We’re going to start a brand new indie section with an interview. We love indie video games, but we also like to know who’s behind those little gems that, with modest resources and little equipment, make us enjoy the retro essence that new gaming generations have dropped on the way.
theOmenbit is the publishing name of Sergio Fernández, an indie scene devotee as he describes himself. We’ve had the pleasure to talk with Sergio and he’s been showing us his latest creation: Bionfly. This platform game has been recently published in Google Play for Android devices and we’ve already been enjoying it.
About Bionfly, we can tell you that it perspires retro through every pixel, with an excellent gameplay and a high-quality chiptune OST by the independent company Hexawe. We recommend you to download and play it for a while, it’s totally free and theOmenbit has planned to expand it with new levels.
We leave you to it with the interview so you can get to know theOmenbit better, as well as his new job. Enjoy, RetroGamers!
RG: What was your first contact with video games?
SF: I have fond memories of 8 and 16 bits games, coming from Commodore 64, Spectrum or Amiga 500. Those tiny pieces of art marked me for my whole life.
RG: What platforms have you enjoyed the best?
SF: After those first previously mentioned machines I’ve always been a PC gamer, above all RPGs like Ultima, Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights and a lot more of this genre.
RG: Do you still play previous generations video games?
SF: Always! Thanks to the emulators we have almost every single game in history at our disposal, with countless fun hours. Among my preferences there are games like “Another World”, “Castlevania” and “Stormlord”. We don’t realise that they’re trying to make us think newer is better, but that is actually not true.
RG: What do you think about current generation video games?
SF: I think that as technology in video games moves forward, my interest on them has gone backwards. I believe the essence of a video game is simply making people have fun, beat the proposed challenge and, if it has good sounds and graphics, all the better. In my opinion, latest generation blockbusters are more of a visual show than an actual video game. For these reasons I’m a follower of the current indie scene.
RG: When did you decide you wanted to make a video game?
SF: About three years ago, tools like Unity 3D or UDK started being released for free for everyone. For the first time one had close at hand professional software that cost a fortune until that moment. Since then I’ve been self-teaching, restless crawling the web in search of information about all this and I started practicing with Unity 3D. Right now it’s the perfect time to undertake projects in this sector with a huge economic and labour future projection.
Sergio’s work space and Bionfly in GameMaker
RG: When and how did Bionfly come to your head?
SF: In June 2012. In fact I’m a fan of science-fiction films from the 50’s, where you could see every kind of robots, the idea for the character came from that. Then I looked for an unusual environment for a high-tech character, producing some contrast (a planet with apparently no advanced forms of life). I also knew that everything should be impregnated with pixel-art and chiptune sounds.
RG: How long did it take to make the game?
SF: 8 months and a lot of hours every day! As a novel designer, I got stuck in some things that got me delayed, even having to start some of them anew. I’m sure that this experience will be useful for future projects and that will make me develop faster. Although actually this development is still alive, new levels are about to arrive! You can find me in Twitter and Facebook to get the latest news about Bionfly.
RG: Did you have any help or have you been in charge of all the process?
SF: The logo and the robot cover drawing were designed by a friend, the sound tracks belong to the Hexawe catalogue, an independent company that provides with tracks under creative commons attribution 3.0 license, with which I got to a deal for the attribution of their work. The rest, well, it comes from those 8 months and lots of hours a day 🙂
RG: What part of the development has been more problematic?
SF: The programming. A video game is a huge problem that you have to solve and that’s what takes longer.
RG: Bionfly is developed using GameMaker Studio. What do you think of it as a programming tool? Have you found any difficulties?
SF: Last year YoYo Games updated their program to the Studio version, with the possibility of producing games for several platforms with a small investment. GameMaker Studio is an amazing tool for creating 2D games using its scripting language. It also has a large community of users and tutorials.
RG: So far Bionfly is only available for Android. Have you planned to port it to other platforms?
SF: Yes. Throughout this year I’ll publish Bionfly versions for the iOS and Windows 8 Phone systems.
RG: Do you have any new project in mind?
SF: I think this first work has just begun, as in the next months I’ll be updating it with new levels and features, besides making new versions for the other systems. I think I still have a lot of work before starting a new project, although sooner or later that will happen!
RG: Finally, what advice would you give to those who are starting or have planned making a game?
SF: Acquire programming skills, english language, learn Video Game Design concepts and choose whatever software they want to use and learn how to use them well. Being always researching is a good attitude, studying, reading about the subject, connecting to communities to know other people with the same concerns and, most importantly, a lot of practice: we all know that practicing makes the master. For all this one must be very patient, constant and never stop pursuiting one’s dream, above everything. And finally, in my experience, in order to start video game developing it’s better to do it with a small project, so one is able to achieve a goal, never think of huge projects that are out of reach, as probably we would never finish them, bringing us to being frustrated and abandon them.