"Three Minutes to Midnight" is an upcoming graphic adventure game from Scarecrow Studios. The creators of the game have a deep love for the classics in this genre- particularly the ones from Lucas Arts: best known in the adventure game community for the "Monkey Island" series and "Grim Fandango." Recently I got a chance to meet with Pavlina Kacerova, PR specialist involved with the game, to disclose details on this modern throwback.

The Interview

Patrick M Arellano: For the uninitiated, how would you explain "Three Minutes to Midnight?"

Pavlina Kacerova: It's a Sci-fi point and click adventure game where there's a secret plot to extinguish humanity that you have to uncover.

You'll find a secret military base and have no idea how it appeared there. It just doesn't make any sense. The game starts with you in the middle of New Mexico. You wake up one day and you don't remember anything. You go out and talk to other townies and you realize that nobody else knows anything. The more you know, the more you learn in the game, and the less you understand. But at the end, you'll understand, and it'll make complete sense.

Patrick: Got you. Is this a similar style to other classic point and click adventures?

Pavlina: Yes. We also wanted to bring a modern twist to it. So, that means a modern art style and modern animations. We really played with that. The core is very basic.

However, the mechanics are easier. Everything is easier. You get only two buttons on the mouse: left click and right click. You don't have any of those menus and stuff.

Patrick: How much influence, if any, did you get from the Lucas Arts, Sierra, or other graphic adventure games?

Pavlina: It is very much influenced by Lucas Arts because the creator of this game actually grew up on those games.

He loves them. Even the way the main characters look reminds you of that. So, we feel like those are the best ones, and we wanted to bring the feelings of those games back. They just gave you the desire to know more.

Patrick: So, this game is a mix of old mechanics and new?

Pavlina: Yeah, exactly. We wanted to make it accessible to modern players, make it easier to play and to have this beautiful art.

We didn't want to go for any pixel art. We wanted to keep the art really smooth and nice. At one point, pixel art was considered, but we felt that it would be too much- not like a copy, but too much trying to be like someone else. So, we came up with this original style. David - his art is amazing - he is making the environments and Danny is making the characters. They're both amazing artists. So, it might remind you of "Monkey Island" and other stuff, but it has its own style.

Hints in the game for beginners

Patrick: Is there a hint system to accommodate beginners?

Pavlina: The way it goes is that you talk to characters and interact with things that you see. Depending on how you use them or look at them, it tells you more about them.

If you keep using certain items together, it'll tell you, "maybe this isn't going to work." Sometimes, it'll be more specific. Some of the hints are more subtle. Some of them are more obvious. It'll really depend on what point of the game you're on or what puzzle that is. We really paid attention to the signposting and hint systems so that every player can go through the game very easily. Of course, that doesn't mean the game is easy. However, if you really pay close attention to everything, you will figure it out.

Patrick: Are there different difficulty settings?

Pavlina: No, there's only one, but puzzles vary in difficulty. One thing we want is for the all the puzzles to make sense. This is something that is mentioned in negative feedback to different games is that sometimes the puzzles don't make sense.

When you look up the walk-through on YouTube or something, you're like, "Why would you even consider that?"

Patrick: Mixing syrup with cat hair to make a fake mustache?

Pavlina: *laughs* Yeah, exactly. We really spent so much time on making every single puzzle make sense.

Patrick: Are there multiple characters you can control?

Pavlina: In the demo, you played as Betty, the main character. Then at a certain point in the game, you'll take control of Eliza, the mayor, and you'll play some flashbacks that will help you figure out events that follow.

Patrick: When is the release and what platforms?

Pavlina: We're planning a release on April of next year. 2019. Platforms include PC, Mac Lynx, Steam, and GOG.

Also, consoles such as Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation. Maybe sometime later on, maybe other platforms.

Patrick: Any parting words?

Pavlina: We're so happy to be involved in this game, and you probably haven't played anything like this since "Monkey Island."

Patrick: Thank you.

For those who want more information on Scarecrow Studios and their upcoming games, they can visit them at scarecrow.studio.com

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