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We took some time before the release of Dark Romance: Kingdom of the Death Collector’s Edition, to sit down with Oleg and Elena who head up the DominiGames company. The team gave us a behind the scenes peak into the creation of their new Hidden Object game, as well as the faces behind it.

DominiGames lead Oleg Smolyanskiy
DominiGames lead Oleg Smolyanskiy
Elena – Lead Game designer with the book that inspired the game

Hello, we are Oleg and Elena. We are husband and wife, and also executives of DominiGames company.

Oleg: I’m responsible of the company management and its strategy. Elena is responsible for our games’ storylines and is chief production officer.

DominiGames was founded in 2006 and have been developing casual games since 2010. A lot of effort was put in developing of Dark Romance: Kingdom of the Death CE game. Almost all members of our team took part in creating of this game.

Big Fish: What was the inspiration behind your game?

Oleg: To tell you the truth, the idea formed in our mind when we were reading Ancient Greek myths to our son. We bought a thick book of these myths for him. Right at that time we were thinking on an idea for a new game in this series and decided that these myths are full of all kinds of new and interesting ideas.

BF: How long have you been working on this game?

Oleg: If we’ll take into account the whole time of developing, from describing an idea to the game’s release, it took 9 months.

We were very inspired during development of this game, with lots of moments resolved very quickly and enthusiastically.

BF: What are you most proud/excited for about this game?

Well, there are a lot of such moments, but in particular we’d like to mention the following:
1. The game turned out to be exciting and just the way we wanted. This game stands out from other HOPA games and is unique in its own way.

2. We managed to convey the atmosphere of the Underworld and the living world in one game, as well as commitment of two loving people to be together and readiness to overcome all obstacles for that.

BF: What was your biggest challenge on the game’s development?

The characters of this game lived a thousand years ago. They lived in the world full of myths, superstitions and secret signs of gods. Despite all the intentions and desires of these people they are similar to the modern ones. It was very important for us to show that people will be people in all times. They may be surrounded by the gods, but our main characters are real people with their own problems and desires.

We are glad to show players that at all times people fell in love and met obstacles on their way, that meanness and envy tried to destroy their happiness, but these people did the same as we do – fought and tried to do everything they could to be together and be happy.

BF: How did you come up with the idea about playing as two characters in the Dark Romance series?

The majority of HOPA games are very much alike, and we wanted to bring something new in this genre, but we also we wanted to create an interesting romantic story.

In some novels the narration is carried out by several characters. During discussions of the first game in the Dark Romance series, I was reading such novel and suggested this idea.

In truth the most challenging thing was to decide how we can smoothly and intuitively introduce such game mechanics to players, to make it interesting and not confusing. During developing of the first game we changed the mechanism 4 or 5 times. But in the end we think it works great.
Elias and Persephonie

BF: Can you provide any teasers or interesting snippets about the next game in the series (DR5)?

As with the previous games, the next game is based on a well-known story. It will be shown in a new unusual way and from a new point of view. We hope to present it to the fans of these series soon.

In the next game the main characters not only find each other, but also help several other characters find freedom and happiness.

The game is going to be interesting and we hope it pleases the fans of the series, and also attracts new fans of the series.

Screenshot from the next game


DominiGames Animators and artists
DominiGames Animators and artists

Evgeniy Kraev – lead 3D artist

What are you most proud/excited for about this game?
Like in any game, the most exciting part is the process of development. When experts in different spheres – artists, 3D artists, level designers, etc. create and embody ideas that live first only on papers. It’s always fascinating to watch how the artist creates a character out of nothing, drawing and making every detail and even the character of our heroes. The person can be in a coat and a hat. Or maybe a dark tailcoat? And he will hold a cane in his hand. Well done! Then it’s time for 3D artist to breathe life, action and emotions in the character. It looks like it’s quite a amiable gentleman! And after that the character speaks to you, becomes a part of the game world. It’s always a surprise and adventure!

Do you have a favorite mythological Greek character or myth? Why is it your favorite?
I think my favorite character is the god of love Eros. Because there must be love in everything – in life and work.

Yulia(Julia) Shmeleva – game designer

What are you most proud/excited for about this game?
Dark Romance: Kingdome of Death CE is my first game where I took so serious part and I’m proud with it. I hopeful that we succeeded in creating the atmosphere of the Ancient Greece world and at the same time managed to avoid any major historical mistakes.

Do you have a favorite mythological Greek character or myth? Why is it your favorite?
My favorite mythical character is Ares, the god of war. The favorite myth is the myth about Perseus and Andromeda, and in particular, the feat of Perseus – his victory over Medusa. From the very childhood, I love Greek mythology, because when I was very young, my father read these myths for me before sleep.

Irina Ogurtsova – lead artist

What are you most proud/excited for about this game?
I’m really pleased that the game is very atmospheric and in my opinion, the Hades’ Underworld is worth of pride and praise, in the Underworld we managed to implement a lot of interesting ideas.

Do you have a favorite mythological Greek character or myth? Why is it your favorite?
From all mythological heroes of the Ancient Greece, I like Odysseus, because first of all, he was a common mortal and not someone close to Olympus, secondly, he has charm, intellect and wit, thirdly, it was he who drew Achilles into the Trojan war where the fight with Hector took place, and finally, he created the ingenious trap in Trojan horse, I appreciated his craftiness :)

Salamahin Michail – Head of the Dark Romance: Kingdom of Death project

What are you most proud/excited for about this game?
Most of all I like the arts in girl’s part of the game. They are cool!

Do you have a favorite mythological Greek character or myth? Why is it your favorite?
My favorite Greek symbol – Labyrinth. It struck by the complexity of the maze, because it is designed in such a way that he could hold the Minotaur imprisoned!

Parinov Dmitriy – Lead Designer

What are you most proud/excited for about this game?
That the game finally came to release!

Do you have a favorite mythological Greek character or myth? Why is it your favorite?
The first thing that came to mind – Homer’s epos Iliad. I like it that it raised a lot charismatic characters. But it is possible that I look at the epos as a good material for a Dark Romance series.

05 - our team who took put in DR4 developing
The Dark Romance Team

We hope you enjoy our game!

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