Becoming Aware – Interviewing Game Na Kibun

After the exciting release of Awareness Rooms on Playism and Steam, we chatted with BomB from GAME NA KIBUN about the creation process that went into creating this adorable escape game.

 

Hi GAME NA KIBUN! Thank you for doing this interview with me today. To start with, would you be able to introduce yourself for me?

Hello, I am BomB from GAME NA KIBUN.

I always loved games that had the feel of immersion that allowed players to almost feel like that they were actually in the game.

GAME NA KIBUN is a one-man dev team that aims to make that kind of game. Awareness Rooms is a game which was first revealed at DigiGame Expo in 2015.

To me, it has become a very memorable game as I’ve created various game elements for it.

 

 

 

Are you currently making games as a hobby? Or are you a game full time game developer?

As a hobby. I am casually making games on the weekends. I like playing games, and I always enjoyed making them too.

 

Awareness Rooms is an adorable Escape Game with the unique concept of “awareness”. Would you be able to go into what gave you the idea for this?

The idea came to me when I found it mysterious when there was a difference in how I perceived games when I was a child and how I see it today.

Long time ago, I played a game called The Guardian Legend on the Nintendo Entertainment System, but in the eyes of the child I was back then, the protagonist looked nothing more than a red and white rectangle.

A red and white rectangle that shot bullets at other rectangles as it progressed through indistinguishable stages…

Even though I wasn’t able to tell what those pixels were supposed to be, I was still having fun, somehow.

 

Then many years later, when I watched a video of The Guardian Legend, I was surprised to know the red and white figure was human-shaped and it was actually a female character. And it also led me to wondering how I wasn’t able to recognize it back then.

When I wanted to make a short game, this thought came back to me, I thought to myself that making a game that revolved around the recognition of rectangle objects could be new and interesting.

And thus I started the development of Awareness Rooms.

 

Each puzzle was created in very high detail. Was there any difficulties or arising problems making these? 

Well to begin with, I found that it was extremely difficult to figure out how to make a game out of personal experience. I started with the idea that the player was able to do more, as you become more aware of your surroundings.

And to make use of that idea in a short game, I quickly realized that the escape genre was a good fit for this. From there, adjustments to the puzzles were made so that the player had room for their imagination even if the awareness was still low. And made sure that the player was able to recognize at first glance what the object was once the awareness hits 100%.

It brings me back to when I was constantly showing others the 100% graphics, and asking what it looked like.

 

The protagonist explores rooms that look like both a reality and a dream. The puzzles are, of course, related to the rooms, but are the puzzles created before the rooms? Or are the rooms created first?

To make the rooms more disconnected from reality as the game progressed, I took the method of choosing a theme for the room, then making the puzzle for the room.

If you set a theme, then the ideas for making the puzzle comes to mind much easier.

 

Could you tell me the titles that influenced and inspired you in designing Awareness Rooms? Once I took a look the style it reminded me of the Earthbound series. I would like to hear your preference to this method of presentation.

Yume Nikki and The Room  would be the two big influences to the game. Both titles are favorites of mine.

To be honest, the presentation was decided on instinct. If you fix the game screen, a one-picture like expression can be achieved.

And I believe that helped the effect when the room changes once awareness hits 50% and 100%

Now that I think about it, there was a scene in Yume Nikki where the whole room changes, but that was also done in the Earthbound series.

Perhaps the impression was imprinted in my memory.

 

Most escape games have an element of desperation to get out of the room, but in Awareness Rooms, curiosity is what drove me forwards. Do you think this is a representation of human nature?

I had in mind that curiosity is required in the act of recognizing something.

I wanted to make the investigation of the rooms more fun, and so I’ve made the protagonist more curious of the situation around her, as she describes the fine details of the object, like the object is square, it’s box-like, but it’s glossy and thin.

 

 

The ending of the game was impressive. If you had reasons for this particular ending, please let us know.

From the moment that the genre and the title were set, I made the choice of that ending.

I was making the game with the thought “perhaps she didn’t want to escape”.

Despite being an escape game.

 

Do you have a PLAYISM Game that you like?

Cave Story, Kero Blaster and Yume Nikki I also enjoyed Rime Berta as a person who grew up on RPGs.

 

Finally, do you have a message for everyone reading this?

Awareness Rooms is somewhat experimental and an ambitious game that I’ve tried expressing my personal experience into a game and still tried to make it like a game.

If you like puzzles and riddles, I’m sure you will enjoy the game. Do give it a try!

 

 

Thank you very much BomB for doing this interview with us, we were really happy to talk to you about Awareness Rooms.

Make sure you check out GAME NA KIBUN’s website (Japanese only) and Awareness Rooms.

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