Brazilian Indie Game: AL Project

On this new category of posts I will show and tell a little bit about the independent game development scenery in Brazil.

Since this is the first post of this series please let me know how you feel about it or what would you like to know about brazilian indie games. 🙂

From January 28th to February 2nd 2013 the sixth edition of Campus Party in São Paulo took place and again I was camped there. As I got ready to watch the first lecture on the stage of Games, I connected my computer and accessed a link that a friend sent me via GTalk. By doing this, a person behind me politely calls me and ask how I learned of this site that had just opened on my notebook.

And that was how I met Demetrio Dias Soares and his interactive Graphic Novel the AL Project. I took the opportunity of this huge coincidency to meet him and decided to do an interview with Demetrio.

But before that, make sure you play (and know) his work: AL Project on Newgrounds.

1) What’s your name, age and background?

My name is Demetrio Dias Soares, I’m 26 years old and I have a degree in Information Systems.

2) Is AL Project your first game related project?

Actually no. My first game project itself was my “graduation project” [Portuguese term is called Trabalho de Conclusão de Curso or simply TCC] in College in 2007, where I developed a turn-based RPG for the platform JME (Java mobile). After that I created several personal projects, some alone and some with friends, and mid 2011 I published my first Graphic Novel / Game in a format similar to AL Project, the now defunct series Geek Boy.

3) What motivated you to develop this idea?

A passion for games is certainly the largest fuel to publish something like AL Project. In the current scenario, an indie projects as AL Project still has very little chance to stand out in the market and somehow make  a profit . So the main reason is to actually do something I would like to see published. Before starting any kind of development, I was already in love with the idea, and that passion is what counts for you to persevere through the challenges of independent development.

4) What technologies (eg. software and programming language) were used to make the game?

The entire game has been produced using the Adobe Flash development platform without the use of specific frameworks and the language used was ActionSript 2.

5) What were your influences and references to make the art and story of this game?

The influences are many, be it games, comics, movies and series. But the main ones that inspired me a lot were Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil and the latest game in the series The Walking Dead. [the one made by Telltale Games]

6) You already know how many chapters will the full story have?

For the first “season” that closes the first cycle of history, will be six chapters. The plot was designed to have three cycles such that it close the saga altogether. The story is already set, but the script for the two following cycles have not yet been written. So I can not say how many episodes each cycle (or “season”) will have.

7) Currently, do you work as a game developer?

More or less. I work as a developer of business web applications  for around five years, but to enable the production of AL, I made a financial reservation in the last year, and in late 2012 I left the job to dedicate myself to the project. After the first chapter is finished, I am now in the second part of my plan that is to achieve crowdfunding financial support through Catarse [a brazilian equivalent to Kickstarter], where the project is currently registered at. And thus plan to finance the production of the first complete season.

[Unfortunately, AL Project did not make the minimum amount in order to get funded. However you can go to http://catarse.me/al in order to better know this project and watch Demetrio’s Call To Action video]

8) The music for AL Project was made by Thiago Adamo (aka PxlDJ). How was the creative process of this Soundtrack?

I showed the project without sound to Thiago, and asked for tips about sites where I could download free themes to use. And as soon as he viewed AL Project, he liked the idea of ​​the project and offered to create the Soundtrack (imagine my joy at that moment). Working with him was amazing, he managed – in a short time – to capture the idea passed by the images and produce a soundtrack with a unique identity, creating a perfect atmosphere for the game. His experience has been crucial to the good acceptance of this project.

9) How is the reception of the first chapter of your game?

I am having very positive feedback so far, despite a certain prejudice about the flash platform suffer for some people. The game experience, the plot, and the idea of ​​mixing comics with games has been well accepted. Currently it is difficult to draw attention to projects like this, but our goals within the result is positive.

10) What did you think of Campus Party? Did it helped you, regarding technical knowledge, dissemination of your work and networking?

This was my first Campus Party, and now I can say without a doubt that I will not miss it any more. It is a mandatory event for everyone who is an entrepreneur, work with or just enjoy technology and the internet in general. I felt inside another universe, extremely rich in possibilities, made valuable contacts, learned a lot, got important tips about studies, advices on the paths to trace from now, and have made good friendships. This interview itself is the result of the very good contacts I made at the event. The Campus Party was truly amazing.

Below is the soundtrack made by PxlDJ for the AL Project. Enjoy!

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