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 ?