Just in time for the weekend we have another preview of game that’s due to be on show during the big day AND as always it’s just as important to highlight the developers as well as the games they make, so we’ll be sharing a bit on both below.

This time round we are talking about…

The Detectorist Guild
This is being developed by Tom Garner and we asked him to fill us in on what to expect.

What would be your description of The Detectorist Guild?
Tom – “It’s a cosy game, all about quirky British aesthetic, leisurely and accessible challenge, a (hopefully) fun gameplay loop of hunting for treasure with a (relatively) realistic simulation of a real metal detector. I am more than happy for the phrase “Stardew Valley-like” to be used (!) but with a more in-depth and slightly more mature story and a twist in the core gameplay.”

How did development start? (Were there any key inspirations or ideas that drove you?
Tom – “In a pub last year, with my son who was 10 at the time. He’s into archaeology and said I should make an “archaeology simulator”. The idea went from there. We play games like Minecraft and Stardew Valley together and I wanted to create something that was accessible and engaging for both kids and adults.”

Tell us about yourself / the team working on the game? (Where are you from? How did you get started?)
Tom – “I’m a solo developer on this project. I’ve not worked directly in the industry before and I originally trained as a musician, then a schoolteacher before doing a PhD in sound design for games. This got me into game design more broadly and I grew to love every aspect of the process. I’m now a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam and I lead the Computer Games Technologies degree; the best part of which is helping other solo developers and small teams get started making their own games.”

As an individual or team what kind of experiences do you hope to bring players?
Tom – “Something fun and light-hearted, quick and easy to pick up but less easy to put down. The routes to fun in the game are exploration, engaging story, and light simulation.”

In 10 words or less, highlight the appeal of The Detectorist Guild?
Tom – “A fun, warm, jump-right-in type of RPG.”

What is your favourite feature from The Detectorist Guild?
Tom – “Definitely the metal detector. I used a few real detectors for a bit, read too many manuals and made sure I was emulating enough features to make it feel a bit geeky without being too much. Players need to learn their frequency, intensity and ground balance settings, whilst thinking about what they’re searching for and where they’re searching.”