Interview with Brent Dusing of Hexify, maker of ‘Journey of Moses’

Hexify recently released “Journey of Moses” on Facebook, a game that the company describes as being the “first biblically based, adventure quest Facebook game.” Play As Life interviewed Brent Dusing, founder of Hexify.

Q. Who is your target game player?

A: We wanted to create a game that would be fun and entertaining for the entire family. We think the Journey of Moses has something for everyone in any age group.

Q. To me, Journey of Moses is interesting because it follows a specific narrative. Many games do not have a narrative. Why did you choose to follow a story?

A. We thought this would be a unique way to retell the story of Moses and to keep people engaged by following one of the most well known biblical stories of all time. Players will experience the many twists and turns as they explore milestones in the life of Moses – from growing up in the king’s house as an Egyptian to his exile in the wilderness. Then, after an encounter at the burning bush, Moses’ life is changed and he eventually leads the Israelites out of Pharaoh’s rule.

The game is similar to other Facebook puzzle games in that you click tiles to reveal hidden "items" (click to enlarge)

Q. What do you think is the element that will keep people hooked to the game?

A. First of all, the Journey of Moses is a very fun game to play. We have spent a lot of time perfecting the mechanics of this game, focusing on the level of engagement and production quality so that everyone can enjoy it for its entertainment value. It is also a great story. Essentially, Moses is the grandson of the king of the world, has a falling out, is exiled to a no man’s land, then has an encounter with God and his world is turned upside down. While there are a number of good games out there, our players will find the Journey of Moses is a cutting-edge social game, incorporating best practices, high quality art, cool effects, great music, and the newest Facebook features.

Q. How historically-correct are the “items” or other design elements in the game?

A. We have been very deliberate in making sure there is nothing in Journey of Moses that is contradictory to the text or the spirit of the Biblical account of the life of Moses. We have vetted portions of the game with leaders in a variety of faith groups to ensure their accuracy. Because the Bible doesn’t provide a minute-by-minute account, there are some details that have been added for entertainment value, but overall, you will find it to adhere to the historical account.

The game follows the story of Moses, who, early on, thinks he is a true Egyptian prince. (click to enlarge)

Q. Moses is a story that is part of Jewish as well as Catholic history. Is there a reason why you chose to frame this as a Christian game?

A. I agree, that the story of Moses is part of these faith stories. Overall we consider the Journey of Moses to be a biblically-based game, but I am a Christian and specifically set out to design a game for this audience.

Q. Have you seen people of different religions interact on the game forum?

A. We have seen some people of different religious beliefs play our game.

Q. How did you get into games?

A. I’ve been making board games since I was in elementary school. I thought Facebook gaming would be a fun industry to be in and we started our company in that market.

Q. What is/are your favorite game(s) of all time?

A. My favorite video game, hands down is the Zelda series. The first, Legend of Zelda, and 3rd, Link to the Past are my favorites. You can probably sense that if you play our games. One of our favorite board games as a company is Settlers of Catan. To pay homage to this game, we named the company after the shape of the pieces on the board. I also love all types of card games, including poker.

Q. What is your opinion on the hard core vs. casual game distinction?

A. With 300 Million gamers out there, there is a big audience. There’s plenty of games for all types of players out there.

Q. What is some advice you would give to parents who frown on their children playing games?

A. I would tell parents that there is cause for concern if your child is playing games 24 hours a day consistently. But, enjoying games can be a very positive form of entertainment. Social games, like Journey of Moses have positive and uplifting themes and a very social aspect.

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