A Charming Lot - Tiina Mannelin

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This is part of a series of interviews with the team behind Critical Charm and those who helped us getting our game together. Here’s Tiina Mannelin, one of our programmers!

You’re an avid Guild Wars 2 player and are currently making your way through Okami on the Nintendo Switch. What is it about these games, having never player either for lack of time, that’s so appealing and keeps people interested in them for years?

I guess for GW2, it's the same as for any other MMORPG. Exploring the world, customizing your character(s), playing together with other people. Ōkami on the other hand is basically a Zelda-game but with Japanese mythology and without the lore constraints of being a Zelda-game.

What is it about these worlds and their lore that you find so interesting?

I guess I just like fantasy games and exploring new places.

What so intriguing about exploring new places? And how do games do it differently than other mediums?

I'm not quite sure, I guess it's my curious nature that finds acquiring new information rewarding. The other question is simple, because games are interactive. A book or a movie just drags its passive audience on a preset path.

Is there anything books should learn from video games? Or vice verse?

Not really. The differences are bound to their physical limitations. The only types of books and games, that can truly be compared, are visual novels and the choose your own adventure books, which are basically the same thing.

Since we’ve been working on a VR game, is there anything you think VR can do to make exploration better than it is in console or PC games?

The point of VR is more immersion. The feeling of you actually being in the game world instead of just moving a character on a screen is much more easier to achieve with VR than PC/console. While it doesn't add anything the exploration itself, it makes the game feel more meaningful. Just like food coloring doesn't affect the taste but makes the food look more delicious.

That’s a great analogy. Yet I can’t help but think games have a weird relationship with food. So many games include it, especially MMOs, and their insistence on crafting. Why do you think food is so common in games yet you don’t get to experience even half of what makes food interesting - namely the taste and smell?

There are a lot of real life things in games that cant be experienced in the game the same way as in real life, romance-able NPCs being a prime example. I guess the answer is that those things exists and human imagination has its limits.

What from real life that you’d like to see in a game, or what would you like to be expressed better?

Forests. Lush, dense forests filled to the brim with trees and vegetation. This is more of a hardware/optimization issue due to rendering a ton trees being a strain on the GPU.