It was back in August when we first heard of the surreal point and click adventure Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac; the tale of a strange chicken-fuelled adventure that focuses its efforts on an eccentric outcast, Edgar, left us wanting more. Thankfully the team at La Poule Noire were more than happy to let us in on some extra juicy details.
Hi. Please introduce yourself. What is your role at La Poule Noire and specifically on Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac?
Hello, my name is David. I’m the Project Manager on Edgar, so you’ll find me helping the team on a variety of tasks and projects from business development, PR and marketing, play testing, helping run events (like EGX London) and anything else you can think of!
So, sell it to us… why should gamers buy Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac?
Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac is a game that mirrors the type of people we are. It contains a ton of bad humour, crazy stories, a hen, and lots of French countryside. Apart from that, we want Edgar to be as accessible as possible to as many gamers, of all ages. We loved titles like Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle and Sam and Max growing up, and we hope Edgar will appear to fans that remember those games, but also younger fans looking for a game that they can engage with through reading and exploration.
As a point-and-clucker… sorry, a point-and-clicker, in a market that seems to be getting increasingly populated by such games, how will Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac stand out from the rest?
Other than standing out for being a point and cluck and not a point and click, we feel the game differentiates itself by being easier to solve puzzles, not because we have removed the difficulty, but because they are ridiculously funny! We want to create a cosy atmosphere, a game that is easy going.
Could you tell us a bit about the protagonist, Edgar and the chicken that accompanies him? Does the chicken have a name?
Edgar is the archetype of the nice guy. He’s never mean, never vile. He doesn’t connect with or know the real world as he should, and this is because he was raised apart from it by his grandparents. His only friend is a chicken, Precious, and he lives on his farm in the countryside. Precious is central to the main story and the game, and you’ll soon discover how she and Edgar get on very soon!
When creating Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac, were you inspired by any of the classic point-and-click adventures of yesteryear such as The Secret of Monkey Island and King’s Quest? Maybe something slightly more modern like Broken Age?
The Monkey Island games were obviously big inspirations for us, but only really for the comic/zanny side of Edgar and the other characters’ personalities and traits. Recently we were inspired by the staging of Night in the Woods.
Can we expect to see tricky inventory-based puzzles that require gamers to think outside the box to solve or is it mainly filled with logical problems to overcome? Will there be a selection of mini-games present to put our brain power to the test in other ways too?
There won’t really be inventory-based puzzles like you might expect from titles like Day of the Tentacle etc. This was a conscious decision in the development process as we wanted to keep the fun and jokes tied into the dialogue of the game. So whilst there are a number of puzzles to solve, you’ll be spending more time talking to the inhabitants of Boulzac than fiddling around with your inventory.
There’s clearly an emphasis on storytelling, with Boulzac set to play home to fascinating characters that we can’t wait to meet, but how difficult has it been to conjure up these unique folk? Aside from Edgar, who’s the weirdest character in the game? Are there any ideas that were deemed too zany even for this bizarre world?
It was really easy to setup these characters because they all represent clichés of french villagers. We don’t make fun of them, it’s all about representing them and sharing funny moments in the life of a village. We all came from small towns in France and so we had a lot of inspiration.
How long, roughly, do you think it’ll take players to complete the game and is there any kind of replayability? Can all of the Xbox achievements be earned in a single playthrough?
Throughout development, we’ve always had it planned that the game would take 3 or 4 hours to finish. We’re all personally big fans of shorter, more engaging stories and find ourselves as developers looking to play games of length more and more. Inside, Oxenfree or even Night in the woods are not very long games, but perfect for the amount of time we have after a long day at work! In terms of earning all Xbox Achievements in a single playthrough, you’ll just have to wait and see.
The unique angular art style provides Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac with a lovely setting that’s akin to a French countryside. Could you pinpoint any particular spots in the real countryside that this environment is similar to?
We’d love too! Particular places and locations we have taken inspiration from include Saint-Cyr-Lapopie, Saint-Guilhem-Le-Désert, Arnac-Pompadour, Archigny, Mouchan, La Bretonnière-La-Claye, Gennes-Sur-Seiche, Saint-Pol-de-Léon and Varenne-Saint-Germain.
In terms of audio, are there any voice overs in place to help convey the personalities of all the wacky people of Boulzac? And what kind of soundtrack will accompany proceedings?
Unfortunately, there are no voiceovers, as our first title since leaving our bigger studio jobs, we don’t yet have the budget to hire voice actors that would do the characters justice. We played around with the idea of voicing some of them ourselves, but our attempts were terrible!
If you like flutes and accordion music, it will be the best OST ever! The Accordion is a massive part of the French countryside and we wanted to showcase this, even during the darker moments.
And finally… what came first, the chicken or the egg?
The programmer who coded the world! Bok.
Huge thanks go out to David at La Poule Noire for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions regarding Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac. You’ll be able to find the game rocking up onto Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Steam later this year. Keep an eye out for it.