Many people ask us, why did we come up with such an odd name for the game series we are working on. We’ve heard people wondering whether it was a smart choice marketing wise. As you can probably guess, the decision was heavily debated by our team and there were other competing ideas. The truth is that while working on Return 2 Games, we’ve built a lot of ideology around our brainchild – something that we will be sharing over time (we’re even working on a manifesto) – and Return 2 Games was the title that resonated the most with all of us.
So what does it mean to return to games? Actually this phrase has not one, not two, but three meanings that are important to us, that all define what R2G is all about.
First, and most obvious, is the inspiration and sentimental aspect. We’ve already announced that each game in the series will be a tribute to a single PC hit game from the 90’s. But this goes much deeper than simply drawing inspiration from old games. These tribute titles we’re working on will not be your regular kind of spiritual successors, or retro-style remakes. For us, the early days of PC gaming, were a time when developers weren’t afraid to innovate, defined new genres and created the most memorable experiences. This is exactly what we want to do with R2G, but in a very modern way.
We are trying to erect a bridge between the two worlds – between the light, joyful and accessible world of casual games, and between the deep and engaging world of hardcore/enthusiast titles.
Second, there is the personal aspect of us returning to making games, that we always wanted to make. We all got into gamedev in early 2000’s with bold (but naïve) ambitions of building epic games with huge worlds and complex stories. The reality made us reevaluate our plans, and we ended up creating much simpler casual games. The experience turned out to be nothing like we expected – creating games for a casual audience was challenging and surprisingly satisfying. We learned a lot, especially about game accessibility, and it really changed the way we think about games. Now, with R2G on the horizon, we are trying to erect a bridge between the two worlds – between the light, joyful and accessible world of casual games, and between the deep and engaging world of hardcore/enthusiast titles.
Last but not least is the quality of experience aspect. We are doing our best to make R2G a series of games you will enjoy returning to. This is about tangible things, like high replayablity and using representations that can stand the test of time (like quality 2d graphics), but also about elusive things like making the experience meaningful and memorable.
We are doing our best to make R2G a series of games you will enjoy returning to.
This is why we decided to name the series Return 2 Games. We know the possible downsides of this decision, and possible confusion it might cause, but hopefully, once we start revealing the actual games it will all go away. Also, in my opinion, the power of a brand is something that is built and gets its meaning and emotional context over time. Now it’s just a bunch of pixels and words connected in a fancy way. Will you love it or hate it? This will be decided when our games are out.
In other “news” I have written a long post on the Codeminion blog, that sheds some light on how R2G begun and about our transition from casual games to Thing Trunk. So if you are interested, be sure to check it out.