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.