After years of work, the indie game developers over at Retro Affect are getting ready to release Snapshot—which was nominated for an Independent Games Festival (IGF) Award in 2009.

The game is about photographs. Or more specifically, its about a robot who takes photographs that become teleportation gateways. The player then uses these gateways to solve puzzles and navigate their way through a 2-D animated world.

TechZwn had the pleasure of speaking with Peter Jones of Retro Affect about the upcoming game.

TechZwn: The game looks really interesting. I’m curious where the idea of taking pictures of terrain and manipulating that came from? I’m sure a lot of people compare it to Portal. Can you talk about this a bit?

Jones: Thanks! We’re really pleased with our unique photography mechanic. The idea was actually born out of a dream I had back in 2003. In it, I took a picture of a monster that was chasing me and it was gone! While It does have elements of Portal in it, I think we touch on a lot of photography-specific mechanics as well. For instance, later on in the game, players need to actually take a picture of themselves to help solve the puzzle!

TechZwn: Snapshot seems like it has been in development for a while now. You mention it was nominated for the IGF Award in 2009, and it’s still in development. I’m curious what made you hold off on releasing it—it seems like you’re really putting a lot of work into it.

Jones: It has been awhile, hasn’t it? The Snapshot you saw in 2009 was a short prototype that Kyle and I developed in college. the IGF then inspired us to start a full game from scratch. We joined forces with Dave and together built the Snapshot that you see today. Snapshot is very near and dear to us, so we’ve been more concerned with making it a great game rather than finishing it in a timely manner. That said, we’re very close to release…so keep a close eye on us!

TechZwn: You mention on the game website “there’s never just one solution.” I think this is interesting. Often in puzzle games there’s just one set solution (I’d imagine because it eliminates the risk of having things be too easy). Why did you choose to have multiple solutions?

Jones: The photography mechanic has a vast spectrum of possibilities; that on top of a robust physics engine…we really couldn’t help but have multiple solutions per puzzle. During testing, people pull some of the craziest stunts, and have a great time doing it. We’ve also found that if a puzzle becomes to easy, players find challenge in coming up with new and more difficult solutions to the same puzzle.

TechZwn: Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Jones: The wait is almost over! We’re incredibly grateful for all of the devotion from our fans and the excitement coming from those who’ve just learned about Snapshot. Good things come to those who wait, and we all feel we have a great game on our hands that we cannot wait to share!

About The Author

Joshua Philipp is the founder and editor of He's also an award-winning journalist at Epoch Times.

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