Show And Tell: Krams Design

This week brings a very special Show and Tell — one that features the Kotaku community's very own Sughly. For those that don't know Sughly, he's fond of documenting Kotaku community happenings through the art of awesome stick figures , but he's also a game developer who has just completed his latest game Egress, before moving on to his next project Anna's Room. Today, he's here to talk about his work.

Can you introduce yourself and tell me a little bit about your studio? My name’s Dane Krams (though I linger around these parts as ‘Sughly’) of Krams Design, a company that consists entirely of me, myself, and I. I started poking around with Adventure Game Studio a couple of years back which eventually inspired me to complete my Masters degree, start up the Krams Design moniker, and begin working on my Masters project Anna’s Room.

What game are you working on at the moment? Anna’s Room! It’s a point and click adventure game for PC in hand drawn, 2D animation, and is a fantasy/comedy heavily inspired by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson tales. Anna’s a little girl who, on her way to finding a cure for her ailing Grandfather, has been kidnapped by a wicked old witch deep in the woods intent on performing strange and peculiar experiments (as witches do). What she doesn’t count on though are the powerful telekinetic forces brought up in Anna that opens up her first window of escape...

I'm a huge fan of the Lucasarts and Sierra quest games of old, so I'm really just trying to help carry on the adventure torch that a lot of like-minded indie developers have done so already!

Where and when can we play? Well, while Anna’s Room might have its first few chapters done and ready to go, I’m still putting the finishing touches to a full length design document that extends on the story. Short answer is that it may be released in chapters, in which case part one could be released as soon as February next year, or otherwise as a full length title, depending on what the outcome is of some ongoing discussions with publishers and what not!

In the meantime though there’s the recently completed Egress – The Test of STS-417 which is free and available right now! In a nutshell it’s a short form sci-fi adventure that has you saving a fellow astronaut when maintenance on an interplanetary probe goes horribly wrong (as it does). Just head on over to the game’s page on the Krams Design website for more information and a download link.

What’s next for your studio — any big plans? Obviously the big plan is to get the full Anna’s Room story out there, whether by means of chapter instalments or as a full length title as mentioned above. I’m extremely excited about the idea and story laid out in the design document, and even more so by the potential of the game reaching store shelves if all goes well with interested parties!

Any words of advice for those who want to get into the games industry? It’s plain old blood sweat and tears. You really need to just work your butt off. Work every single day. If you have ideas then noone’s going to finish them for you, so stop making excuses and just start buiding the damn thing already! Most of your work will suck at first too, but it will only get better with even more work. Chalk it up to experience and keep at it. I’m a believer that sooner or later good work will get attention, especially in this age of digital distribution.


    What nonsense is this!? It's like a baby's game..!

    Also, it reminds me of a Michael Bay film... or something not foriegn/arty at least...

      Michael Bay is like, my idol. Everything I do, I think 'what would Michael Bay do is he was in this position?'*.

      *not really

        Oh, hey Sughly. You might like this game then. It's by some Danish guy or something... I dunno I didn't read it.*

        *I read it

    I remember seeing the Anna's Room screenshots at Adventure Gamers long before I started posting on Kotaku, looked great then still looks great now. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

      I thought I recognised your avatar! Wow, that's awesome! Kind of a small world, huh? Thanks for the love :D

        Yeah, man. Recognized you when I first started posting here. I think we debated Heavy Rain or something over there once. Heh.

        Some of the best adventure game experiences I've had lately have been on the iPad. Broken Sword DC, Monkey Island, Machinarium and etc. I get the feeling games like Gray Matter would've actually got some attention if they released on iOS platforms or Android. What are the chances Anna's Story could end up there?

          Haha, I have to admit I was pretty over opinionated over there at times... so I hope I wasn't a dick to you :(

          I do agree with you about iOS and Android, and I'd LOVE to get Anna's Room on them too, but it's too early to tell just yet. The whole things been done in a 4:3 ratio which doest help, but we'll see...

