandlooper wanted it.

An iPad version is in the works, but since so much was tweaked and customized for the resolution of the iPhone screen, it may be a while until we see its release. However, they do plan on releasing the second installment on both the iPhone and iPad.

If you haven't played Hector: Badge of Carnage yet, you really need to give the game a try if you've ever enjoyed a point and click adventure game. For more about the game, take a look at our review.

  • jeffyg3

    Yes!!! An iPad version!! Can't wait to finally try the game...I'm always holding out for iPad versions :)

  • James

    Loved this game, and I primarily played it on my iPad. While the text was a little grainy, the graphics scaled beautifully. Don't sit around waiting for the iPad version - go out and get yourself some filth now.

  • Remon

    Loved playing this game! It felt way to short, but I think all great games do! The dificulty level was maybe a tad to easy if you've played point and click games before. Can't wait for part 2 on my ipad!

  • cas

    Any chance they'll up the resolution for an iPhone 4 version?

  • http://www.thehectorfiles.com D.I. Hector

    Oi, you bunch of donkey-milking dressmessers. D.I. Hector 'ere.

    Ballbags, you make it sound like Kevin did the whole bleedin' thing. I've met the bugger, don't believe a flippin' word 'e says. Bloke craps on more'n the vicar's fat wife at a jumble sale.

    You wanna know who's the real team behind Hector? Well, first you got Dean Burke, creator/director/writer and the bloke who made me and my town look so flamin' gorgeous. Tim Bryans was production manager, which is why the bleedin' thing came out five months late. Colin McCusker and Ciaran Oakes did their best to polish this turd with tedious animation loops and cutscenes.

    Alastair McIlwain, who crapped out storyboards and some art, and Richard Morss, who fumbled his way through every single line of dialogue for every single character, were the Straandlooper big boss men. They contributed best to the project by standing off to one side with their heads hung in shame and horror, wringing their hands at how best to explain to the funders where their money went.

    Anyway, I don't know what these touchArcade mugs are on about. The game's crap. And I should know.

    In fact, it's so crap, I can't even give it away. Watch. Here's a promo code: TKWA3X7AY34M

    Betcha it just sits there on this site for days, like a dog turd on the footpath.

    Now go catch a bus, ya short-arsed mealy-mouthed pasty-faced prigs.

    - D.I. Hector
    Clappers Wreake Police Service

  • Baoshao

    OMG! I can't believe I got the code! You just totally made my day D.I. Hector! It's downloading very slowly now, and I really can't wait to see how "crappy" this game is. :P

    P.S. You were so wrong - it only got to sit around for 3.5 hours before being captured.

  • MrMuesli

    Best point and click on the iDevice....period. As funny as a vegetable that has grown into a rude and amusing shape.

  • iPhone is the ideal adventuring device

    Very good adventure, I'll definitely buy the next episode. Well-thought out, user friendly, funny, smart, beautiful and - let's not forget: very appropriate music!

    Hope they keep:
    - The map, so you don't have to walk forever to check out things
    - A character you can ask for a bit of help. In this case, it was a guy at the crisis location. This is way better than some hint system, which takes you out of the game (and hurts your pride). Moreover, Straandlooper carried it out very well, by making the dialogs as funny and interesting like the rest, and not letting the man know more than he really can, so it doesn't seem like cheating.

    Hope they change:
    - Sometimes the hints given in descriptions are too litteral, which makes it too easy to make connections. For instance, when I found the red paint, the first thing I thought was, ok so let's find the lady bag. But if the paint had been described as, say, 'bloody scarlet', I might first have thought of other uses, especially if somewhere else some not-too-relevant blood reference had been given (porn shop prop descriptions for instance).
    I think this is somewhat how, throughout the game, I think the difficulty level could be brought slightly up, without making the puzzles really more complex and tedious.

    One last thing: first I thought the humor was a bit immature, but while I got into the game I started to get a slight sense of some real ethical engagement which gave the game a *double* layer of corniness - and then you have literature. Congrats :-)