Today we have an interview with developer Pablo Cidade from Curse Box Studios. Discussing his game development process and inspirations, Curse Box Studios is currently working on a new survival horror game called Bleeding Border.
So to begin with, what games have you worked on and what is the game you’re most excited about right now?
This is my first commercial game, but i have been making game for more than 10 years now. I did some 3d experimental games like The CrimsonMasquerade, Pandora, and Endless Sea . Even winning some prizes in local competitions. I’m very excited about BleedingBorder, mainly because i have a lot of ideas for the sequel, so i wish this one get a lot of acceptance. I’m also working in a new title that will combine elements of survival horror and rogue like games, but i dont have the liberty to discuss that one in this moment.
What inspired you to make videogames?
When i was little i spended all my free time after school going to places in which you could rent playstations or Computers (i didn’t have neither of those in my own home at that moment) and i played a lot of games there that were great influences in my life such as Parasite Eve , Resident Evil , Doom, Dino Crysis, etc.
Who are some of your personal inspirations?
Personally i have always admire the way that John Romero thinks about design ,and his personal philosophy as a gamer. His first games were a great part of me growing up so he influence me a lot as a player and has a designer.
Hideo Kojima and Shinji Mikami where another great influence for me, mostly in the way that they carry on a story in the game.
And Hidetaka Miyazaki is a great and recent inspiration for me because he prove me that great games will always have an audience, no matter the time. You just need to concentrate in making a good game, and there will be always someone willing to play it.
What do videogames do that no other media can do?
For me that is of course the interactivity, i always get bored watching films, i don’t stand to be a passive user. Games give us freedom, and the power to change the worlds that they present us. They can carry emotions in a way is almost impossible to describe to someone who has never played.
Even if games have no characters , you are using your brain all the time, you are interacting and exploring the possibilities that us designers give you. And all sort of mediums can evolve from a videogame (books, songs, movies, etc) but is because the emotional investment that you have put on that game through the interactivity.
What is your process like in designing a videogame?
I have a lot of ideas going on all the time, more than 100 game ideas that i always evolve in text (paper or digital) I want to make them all but life is short and we need to prioritize, so i select the idea that best goes with the budget we have now and i get my team and myself to work with that. My girfriend (our art director) is a great help for me , because when i pitch her an idea i’m always really excited and i don’t see the flaws, so she will point them at me and i will work on them before we start producing the game, or even before the idea get in paper. I pitch the idea to my friend how is a programer, then he will throw a lot of flaws that i didn’t saw before, and so on until the idea is good to go, and start to produce the game around it.
When you sit down and start work, is there anything specific that helps you with your process?
In the inspirational part everything help, especially the things that bother me in the daily basics.
When i’m already working on the game, and need to make a 3d model , or a concept art i always blast music (death, black and classic metal mainly ,but also rap) to give some rithm to the work.
Was there ever a time you considered leaving working on videogames? As an addenda, was it something you had been doing your entire life or was it something you eventually came to, and if so, why?
The first time i realize i wanted to make games was when i started installing mods in games, and then making mods myself, then i said “i just want to make a hole game myself” so i started playing with a lot of engine that were super difficult at the time (we didn’t had Unity or Construct back then) and managed to created a lot of really unpulish games that teach me a lot about game design. Latter i went to the university and studied game design. A year before finishing my thesis i realize that there were no jobs for me here , so i decided to form my own company, and here i am.
I have never considered not working on videogames, i have always considered not working on this or that videogame, but never stop working on videogames. I have to many ideas to let them die, regardless of my economical position at the moment, so if i ever need to work in something else because my games are not getting me enough money for me and my family, i will, but i will always have some side project.
What kinds of games do you want to make?
I want to make game that help me explore the medium as a designer, there is a lot of game genres out there that people don’t pay enough attention , like survival horror , but also stealth , rogue like, and others, that are real challenges from a designer point of view. So i want to focus on that type of games that work well with small budgets like the ones we had, and the day i have a big budget i will make another of this games, because we have a lot of good shooters, and platformers out there, but not enough good survival horror games.
When is a game finished?
When you are ready to let it go.. In my opinion games can not have bugs, that’s an insult for the players, so if someone finds a bug in my game i will apologise and fix it immediately. There will be always something you want to add to a videogame, but there is a time when you need to say Stop!! this game is ready , let work on something else. Or else no one will ever play a game of yours. Its also important , and even more difficult when you need to kill a game, when you said , this project has no hope, it need to die. We killed two games before BleedingBorder .And is a tough but necessary lesson that every developers need to lear
What frustrates you most about games?
When a game is obviously trying to be trending or edgy. When minecraft went viral i saw a lot of games trying to say that they were not like minecraft because they have shooting in there, or they have vehicles, is all the same for me , they are just trying to rip off someone else’s work.
Game are about transmitting feeling, even fear or rage. They are about creating experiences for the player. And when you try to fake that people will notice, even if it’s not in a conscious way.
How does a project need to feel in order to be good (to you)?
When i see the screenshots , when i see the aesthetic of the game, or the idea, before even start to play , i need to feel that there is work in there, that there is time that the developers spended trying to create something personal and unique. Instead of just said two random words and start spending millions of dollars in another gta ripoff.
Where is the best place to present a videogame?
I’m trying to figure that out myself yet. But i would said that depends on your game, every game is unique, you just need to find the right way to sell it. Don’t be afraid of rejection, or even hate. People will always hate thinks for reasons you can not control. Many people will just criticise for the mere act of making another human being feel worthless because they themself feel worthless
What do you intend to represent when presenting a videogame to the public?
I’m just trying to represent myself and my own personal view on what a videogame is,and that you can make games no matter the country you were born. Or even you economical possibilities, just work hard. I have seen many people work two jobs just to buy themself a computer and start programing game. If you have a dream work for it, fight for it, not just games, any dream.
Lastly, why videogames?
It just feels right, if i were doing something else i will feel empty. Game always give me a lot, and i have the need to give back to the industry. I want my games to be the inspiration for someone to make videogames, just as some game was my inspiration. And i will continues to make games, even if i fail.