Interview with Mikhail Belov of SNK Games Developer of Space Rangers Quest

Text adventure games are hard to come by nowadays.  Gamers have evolved beyond reading a lot, preferring better graphics and audio to assist their imaginations.  For some of use though, the imagination is still the best graphics.  Anyhow, Space Rangers Quest is one such new text adventure developed by SNK Games and published by 1C Company.  Our review was published just over a week ago and now we bring you an interview with Mikhail Belov, the man behind Space Rangers Quest.

1) Please introduce yourself

My name is Mikhail Belov, and I am one of the key people at SNK-Games studios and also the mastermind behind the creation of Space Rangers: Quest.

2) Why graphical text adventures?

The decision about the game concept was made in several stages. It was clear for SNK that there should have been a development for the Space Rangers universe – it was time to bring it to the mobile market. For the publisher, 1C Company, it was also important to have a product within a reasonable timeframe and it should have not been a highly sophisticated game. The text quests were one of the important parts of the original games’ gameplay, and SNK had a great background in their development. At first we came out with a suggestion to adapt the quest player to the mobile platforms, but the publisher was reasonable enough to say that there must be a linking gameplay. Hence we added a classic Space Rangers exploration element – a player is flying on their ship through, on the one hand, the map they should have known from the previous games of the series, but on the other hand – everything looks a little different, and you will see why. They can do lots of things, fight, face problems, upgrade their ship or they can simple move on through the story.

3) What are some ways you got around the technological limitations of mobile platforms? Input being one.

The key issue was to assure good text readability on small and low-resolution screens. That is why we had to thoroughly work on the interface and fonts scalability. Moreover, lots of quests contain various tasks dealing with calculations, so we brought in a calculator in the game.

4) What was the hardest part in developing Space Rangers: Quest?

It was the first mobile platform development for us; hence the entire approach was something really new for the team. Moreover, we’d never worked with Unity before. So the study of its peculiarities and mobile development principles became the key difficulty in the game development for us. By the way, I’d like to take a moment to specifically thank Alexander Mironov, our programmer, who has put a lot of effort into bring this project to life.

5) Can we expect more graphical text adventures in the future?

Hard to say. The genre is quite unique and the text quests themselves are quite labour-consuming when it comes to development (not so much for programming as for the literary side of it). So there are no immediate plans for the future. Time will tell.

6) Anything you would like to say to the fans?

We’d like to wholeheartedly thank Space Rangers fans for all these years they stay loyal and remember the series and keep bombarding us with the requests to make the continuation. It keeps us motivated. We ourselves here at SNK had grown from a fan community, and we do hope to jointly bring a new breath into the Space Rangers series.

Space Rangers Quest by 1C is available on Steam for Windows, iTunes and Google Play.  Our review is available here on Retro Gaming Magazine.