Good evening hello. Oh apologies … I’ve become so used to the standard greeting used by locals in Sundäe, the small Norwegian town that sets the backdrop for Nine Witches: Family Disruption, which arrives on PS4 this Friday.
To respect the protocol of education and good manners, I must first introduce myself. My name is Diego Cánepa and I create video games. I’m from the past, when the Atari 2600 ruled the world and the arcades were the AAA of the day.
I started working in video games when I was 12 years old. My first computer was a Timex Sinclair 1000 with 2KB of memory. Later, a TI-99 / 4A. And to put an end to the era, the Commodore 64 – before the arrival of the entire PC generation.
The Commodore 64 has brought many unique games with previously unknown mechanics including my favorite genre – adventure games. Maniac Mansion, Zak McKraken and the Alien Mindbenders, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Ultima I, II and III stole my full attention growing up and grew my desire to create these types of video games and share them with more audiences. large.
I have worked in the video game industry as a game designer and creative director for over 25 years. Having designed over 140 games (web and mobile) and with so many years of experience under my belt, it was finally time to realize an old dream: to create my own video game for consoles. One day, I made the decision to start my career as an independent developer.
Creating an “independent video game” is a very personal thing, a purely artistic process. I believed the ideal team was a one-man team – not because of self-centeredness or selfishness, but because it’s a creative self-inquiry. My initial idea was to try to do everything myself and form the very core of the game.
The first thing I asked myself was “what could I do and what not to do?” To define this, I first had to know “what things would the game have and not?”
Starting from scratch on a team all by yourself was intimidating, but it got me experimenting and trying out a lot of different things that I had seen in the Adventure Game genre, so I threw all the rationality out the window for it. moment.
As I wrote the story, I was divided, with part of me wanting to devote to the overall creative process, but the other half knew I had to make the game work in terms of gameplay and programming. This first stage lasted around ten months, creating several storylines with strict rules of simplicity, limited characters, and a few basic adventure mechanics, but almost all of them were left at the prototyping stage.
I had consumed 60% of my time and resources and all that left me was the dilemma: do I continue what I have done so far? Or do I have to delete everything and start over? As Rambo says, “Live for nothing or die for something”, so I started to start over.
So I threw out all the misconceptions about what I thought about the game should being and said ‘hell’, ripped off the chains, gave a character hemorrhoids and sought to give the game its own sense of humor and identity. A clear sign that things were going in the right direction, we had proposed Nine Witches to the independent video game festival of the European Fantastic Film Festival in Strasbourg (FEFFS), which surprised many…. We won!
But it was all taking its toll. Designing a graphic adventure in solitude is complex, incredibly so against the backdrop of WWII, aliens and the supernatural! As the game developed steadily, it was clear that our team needed more. I searched for legendary game designer and close personal friend Pablo Mamone to join the product. Growing up together in high school, we shared the love of playing and designing fantastic backdrops for adventure games.
After spending another year and a half tweaking and iterating, adding over 40 new interactive characters, recruiting new members to join our team, finding an editing partner, winning numerous awards and overcoming a global pandemic: we did it.
All along the way, we didn’t have to compromise our vision, so it is with great joy that I can finally welcome you to Sundäe, the small Norwegian town where our story unfolds. Join Professor Alexei Krakovitz, a quadriplegic Russian expat known for his
research in the occult sciences who has the ability to speak with the dead and Akiro Kagasawa, his staunch Japanese assistant, as they lift an ancient curse and end the madness.