An interview with Bryan Wiegele

Bryan Wiegele is a veteran of the gaming industry who is best known as the creator of the Delaware St. John adventure series. I was recently surprised to discover that he turned to creating a graphic novel, The Red Queen of Oz, for which he’s currently running a Kickstarter project. But it looks like there’s more to this, and this is just a first step towards creating an adventure game based on the setting of this graphic novel. I was intrigued enough that I decided to ask Mr. Wiegele if he’d be willing to answer a few questions, and he kindly obliged.

[ET] The basic premise of the story, according to the Kickstarter page, is that the Red Queen is trying to take over Oz after taking over Wonderland, and it’s up to Alice and Dorothy to stop her. Anything more you can reveal about the story? Can you tell us how Alice and Dorothy met?

[Bryan Wiegele] Alice and Dorothy actually meet for the first time after returning to Wonderland/Oz. They’re both tossed into the middle of the chaos caused by the Red Queen and are searching for familiar faces to find out what’s going on.

[ET] How did you come up with this idea?

[Bryan Wiegele] The idea has been floating around in my head for years and bit by bit the pieces worked out, all except for one. But recently I had a moment where the missing piece just came to me and it all flowed. I knew then it was ready to move forward on.

[ET] I love the Simon Rosati’s art you’ve shown. How did you two come to work together on this?

[Bryan Wiegele] Simon is an amazingly talented guy. He and I actually met on my previous project, a puzzle game calle ‘dillos. Simon did the character art for all of the story images in that game and I knew then he’d be a perfect fit for the Red Queen project.

[ET] Did you think from the beginning to make this into an adventure game?

[Bryan Wiegele] It was originally my intention to build a game out of the Oz and Wonderland crossover but the reality of getting funding to do a game is pretty harsh so I took a step back and thought to take it one step at a time. The first move is to get the story and world out there to people so they can see the vision and when the time comes to raise the money for a game, people will already see the potential.

[ET] How far along is the design for this game?

[Bryan Wiegele] It’s pre-production. I’ve got the idea of execution in my head, the gameplay, etc. but right now it’s still early and there’s constantly more ideas going into the plan.

[ET] What kind of style are you planning for it? Will it be a classic 2D point and click adventure?

[Bryan Wiegele] I’d actually love to do this as a third person point and click. I’ve only ever done first person adventure games in the past and with this project I want to try something different. I’ve always loved 3rd person point and click games but the cost of doing them is greater than doing first -person.

[ET] Will the adventure follow the story of the graphic novel, or will it have a different story using this setting and characters?

[Bryan Wiegele] The game would use the story presented in the graphic novel as a backdrop. Since it’s a game, it will include a lot more content to explore and learn about.

[ET] Anything else you want to tell us about the graphic novel or the adventure game?

[Bryan Wiegele] This really is a wonderful project and if we’re fortunate enough to get the chance to get to where we want to be and show off the vision we’ve got, I think a lot of people will love it.

[ET] Thanks a lot for answering my questions, and I wish you the best of luck with this project.

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