On this occasion, we had the pleasure and the chance to have a very special interview due to the recent launch. Came so much noise and controversy with Cyberpunk 2077, a title slipped straight on the photo of the month of December. And the point is that for us, the good reception he received was not much less of a surprise. Call of the sea. A puzzle and exploration game that pick up the essence of the golden age of adventure games.
With a “cartoon” and precious graphic section, the enigmatic adventure of Out of the blue urges us to explore a lost island in the middle of the Pacific. While playing Norah, we have to go in search of our husband Harry, who, plagued by his wife’s rare disease, desperately sets out to find a solution in this remote place.
To cover some keys to this young studio and its first project, we had the collaboration of Tatiana Delgado placeholder image, neither more nor less than cofundadora from Out of the Blue. He is a developer who, like his colleagues, already has significant experience in the industry. And this does not surprise us, since we are delighted with your latest project, of which we already have an analysis on our website.
First steps of Out of the Blue
Before we get fully involved Call of the sea, we would like to know a little more about the study itself. This is the first project of Out of the Blue, a studio also made up of industry veterans, how did you decide to start your own adventure? How many components do you have today?
Thank you so much! We are passionate about storytelling adventures and puzzles and we are fortunate to be able to devote ourselves to what we love most. In the previous company I was co-founder of, Vertical Robot, we already made our first game of this style
The I have already worked with my current partner, Manuel Fernández. Although we have known each other from university and have been involved in other side projects for many years, and we both share the taste for this kind of adventure. With all that we have learned, we want to continue to contribute to the genre of our new society Out of the Blue.
At the moment we are 11 people. Even if we oscillated between 10 and 12, since we recruit independent support at specific times during production.
Faced with the “new normal”
On the studio’s website there is a message about your working philosophy. Communication and transparency are essential to maintain a healthy working environment, but at the same time, the current situation presents a major challenge for any designer. How did you deal with this “new normal”?
We’re lucky that in Out of the Blue we have always worked remotely, so in that sense, we were not affected. The only thing is that we used to meet once a month to see each other’s faces or when there was an important meeting to hold.
Now we just communicate by Skype. But it gives us the flexibility to have people who are not only from Madrid, and to be able to work and distribute the working time as we want.
Call of the sea, primer proyecto of Out of the Blue
With Call of the sea, you have opted for a puzzle adventure with a fantastic setting, being a very attractive proposition. You could say that the genre you choose is right for you, and while it will soon be, are you planning to explore other genres in the future? Maybe a sequel to his Call of the sea?
This type of games, with puzzles and with a unique story and with great weight, they are what we like to do the most. Therefore, we would like to continue exploring new ways to incorporate puzzles and storytelling into our future projects.
Was this the game you had been thinking about since the studio was founded? How has it evolved in its development?
The game This is practically what we thought and decided in pre-production. I think to finish a game on time, it is important not to stray too far from the path which is plotted at the start of the project.
WE it took us a year and a half to do it, and that would not have been possible if we had not had it very clear. In addition, we are fortunate to have a very senior team, and we could go to the finished shot
Puzzles and exploration as a playable basis
For those who haven’t yet ventured out, What can players expect from this adventure in terms of mechanics / gameplay?
In Call of the sea we wanted to pay tribute to the games that in some way marked us. We grew up playing the great classics like Myst or its second part, the Torn up. And we always wanted to create a similar game, adapting it to new times.
We also wanted the puzzles to be integrated into the environment so that they feel part of the world, and everything is more cohesive. On the other hand, exploration is very important. We have created detailed scenes for the player to review and as a detective, trying to find out what happened on the island and what happened to the expedition. We want to discover the story as one more puzzle.
The importance of the environment
Without going into spoilers, the game’s narrative promises to be immersive and most intriguing. With the premise of looking for her husband, our protagonist arrives on a mysterious island full of secrets, but is the environment as much of a protagonist as the woman we are dealing with? Will we see a kind of communion between the stage and the protagonist through the story?
As I mentioned before, storylines are going to become very important when it comes to unveiling the plot of the game. We have been very careful that each object has a meaning in the level, and that players can spend as much time as they like studying these details. The deeper you go, the more you understand
In addition, we wanted to use the color, atmospheric phenomena and the decoration of the level itself to accompany the feelings that our protagonist feels at all times.
Out of the Blue y Microsoft, an ideal matrimonio
Microsoft has undoubtedly been a great ally of Out of the Blue. For those who don’t know, Call of the Sea has been available on Game Pass since its launch, which undoubtedly helps reach a wider audience. How did this collaboration come about? Will this continue to be an Xbox exclusive title or will it reach other platforms?
We were lucky that Microsoft fell in love with the project. And thanks to our editor Raw Fury, we were able to manage the entire collaboration. We are pleased!
How has it been to work with new generation consoles? We’re talking about a game that carries the X / S Series badge, so it will be optimized for them.
It was a good experience. It’s amazing to be able to develop for the new generation and see how the limits of the previous one were behind. I think the results are in sight. We are very happy!
A promising future
Can we expect a physical version of Call of the Sea? While the digital format is often the first step for many developers, versions such as Ori and The Will of the Wisps (Moon Studio) have taken the leap in reaching gamers who continue to choose to have a physical edition.
This is something we would not want to rule out. Let’s see how the game works and we will appreciate it.
It is still too early to assess your launch in terms of sales, but we would like to close this interview with your general assessment of the project and what it has been like to start your journey in the Spanish video game industry.
Actually, Out of the Blue is made up of veterans with many years of experience in the video game industry. But still, working for a big studio has nothing to do with independent development.
Were very very happy with the reception you have Call of the sea, both by critics and players. When you put a game on the market you are never sure you can connect with people, but in this case it seems so. And being our first title as Out of the Blue, we’re very proud.