          Also, its so awesome to have an old AGer here!

    Anna's Room! It still exists! Release it already!

      I will, I will! I'm working on it as we speak!


    Can't wait to play both games - i still haven't had a chance to pick up Egress yet (damn you kkp!) but i may get soem time with it this weekend.


    Woo, thanks Mark! It's pretty darn nice to see Anna up there under the Kotaku banner :D

    Great stuff - I grew up on Sierra quest games (kings/space/police), really looking forward to this! Keep holding the torch man, lead the way :)

      Yeah, I grew up on the King's Quest games.
      I was never allowed to play the others. Actually, I should probably get around to grabbing them from GOG or something to make my childhood dreams of playing them come true.

        Most Sierra games have dated VERY badly, with the exception of Gabriel Knight -- but still, nothing beats the simple joys of an adventure game. :D

      Thanks Ben! Very proud to have a hand on this torch amongst all the other amazing indie adventures coming out these days. Adventures are the bestest!

    "My name’s Dane Krams (though I linger around these parts as ‘Sughly’)"

    Is it? Is it really? Is that the whole story of your name? :P

    Oh and people, make sure you donate when you grab Egress so you can get the wallpapers, they're so preeetttyyy.

      Haha, shhhhh! It is, I swear!

      Also, I didnt realise that was you who was one of the donatees! Thanks so much Strange!

    Another Sughly game incoming(!) I will keep my eyes open for this for sure!

    * (!) is Metal Gear Solid sound effect

    You can so put a sticker on the digital box for this game that says as seen on Kotaku.

    Seriously congrats on the plug on the site and interesting to see it all laid out here. I will say this was the first screen i saw of Anna's room and the art style, while I know and love your work, is a step above man, really polished and a unique art style. I love it man. So glad you are sticking at it.

    Really enjoyed Egress, looking forward to see how your work goes in the future :D

    i know that guy!!!

    I'm not much of an adventure game guy but I did enjoy Egress.

    Nice little story idea and the puzzles were pretty neat, even if the only solution to the light one I could find was the hammer. Would have been nice for it to be a little longer, to really get a little bit of momentum going (I tend to be better at these things once I get into that sort of click all the things! type mentality).

    Is good stuff.

      Haha, I wish it could have been longer too! I would have happily kept working on it, but, well... then I probably would never have got anything released!

        There is always that problem.

    I hope you get rich from this, Sughly!

    Sell this on iTunes and then buy a noisy Ferrari and just laugh at everyone.

    Just drive past people and say:

    "Excuse me, excuse me. Where's your Ferrari? What's that? You don't have one! You suck! You really, really suck! Look at me! I have a Ferrari,you don't!! Where's your god now? I don't think he can drive fast enough!"

    VVVrrrroooooooooooooooooooooooommmmmm!!! And then just drive off really fast. Just like that.

    Imagine burning people at the lights in fcuK#ing Ferrari. I do radical burnouts in my phat ass Commodore, but Ferrari would really be a brave new world of dangerous driving and reckless disregard; I hope these projects afford you that.

    We'll have to get together in Queensland some time and talk story ideas.

    These two productions look to have great story elements!!

      This is pretty much my goal. If I don't reach this in 6 months then something is wrong with the system.

    *embraces monitor in a screen shattering and case cracking hug*
    Now I truly regret the lack of a computer (not sure work would approve me downloading these), especially since these look so friggin awesome.
    Oh well, if anything can inspire me to buy a computer, your games would certainly be it.

    I'm going to go and grab Egress now, it looks good. Looking forward to the next game as well. Nice work Sughly

    AWESOME! Talented, kind, overly generous, Sughly is all these things and more. Wish the best of success to you man! You made me post on Kotaku too! Nice! Cant wait to check out Anna's Room! (sounds a tad creepy there.....)

    Congrats Sughly! Anna's Room looks really cool. Keen to try out egress when I set a pc up this week :)

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