Meet Cathy Roiter from Her Interactive and Designer of WildTangent’s newest and scariest adventure game, Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water’s Edge. Just in time for Halloween, you can explore a haunted inn in Japan in hopes of solving the mystery of a vengeful ghost. Check out Cathy’s advice for playing Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water’s Edge on the WildTangent Games App and how she helped design a game that stays true to traditional Japanese ghost stories.
Tell us about yourself and how you got into game development.
When I was in grade school, I played my first real computer game: King’s Quest IV. I was immediately hooked with the story, puzzles and visuals. I was also a big fan of Disney and Pixar and was actually more interested in animation than design. At Grinnell College, I majored in studio art, thinking I would still pursue a career in either game or film animation. Plans changed when Her Interactive offered me a game production intern position and opened my eyes to the entire design world. I was lucky enough to become a designer and have thoroughly enjoyed it since. As much as I continue to love animation, design allows me to experience all aspects of the game, including the element of storytelling that drew me to animation from the beginning.
What was your favorite part about creating Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water’s Edge?
My favorite part was getting to create a ghost story in Japan. One of our design goals for the game was to make Shadow at the Water’s Edge (SAW) the scariest title in the series to date. I wound up watching a lot of Japanese ghost shorts and movies to get the feel of how they told a ghost story. They rely more on atmosphere and tension with a few well placed scares than what I was used to from American cinema. It was a lot of fun to work those elements into SAW. I also came away with a great appreciation for Japanese culture, art, traditions and, of course, ghost stories.
Nancy travels to Japan in Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water’s Edge. If you could travel anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be?
I love to travel and have had the opportunity to visit a lot of places on my wish list already. Currently next up on the list is a Sweden/Norway Scandinavian vacation. Or Costa Rica. Or maybe Kenya. There are a lot of places still on that list and the top place country changes constantly until the moment I book my next ticket. However, if it was somewhere I’ve already been, then it’d be New Zealand, hands down. I loved my time there and can’t wait to go back.
What tips and tricks do you have for WildTangent players who are playing Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water’s Edge?
Make sure you explore everywhere, talk to suspects frequently and don’t be afraid to lend a hand. Nancy also keeps notes in her journal for later reference. For Junior Detectives, the tasklist and Nancy’s friends can provide additional help in figuring out the next steps to take. Above all, this is a ghost story, and ghosts like those really late night hours for their ultimate scares.
What is your favorite mini-game in Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water’s Edge?
Bento. You can’t go wrong with classic logic puzzles that use animal shaped food as pieces.
In Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water’s Edge, Nancy stays at a ryokan, or inn, that has a history of ghost sightings. If you could meet the ghost of any person in history, who would it be and why?
I have to go with the true Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci. I would love to have the chance to learn how he came up with his inventions and how he was inspired as well as share with him how his inventions are continuing to be realized today. It would be amazing to ask what he might be able to create with modern technologies today.