Rooms: The Unsolvable Puzzle is the official sequel of Rooms: The Main Building, a unique puzzle game inspired by sliding puzzles and platformer games. In a twisted mansion made of sliding rooms and dangerous traps, player should find a way to the exit by moving rooms and using what's inside them. With 144 unique room levels over four separate mansion section, the game introduces various gadgets which make the puzzle more challenging and tricky. Set in a fairy tale-like world full of magical objects and spooky stories, player takes a role of a little girl, Anne, who was accidentally trapped in the mansion. As the story unfolds itself, she finds the dark legend of the twisted mansion and a legendary toymaker.
By an urge from his acquaintance at Kuno Interactive, Jake Jonghwa Kim, the founder and sole developer of HandMade Game, started to work with Kuno Interactive to make the sequel of Rooms. Jake took the creative role, and Kuno interactive was in charge of production. However, since Jake was away from the dev team in Korea because of his study at USC, he had to skype every late night to communicate with the developers.
Despite the limitations, the staffs at Kuno interactive did a great job. Among them, Saehoon Lee, who had work experience at Rare, took the position of Art Director, and successfully delievered the beautiful and spooky art. Although the size of the team has been changed phase to phase, there were about 15 full time people worked on this game, for 2 years.
Rooms: The Unsolvable Puzzle was created under the vision of making a deep puzzle game that immerses players not only in solving puzzles, but also in the stories dissolved within it. As opposed to most puzzle games where everything except the core mechanic serve as auxiliary elements, we tried to put together all the elements including the game mechanic, stories, world design, sound design, and art direction as integrate as possible.
Also, to improve what was lacking from its original, Rooms: The Main Building, we focused on making the game more accessible to public. We created a young heroine, Anne, who has more character and easier to empathize than the original. Puzzle-wise, we simplified the game mechanics while deepening the puzzle-solving gameplay by using more combination of gadgets.
However, despite all these, the game had gone through a catastrophic failure when it was first launched in mobile market under different title called The Mansion in 2013. Begun as a joint project between HandMade Game, the original creator of Rooms series, and Kuno Interactive, now-bankrupt gamedev company, Kuno brought Com2Us, a mobile game developer/publisher, in as a publisher. Com2Us insisted that the game should be released free-to-play with in-app-purchases. As Kuno already got MG from Com2Us, they had to follow Com2Us’s decision while knowing that will ruin the game experience critically. The statistic of over 3 million downloads and 164 features with income less than a third of its MG proved it a total failure.
For the last 1.5 years, HandMade Game took this ‘dead’ game and revived it to release on Steam. We took all the in-app-purchase away, increased the content, and polished to meet the Steam audience’s expectation. Despite all odds, we are proud of bringing this game back to what it should have been in the first place.