Evan’s Remains has hit its whopping $10,000 Kickstarter deadline. Argentinian developer Matías Schmied was kind enough to talk to Indie Ranger about himself and the game in this exclusive Q&A.
Get to know the developer:
“Hi! My name is Matías Schmied and I love creating things. I’m 22 years old and I was born and raised in Argentina. Before devoting my life to making games, I tried drawing comics, music and drop out of college like four times.”
Before Evan’s Remains, Matías used to work at a video game studio called Avix (as a game designer and artist) where he also used to build his own projects during his free time.
What are your biggest inspirations?
“I have a ton of inspirations. I would say every piece of art I interact with inspires me in some kind of way. Games, books, movies, you name it. I’m always analyzing stuff. But if I had to choose one thing that inspires me the most, I would say it’s storytelling, and how games are able to tell things in a way no other media can. The second thing that inspires me the most is music.”
The impossible question; favorite game?
“Such a difficult question! I have so many games and franchises I love. I’ll name the ones I can remember but I’m sure I’ll forget a bunch: Ace Attorney, Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Danganronpa, Yume Nikki, Ghost Trick, Portal, Half-Life, Pokémon, To The Moon, Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat, Super Meat Boy, Persona, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound, Killer7, No More Heroes, Celeste, Fez, Undertale, Moonlighter, and a long etcetera.”
One hell of a list but I think from this we can take specific favoritism for Nintendo, RPG’s and a mix of classic and indie games; which we very much like to see.
When you’re not making games and working, what do you do for fun?
“Playing games, reading, spending time with the people I love, watching dumb stuff on YouTube.”
What made you want to create Evan’s Remains?
“I always loved creating games, and Evan’s Remains isn’t my first one. But it’s the first one in which I decided I’d try to take some elements I love and put them in a game. I also wanted to tell a story with a cast of characters without trying to make some giant RPG (a mistake I did in the past).”
What do you hope from Evan’s Remains?
“Honestly, I just hope to finish it. And also, it would be nice if I could get one or two people to really love it. You know that sensation when you feel like a specific game was made for you? If I can cause that in at least one person, I could die happy. I’m not sure I’ll be able to achieve it, though.”
Why use Kickstarter to fund the game?
“Kickstarter was Whitethorn, the publisher’s, proposal. They had done campaigns for all the games they published, so they’ve been a huge help with this. If I was by myself, I wouldn’t have done it. And now that I’ve experimented how difficult it is, I don’t think I’d do it again.”
Why not include enemies or deaths in-game?
“One of the reasons is because of the game’s vibe, and the kind of message it tries to convey. It’s a lonely and abandoned land with flawed characters. Another reason is that it would’ve been the triple amount of work.”
Your publisher, Whitehorn Digital, who, according to them, specialize in “low stress” games. Do you want to talk about that and elaborate and your connection to them?
“My first contact with Whitethorn was when Matthew White (the person in charge) wrote me telling me he had tried the itch.io demo, that he had enjoyed it and would like to publish the game and port it to consoles. I guess at that moment he thought the game would fit with the kind of games they had published before. And I also think Evan’s Remains is kind of a low-stress experience, at least in the gameplay aspect.”
How difficult would you say the puzzles are in-game, say for an average player?
“They’re not that hard. I always wanted the puzzles to be challenging enough without being too difficult. Like the Portal series, you know. I think those games have the perfect difficulty, and they’ve been a huge inspiration since I started this.”
What engine/ software is the game made in?
“The game is being made in Gamemaker Studio 2, which uses GML language, Gamemaker’s own code.”
What sets your game apart?
“I don’t think Evan’s Remains is super unique, but I do think it mixes some elements you don’t usually see coexisting in games.”
What are some of your favorite experiences while making Evan’s Remains?
“I remember when I uploaded the first public demo to itch.io, there was this journalist called Steven Scoffin that showed up and wrote an article about it, saying it was one of the best things he had played during the year, even calling it GOTY level. That moment has stuck to me to this day because I honestly don’t think the game is that good. But when you make players feel that way, you start to think that all the work may actually be worth it.”
What are your plans after Evan’s Remains?
“I’d love to take a year off or something, but you know how it is, one has to keep paying the bills. I think Evan’s Remains was just my training wheels, I believe the next game will be much more innovative, emotional, personal and ambitious.”
We thank Matías for taking the time to do this and congratulate him on hitting his goal. I hope for the very best with Evan’s Remains.
Evan’s Remains aims for a March 2020 release on Switch, Xbox, Mac, Linux and Windows via Steam.
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