In case you missed the memo, Loveshack Entertainment’s FRAMED Collection launched on the Nintendo Switch today and in preparation for the release, we had the chance to ask a couple of questions. Here’s how we got on with our chat with Joshua Boggs, founder and designer of Loveshack Entertainment:
In typical interview fashion, would you be so kind to introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a bit about your involvement with FRAMED Collection?
Joshua Boggs: Joshua Boggs, one of the Directors of Loveshack Entertainment and Designer behind FRAMED, FRAMED 2 and the Collection.
FRAMED Collection in a Nutshell:
Miketendo64: For our readers who have yet to experience FRAMED and FRAMED 2, both of which are bundled to make the FRAMED Collection, what are the FRAMED games? And how do they play?
Joshua Boggs: The FRAMED games are, in essence, noir styled puzzle games where you rearrange the panels of a comic book to change the outcome of the story. They are known for their award winning design, stylish art and captivating story.
True to the Original:
Miketendo64: Being games once released on mobile devices and now coming to Switch, which has seen plenty of mobile games ported since release, how much of the Switch version of FRAMED Collection, stays true to the original games?
Joshua Boggs: The Collection stays true to the original two games, we kept its story, puzzles and mechanics the same, while adding extra polish and love. We wanted to make sure it feels just right on the Switch, so we spent a lot of time making it feel *just right*.
The Magic Touch:
Miketendo64: Given the capabilities offered by the Nintendo Switch, does FRAMED Collection take advantage of any Switch specific features? (HD Rumble, Touch-screen controls, etc.)
Joshua Boggs: One of the key features, of both games, is their panel switching mechanics, which were so closely tied to mobile touch screens. We made sure to stay true to this mechanic using the Switch’s touch-screen, but we also worked very hard to make it feel just as satisfyingly tactile using the Joy-Con or the Pro controller.
From Mobile to Switch:
Miketendo64: How have you found the porting process to Switch and has the port taking as long you expected, or longer? Any bumps in the road you have experienced?
Joshua Boggs: Like most things in game development, the Switch port did take a bit longer than expected. But the port process was pretty smooth; the Switch is a pleasure to develop for. FRAMED uses a custom OpenGL-based C++ engine, and the Switch supports OpenGL 4.5 and OpenGL ES, so porting the game was fairly straightforward. The only real bump we hit was when integrating the two games into one collection, so we needed a lot more UI love than we had on mobile. Our lead Switch developer, Sam Izzo from Horse Drawn Games, took the extra time to make sure that the game was a robust, high quality experience.
FRAMED (Then and Now):
Miketendo64: Featuring hand-crafted, noir styled art and animation, how long did it take to design each title? Given how much a game can change between the time it starts development and the time it’s released, how does FRAMED compare to the game you first pictured in your head?
Joshua Boggs: It is quite a long process, first each level is prototyped using silly pieces of hand drawn paper, this can take a day to a couple of weeks. Once we have a satisfying level our artist and animator get to work creating the scene, depending on the size this can take a week to a month.
It is hard to calculate how long each individual panel takes, because we spend a lot of time polishing and iterating over each one. This does end up making the game look very different from how it was originally concepted, and helps to give it that very polished feel. The game pictured in my head has gone through a lot of iterations. When you make anything it’s always about getting what’s abstract and in your head into reality, and that process always means making compromises and discovering new things, which means it’ll always be a bit different.
FRAMED 3 (Expanding on the FRAMED Universe):
Miketendo64: With FRAMED 2 having released last year, after Collection will you be moving on to a FRAMED 3, or something else for the time being?
Joshua Boggs: It is hard to say, what we can say for sure is that there is more of this universe’s story we have to tell.
Miketendo64: Given the improvements between FRAMED and FRAMED 2, should you make a 3rd instalment, how would you intend to further expand on what you’ve made already?
Joshua Boggs: A key thing we learned from both games was how to balance the levels and difficulty curve, we’d focus on adding to the complexity of the mechanics we’ve already established and keeping core gameplay pillars. There’s been a lot of interesting ideas and stories left on the cutting room floor, which we’d love to pick up and do.
A Message for the Fans:
Miketendo64: And because there’s always time for one last question, here’s ours: Is there anything you would like to say to your ever-growing fanbase and supporters?
Joshua Boggs: It’s a bit of a cliche at this point, but just that we appreciate them. It is a very difficult thing to put a project you care about into the world, but when people enjoy what you created, it feels very special. We feel extremely privileged to have such an enthusiastic player base whose feedback has helped improve our creations.
To Joshua and the team, may you have a fantastic release today!
This post was written by Solid Jack