Interview with Jacobo Abril about Starman: Tale of Light

Who is behind this idea and how you got into game development?

We are Sergio Abril (28) and Jacobo Abril (25), two brothers from Spain that happen to be architects. After graduating, we wanted to do something beautiful. We wanted to create something that could put together all the things we love: architecture, design, technology, music. A given day, we were having lunch and we thought to ourselves: why don’t we make a game? This was January ’16, and this is how Starman was born.

Explain the game in one sentence.

Starman: Tale of Light is an eerie, challenging and beautiful puzzler.

What made you excited about this idea?

Everything, the idea of creating something from scratch. It seemed like a great challenge. It forced us to learn a lot of new things and even though it sometimes can be frustrating it certainly is rewarding.

How has this game changed from the original plan/vision/design?

The only thing that remained exactly as day 1 is the character, Starman. Pretty much everything has been subject to constant change; it was the first time we approached game development, so it took us a couple of months to stop stumbling around. Even once we had a solid idea of what we wanted to do, things kept changing both aesthetically and mechanic wise pretty much until the end. We wanted it to be perfect.

What was your biggest struggle while making this game?

The first one was learning and mastering the tools to do the things we needed. Once we had that covered, finding the right balance between a challenging and not frustrating gameplay was the main struggle; After playing the same levels tons of times you end up losing perspective. Sometimes is good to ask for an external opinion.

How long it took you to build it?

It took us a 22 months, working full time, with a hectic schedule.

What did you hope for after you’ve released the game and what actually happened?

We didn’t really know what to expect, we wanted people to experience what we had crafted, and for them to enjoy it. The feedback we have received has been pretty great so far and we have even been featured in some App Store categories.

What lessons you’ve learned for future projects from this game?

Organization is essential. You need to learn self management skills and commit to a schedule. Unforeseen problems always occur, but the more prepared you are, the more chances you have to overcome the issues.

What’s the biggest advice you have for people who want to work in game development?

If you have an idea, go for it. Don’t listen to anyone trying to undermine you. You will of course go through ups and downs but as long as you have a goal and firmly believe in it, you will be ok.

Last but not least, don’t leave marketing fot the last month. Don’t be afraid of showing your game. Try to create a community and engage people.

Lastly, how video games influenced your life? How your life has changed with them?

Video games have always been present in our life. Many of our greatest childhood memories involve friends and family gathering around a SNES, and that’s pretty cool. It changed the way we think about entertainment, story-telling and even art. Video games are culture after all.

Starman: Tale of Light on Appstore

Nada Studio: Twitter, Website

Game: Website

Jacobo Abril: Twitter

Sergio Abril: Twitter

Also published on Medium.

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