Kevin: Now focusing on Nihilumbra, I think you have already answered a lot of all the possible questions a person can imagine about the game. So, there is only one thing I can ask you. What is left for you to tell about the game?
Jesús: As I already told you, before Nihilumbra I was developing a AAA title in which I had put a lot of hope. When the project was discontinued I felt like really bad, thinking all my work would never be seen, so I felt like everything I did became nothing, my work was suddenly erased from the world. Those sort of emotions influenced me a lot to craft the story and design of Nihilumbra, its story, the dark aesthetics and all the sadness surrounding Born when he starts the adventure.
What's the less expected feedback you got from the players? and also, what got lost in translation from your head to what they receive when playing the game?
I was ready for the backslash that a few people throwed against the game, claiming it was pretentious rubbish and made use of cheap philosophy. I don’t know, it hurts, but you kinda expect that kind of reaction in the Internet. But I wasn't really prepared for some of the good comments, many people appreciated the game a lot, especially how it treats many topics that every human being has during life. Fear to death, the arrogance that sometimes happens when you get an achievement, it's a game that communicate things very few games accomplish to do successfully. I have to admit I wasn't ready for that kind of good feedback, but I have to outline I really appreciate those players who write us telling how much the game connected with them. As a player, you don't have to try to get all the underlying messages hidden in the game, but if you do, then you will have a much better understanding (and in consequence I think it will be more enjoyable).
Nihilumbra means a lot for me, it's my first commercial title and that carries a lot of responsibility. Even now, almost two years after we released the game, it's quite hard for me to cope with critics in general, whether they come as a face to face commentary, a journalistic review or a tweet. I fight everyday to be the best game designer I can, so I have a really high self-exigence.
Now on Megamagic, what do you feel when comparing the birth of Megamagic and the birth of Nihilumbra?
Definitely, Megamagic is having a much more complicated development; if Nihilumbra was a kamikaze project, Megamagic could be considered as suicidal without hesitation. The project is a new adventure, a new challenge, much more extense and with a very innovative gameplay. We are fighting to finish it on time and with the expected quality.
From story and design points of view, what have been your main motivations?
The story is quite deep and elaborated. I built a complex universe, with different factions, beliefs, cultures, individuals with their own stories, personalities and problems. The events that occur amongst the characters have their very particular reasons behind, etc. One of the reasons I'm more enthusiastic about the project is that I believe in those characters, they deserve to come to life and let the players experience their stories.
About the gameplay, I took the main mechanic of a game I played as a child as inspiration and added new elements to improve it as much as possible. Our inspiration is a game very rarely remembered nowadays, but that was one of my favourites PC games as a child. Also, Megamagic is designed in a way the player is suddenly dropped into the world and he will have to discover it step by step. The nonlinear experience we are creating will be quite interesting, as an example, in a fantastic medieval game like Baldurs Gate you know that somewhere in the quest there is a dragon waiting for you that you have to beat, or a princess in distress. But in Megamagic the ambient is really new and the player won't have a clue of what is waiting around the corner, so the game will surely surprise him.
Now, as with the rest of the members of the team, it's your turn to remark a good quality of them and also something that you like and you don't like from yourself.
Aniol: I know him for almost three years now and still surprises me, something I have observed is that he is a really smart guy with a lot of rational thinking. Sometimes he is too rational, up to the point of having difficulties to understand the more emotional members of the team. I have the feeling I understand him better than most people since I have the same problem. He's also very perfectionist, sometimes complaining about the very small details of each proposal I present to him. But I always try to present my favorite idea surrounded by other mediocre ones, in this way he always chooses the right one!
Pol: I have a lot of complicity with him since we were already working together on The Creature. Also we have a very similar sense of humour.
Lourdes: She is very passionate about everything she does, for the good and the bad. She's always taking care of all of us. It's always good to have somebody more human like her around. Artistically I love her watercolor works, also how far she goes looking for references and inspirations, even when I push her to go far from her style, that's more happy and colourful.
Marcos: He is a great guy, super productive, we have the same passion for the 80s culture and since the beginning we get along very well.
Jordi: He is really fast at drawing, as fast that I can sit beside him and watch how he draws things in real time and correct him without having to go back to my place. Incredible. On the other hand he has a very defined style and is hard to take him out of it. His dark humour is something I love, but his jokes aren't suitable for a public audience!
Jesús: I see you are always doing, learning and sharing things, even when you don't need to. That's something very valuable for us to have somebody always tuned up about the last news happening in the industry. I see you're a very proactive member who likes to purpose new alternatives to spread the word on the studio and our games.
Now you gave your impressions on the rest of the team good qualities. Which ones would be your most outstanding personal attributes, both good and bad?
Let's start with good points first. As a game designer, I really trust my hunches. I've studied lots of theory about game design, but sometimes I break with all of that and follow my instinct, doing something I've never seen before. Examples of that are The Creature's trailer or Nihilumbra's Void Mode. Once I learn to control such impulses the receive them whenever I want, I’ll become extremely powerful!
About my bad points, sometimes I get too much stressed, I go crazy when things go wrong, but also when everything is running smoothly I get worried about the smallest detail. Also it hurts me too much when somebody don't like my work and criticizes it, that contributes to increase the stress even more. But the worst deficiency I have is that I'm not able to create my own game from scratch, I learned how to code and animate, but would love to create good art. For example, I was amazed when I met Francisco Téllez (Unepic), someday I really aspire to be like him and be able to craft almost every part of a game. This is probably caused because I feel ideas aren't useful without the technical skills needed to create a game from scratch and I feel really vulnerable for this!