The maker of Dots says it’s getting more ambitious with its fourth game, Wilds

Tech Crunch

Dots . Two Dots . Dots & Co . It seems like Dots (that’s the name of both the startup and its first game) is following a pattern with each release — a pattern it’s breaking with its fourth game, Wilds .

Wilds isn’t scheduled to launch until late 2017, but the company has just released a live-action trailer for the game, directed by Radical Friend and choreographed by Jasmine Albuquerque-Croissant.

Chief Creative Officer Patrick Moberg said Dots is doing something “radically different” with Wilds — instead of presenting players with one puzzle after another, it’s created a “completely nonlinear” experience.

VP of Game Design David Hohusen described Wilds as a combination of a puzzle role-playing game with “the core Dots mechanic,” where players try to make dots disappear by connecting them. This time around, though, players will encounter those puzzles while exploring a larger world and story.

“The Dots themselves are less of an ambiguous metaphor and have more of a literal purpose in the world,” Hohusen said. “They have a narrative explanation.”

He added that the puzzles themselves have also been rethought to create a fresh experience for longtime players.

Development on Wilds actually started before the creation of Dots & Co, according to CEO Paul Murphy. When Hohusen first presented the idea in the fall of 2015, Murphy said he realized, “The ambition of the game is enormous,” which meant that Wilds would need more development time than a normal Dots game.

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So Dots & Co was a way to keep the franchise fresh, while also exploring some of the new-to-Dots concepts (companion characters and a virtual economy) that were planned for Wilds. In fact, Hohusen said technology is shared between the two games, meaning that improvements in one can be easily incorporated into the other.

And while there’s a new game on the horizon, Murphy said Dots will continue to create new content and improvements for its existing titles.

“We shouldn’t ever have to sunset a game that we release — if we do that, our development process has failed,” he said. “Anything that we release, our commitment to the players is this game will be live for a very long time, and there will be new features. In fact, we released a new update to Dots last week.”

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