During Paris Game Week 2015, Frogwares announced the next title in the series, Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter. As a fan of the series, you can imagine how interested I’ve been in any news regarding the development and release of this game.
As with Crimes & Punishments, I decided the best way to find stuff about the game was to go to the source and ask the Frogwares team! Below you’ll find the interview.
First of all, thank you for agreeing to this interview!
Thanks for having us!
For those who missed the announcement on Paris Game week, could you tell us a bit about the next installment of Sherlock Holmes, The Devil’s Daughter?
It’s our 8th game in the series, and in this game Sherlock Holmes is to investigate cases of a different nature, mostly crimes. Sherlock Holmes’ personal life will interfere with his work. Devil’s Daughter is the most ambitious game for us to date, featuring new mechanics, characters, and new graphics.
If it’s not too spoiler-ish, could you explain the title?
The Devil’s Daughter will once again have the Case-based structure of its predecessor, Crimes & Punishments. Is this the new direction for the Sherlock Holmes series from now on, or have you thought of going back to the single story style of the earlier titles?
The storyline in Crimes and Punishments is very political, it’s difficult to handle political things in the long run, and we probably could have done it better. In the Devil’s Daughter the storyline is very dear to Sherlock Holmes himself, it’s getting personal. So we made sure that we feel it during Sherlock Holmes’ everyday life.
Something that I found in Crimes and Punishments was that not all cases had the same length. Some were quite short. So I’d like to ask, how long are the cases this time around?
The overall game is from 10-15 hours long, depending on how familiar you are with our games. Also we have a two levels of difficulty for those who require a higher challenge.
In terms of series chronology, when does The Devil’s Daughter take place? From the title, many fans might think it related to the ending of The Testament of Sherlock Holmes, but I think we might be wrong about that.
Devil’s Daughter takes place after the Testament of Sherlock Holmes
Are there elements coming back from previous games, such as the deduction boards or the neuron-based one from Crimes & Punishments?
Of course! Gathering clues, interpreting them and then leaving free choice of decision over the guilty party is the key to make a real detective game. But we have also new mechanics on board, bringing some action inside the game.
I love puzzle in the Sherlock Holmes games, so I have to ask: what kind of puzzles can we expect this time around? Also, where do you draw from as inspiration when designing them?
We do have puzzles. And we try to make them fit the story, so to not have abstract puzzles disconnected from the narrative. We create them based on the situation. Sometimes we cannot integrate a good puzzle because it doesn’t fit in the game, however nice it is to play. Sherlock Holmes allows a great possibility for puzzle creation and we created around 50 new ones for Devil’s Daughter.
One of the most curious elements I found in the announcement was that we’d be able to “freely roam an expansive landscape of playable terrain.” Could you elaborate on this?
The levels are significantly larger than in Crimes and Punishments, however the game is not an open world.
Another element that drew my attention was the mention of “reflex-based action sequences,” which sounds like Quick-Time Events to me. Could you explain what these sequences might be like?
I’m not sure why you want to be spoiled so much? One of the challenge for Devil’s Daughter was to increase the pace of the gameplay overall while remaining an investigative game. So we created new game mechanics based on the stories to enhance the feeling of action over the game. Focus tests shows it works very well.
How far along would you say The Devil’s Daughter is at the moment?
We are polishing the game, the most complex phase in a game of this nature and this level of graphics for a team like ours.
Do you have a release date?
Publisher communicate about this usually, let’s stay it’s in spring
For the Team: Favourite case in Crimes & Punishments?
It’s shared, “Riddle on the Rails” and “Blood bath” are the favorites. “A Half moon walk” is pretty close behind.
For the Team: How many want Toby sections? I know I love them!
Everyone loves Toby! He is in Devil’s Daughter.
For the Team: Favourite title in the series? Even though I love Crimes & Punishments, Testament is still my favourite.
Hard to say, every game has its own history in the making. Difficulties and challenges as well as beautiful moments. But Crimes and Punishments is seen as the best game here.
Thanks for taking the time to answer these!
Thanks for having us!
You can’t imagine how stoked I am at hearing it’s a follow up to The Testament of Sherlock Holmes, a game I truly love! Also, it seems some of my questions were too spoiler-y…sorry about that!