1. Interview of 4Edges

    Meet 4 Edges, The stuido who created two games on FrenchCows:The BlobMinute and LavaPools.

    1/ Tell us about yourself(ves) : how did you get involved in video games?

    We are 4 friends from the same bachelor in game and level design. After failing the entry contest of the ENJMIN, we took a look at the french industry and saw there would be no job for us. We decided to do indie games for 1 years, the time needed to publish one or two games. We don’t have unlimited money and we’ll have to find a job to pay the bills soon or later.

    2/ What does “indie” mean to you? Why did you make that choice?

    Indie is, for us, an opportunity to make cool games and train. We may have found a job in the video game industry with our Bachelor, but I’m sure it’s an illusion. We are young, we only need a few hundreds o bucks to live, for the rent and the food. We have no family to sustain… why not ?

    3/ How many of you are there in your studio? Are other people contributing to your work?

    Four of us are part of the core team and four people are helping us.

    • Thomas Goffinet, game designer, level designer, graphic artist,

    • Bastien Nanceau, game developer, level designer, a little graphic art too

    • Paul Lagarrigue, Sound designer et musician

    • And I, Yannick Elahee, game designer, game developer et project manager

    The four side kicks are :

    • Ludovic Servat, game designer et graphic artist, I work closely with him on Lavapools

    • Stéphane Damo, musician who help us on game jams and stuff. He’s the maestro for the musics of Blob minute

    • Julien Lebon, level designer on Blob Minute.

    • Julien Commerenc, composer, the rocking guitar on Lavapools, it’s him !

    We are splitted in two between Lavapools and Blob Minute, because I wanted to do a duo with Ludovic and our games are quite level driven.

    Sadly there’s no women in our whole team…

    4/ Where does your name come from?

    Our name comes from the fact that we’re 4 and wanted a simple name… we’re quite convinced the name doesn’t matter this much, it must be easy to remember and say. But besides that, I have a deeper explanation. When we speak of 4 edges, we usually see a rectangle or a square. But you can also see a weird rhombus. We see things as simple as they’re said, but after we get used to them, we see something different, deeper.

    5/ What makes a great video game according to you?

    A great video games is for us surprising and reveals his potential over time. We have the specificity to go quite deep in the games we play. Would it be for mastering or discovering more about the background, things can be simple at first and then get surprising, full of potential.

    6/ Why did you decide to join FrenchCows? What do you expect from this adventure?

    We decide to join FrenchCows to extend our network and have quite precises deadlines on our schedule. It’s really helpful when you’re indie, young and have few experience. Another good thing is the community it has : we love having feedbacks from the players. It’s essential for us.

    7/ Can you tell us a few words about your games ?

    Blob Minute is a plateformer where the same level is twisted every time you play it, keeping the core design but with different mechanics. It’s not that much original and a little hard to say why it’s fun, but we see a potential in this one. The thing is that you need to keep some patterns in your head, but change some other. We heavily rely on the quality of level design, because we’re mainly game designers. When you take a look at Super Meat Boy, the core mechanics are quite conventionnal, but the pleasure relies on controls and level design.

    Lavapools is very different. It’s somehow a game about dodging things and understanding routines, while new pattern appears. The biggest inspiration for it is the Escape mod of Warcraft 3. People also refer it to Pacman, and I sometimes wonder what a new Pacman would look like. There are many things to say about it’s underlying signification and why it’s an important game to me… but it’s a secret :)

    8/ What are your hopes for both your game (s) and your studio?

    We don’t have many hopes, because we’re young and inexperienced. Then we hope to level up fast during this adventure, and build a portfolio that recruiters will like. It’s quite unusual from indie, but we’re as passionnate as they are. Other indies often come back from the industry, but today it’s hard for young people to break through. We aim to make games that will be a good experience for the player and for us. Will we manage to manage ourselves and publish games on our own ?

     


  2. Interview of Noego, the studio who created Level 22

    1/ Tell us about yourself(ves) : how did you get involved in video games?

    Noego core team is composed of the two creators of the studio: Régis Leboeuf and Raphaël Sautron (myself).

    Régis, after his Master degree in computer engineering and software architecture, worked for the Marseille studio Exkee for 4 years. Then he joined Succubus interactive as a Lead programmer, and this is where we met each other.

    Before that, I was a student at the Enjmin (French graduate school of games and digital medias) and joined that studio as a game designer and project manager. All through the projects we worked on, we found we made a pretty good team. That lead us to build up our own studio. That’s how Noego was born.

