Runescape to have its own idle adventure game from Jagex and Hyper Hippo

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RuneScape, the popular and free MMORPG browser game, will soon be getting some new games to expand its property. Jagex Games Studio, the creator of RuneScape, has revealed today that it has partnered with Hyper Hippo, the creator of AdVenture Capitalist, to help develop RuneScape: Idle Adventures. Soon old and new fans will be able to visit the world of RuneScape anytime and anywhere either on the PC or mobile device.

If you’re not familiar with idle adventure games, these are games that you can play for just a couple of minutes each day, allowing you to slowly build up your empire, world or etc. (Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter would be an example.) In RuneScape: Idle Adventures, you’ll be controlling a new RuneScape hero on a journey to nourish the world like fishing and growing cabbage. Players will get to battle monsters and go on quests while also meeting familiar RuneScape characters.

RuneScape: Idle Adventures will be available on Steam this spring with mobile versions following after. This is the first time Jagex has teamed up with an outside developer to help develop a RuneScape-themed game.

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During the 15th anniversary event in London, Jagex’s Mod Marcus, Hyper Hippo CEO Lance Priebe, and Cody Vigue, creator of AdVenture Capitalist and lead designer at Hyper Hippo, talked to the media and Nerd Reactor about their excitement with RuneScape: Idle Adventures.

Jagex’s Mod Marcus explained why Jagex decided to expand to the mobile market now.

“I suppose if you asked me that question 5 years ago, I would have said, ‘Yeah, we’ll definitely be doing some things on mobile pretty soon.’ It’s just how long these things take and if you have the right game to do it with,” Marcus replied. “We’ve spent a while saying what can we do to PC games to get more players in. How can we do different things with this baby, and then you start looking at different things. You always go, ‘Oh we can always go on mobile, right?’ But actually, it’s a lot more difficult than you might think.”

He goes to explain that there are 30,000 unique interfaces in RuneScape, and that’s not going to translate on mobile. It’s got a complex UI and the developers would have to re-engineer the game.

Marcus elaborates, “So then the question is, ‘Why don’t we put parts of the RuneScape universe on the mobile? Why don’t we take different sorts of gameplay.'”

They had many ideas including a Street Fighter-style RuneScape game. That turned out to be a bad idea.

“RuneScape has this feeling of a second-screen gaming for a lot of the things that you do because they’re so simplistic,” said Marcus. “So actually, you look at it like an idle game and you’re like, ‘That’s what an idle game is.’ They’re not too distant from each other. You’re comfortable with it.”

Vigue added, “One of the most exciting games for me in the last year was Fallout Shelter. I’m a huge Fallout fan. I think that what Bethesda did is they had a really great understanding of the play patterns of the players. I sit down and play like a 100-hour session for the story, but that’s not the type of game I would play when I’m at a bus stop, or when I just want to kill like 10 or 15 minutes. They understood that very intuitively, and I think that it’s kind of inspiring. Let’s make a game that complements the play pattern for this platform. I think that’s something that we had in our mind. So when Jagex approached us to do an AdVenture Capitalist-inspired RuneScape experience, we were like, ‘Yes.'”

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When asked if Hyper Hippo had creative freedom, they said that they were free to create a game they’d like as long as it pays respects to the RuneSacpe lore.

“Everyone at Hyper Hippo has a lot of industry experience,” said Vigue. “We’re actually like a bunch of seasoned people who came together to try and experiment… more of an indie studio-esque mentality. Jagex was just like, ‘Pitch whatever you want. Go crazy.’ There’s a lot of situations where a studio will get hired, like work for hire style – you know – meet these deadlines. And then there are a lot of products that come out that just don’t rise to the occasion… they just don’t shine.”

Jagex wanted Hyper Hippo to take ownership.

“We weren’t interested in a work-for-hire situation,” Vigue said. “It’s just not how we do it [and Jagex]. They said, ‘Let’s collaborate.’ Creating an Elder Artefact  – that’s a really big deal. Can we do that in this game? Jagex was like, ‘Yeah, of course you can.’ But these are a big deal. Don’t you understand? They were like, ‘Go for it.'”

Vigue talks about how the developers have to have the desire to create things.

“In the end, we want something that would fit in the world. If fans sniff any inauthenticity in the experience, they’re going to be like, ‘That’s not RuneScape.’ It has to match. Any creative project, you have to have heart, passion and soul for it. You want to pull yourself into it to make it good. That’s why you collaborate. You figure out a way to put as much as you can into it.”

To get a very little taste of what RuneScape: Idle Adventures is going to be like, check out Hyper Hippo’s AdVenture Capitalist. It has over 10 million downloads and is available on mobile and Steam. The object of the game is to build a lot of businesses ranging from a lemonade stand to an oil company. Now if I can figure out a way to get trillions of dollars in real life, that would be great.

In addition to RuneScape: Idle Adventures, Jagex Games Studio will also be releasing a strategy card game called Chronicle: RuneScae Legends, which is currently in beta.

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