    2/ What does “indie” mean to you? Why did you make that choice?

    Actually, we don’t really think about being independent or not. We just try to make games we like. We don’t want to force ourselves to enter in a specific category.

    The independence of a creation is to be considered from a “project” perspective, not a studio. Many studios like us develop few games in the meantime with very diverse ways to finance them (editors, crowdfunding, grants, etc). It’s elementary that the more a financer takes in charge the cost of a development, the more he has a say on creative aspects. In short, on some projects we are totally autonomous; on some others we are a little less autonomous. There are still many tenacious “clichés” about independent game development (young hairy guys coding in their garage, etc.) and we should really get rid of them. New methods of development, financing, and communication around games are constantly evolving. New kinds of developers are born every day and invent their personal ways to be independent.

    3/ How many of you are there in your studio? Are other people contributing to your work?

    On LEVEL 22, we started with a team of three people: a graphic designer (Thibault Jaouen), a developer (Régis) and a game/level designer (me). During the final stretch we needed back up and called another graphics creator (Philippe Salib). For the sound design of the game we contacted Game Audio Factory. They also put at our disposal Morusque’s talents (Yann Van Der Cruyssen), an amazingly gifted chiptune music composer.

    At the moment, our entire game development team is composed of 4 people.

     

    4/ Where does your name come from?

    Noego is the idea that the game and its player always come first. Our desires are secondary. During the development, when decisions must be made, we try to never let our “ego” talk but we do our best to do what is best more coherent for the game and generous for the player.

     

    5/ What makes a great video game according to you?

    A good game is always a game that manages to surprise you and stay in your mind many years after you played it. Considering the amount of games we constantly play, when a game reaches that point, it’s really something.

     

    6/ Why did you decide to join FrenchCows? What do you expect from this adventure?

    Frenchcows represent an opportunity to try to do everything differently. It’s about getting into a group to mutualize our competences, to talk differently to those who are directly concerned about the game (players), to be put forward… In short, to participate in an exciting experience that showcases innovative creations.

     

    7/ Can you tell us a few words about your game (s)?

    LEVEL 22, Gary’s Misadventures is a pixelated stealth game. You play as Gary, an office worker who overslept and must sneak his way to his desk without being noticed by his colleagues. Tons of easter eggs mixed with a great sense of derision made this unique stealth comedy game.

    8/ What are your hopes for both your game (s) and your studio?

    The most important thing for us is to explore new stuffs for each projects. For our next one, we are preparing something completely different in terms of graphic style, gameplay, business model and technology. But it is still a little too soon to talk about it.

     

     

  3. Level 22 is on FrenchCows and will soon be on Steam because it’s just been greenlit. A fun mix of stealth game and point’n click. Here comes the pitch.

    Gary is an office worker, and he has a problem: He is late at job. His real big problem is that it’s far from being his first lateness. So now, Gary run the risk to get fired at any moment if some of his colleague catch him in the act of being late. He will need to use all the stealth and tricks he has, to be able to climb the 22 floors leading him to his office. And he will have to do it, without getting noticed.

    THE FIRST STEALTH GAME INSPIRED BY THE UNFORGIVING AND HECTIC WORLD OF OFFICE WORK

    Hide in closets, crawl in pipes, hug the walls… you don’t want anybody to spot you!

    Use whatever you have on hand to reach the end of the level: coffee machines, pen, donuts, photocopier or laxative!

    - Go through the underground carpark, the research and development department, or the boss office: explore the madcap universe of the Overyld Company !

    Watch the trailer and much more on FrenchCows,

     

  4. Our revolution : a new website, new android app, new studios, new games : and you can get all this with a 4€ pass !

    Want to know more ? Go to http://frenchcows.com

     

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  6. Radical Dungeon Sweeper’s team is working on graphs.

    Here are a few tiles for the setiing, a few sketchees of the monsters and the heroes….

    Quite promising!

    Pictures : http://legrandvrac.tumblr.com/

    Radical Dungeon Sweeper is available on http://frenchcows.com

     

  7. Meet Bits, a great ARTE tv show that tells you everything you need to know about the geek culture and video games. In this first episode, sandbox.

     
     

  8. Our FrenchCows team went to meet Cap Sciences in Bordeaux last week ; they presented a few games, including Gulag paradise, by Armel Gibson

     

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