Published on June 6th, 2014 | by Genevieve Mc Bride0
Interview with Eduardo Ramirez, CEO of Green Lava Studios, creators of Fenix Rage
Recently I got to speak with Eduardo Ramirez af Green Lava Studios about their new game Fenix Rage. We want to thank him for taking time to answer our questions.
What is the background and setting for the game?
This game’s background is pretty neat: We made a little game called “Fenix Box and the Legend of the Cookie” for Android devices. It was so well received that we decided to use the game’s mechanics and turn them into something bigger. This new, bigger game is set in a distant fragmented planet that can be reached through a wormhole behind our moon. In a world filled with strange life and lore.
How many players can play at once and is this co-op or multiplay?
At the moment we can confirm a single player game. We are considering having a multiplayer – co-op mode in the future but before that, we want to focus on having an excellent single player mode.
What can you tell us about the in game characters in how they are alike and different?
Well, at first we just wanted our characters to look like others we love: Sonic + SwatKats + Hellboy. Since both appearing characters are the same species they resemble each other a lot. But the main character Fenix can fly and set himself on fire; the antagonist Oktarus uses different ice powers.
The level design seems to have a lot of variations. How tricky is it to provide variety and challenge yet stay true to your story and characters?
It is tricky, I can confirm that. The variation in the levels needs to change drastically level after level so that the player always feels challenged. Nevertheless, I believe having this challenge makes the player focus more on the game, and it helps to give a better focus on the story we are telling and its characters.
How many levels are there?
We currently have 200, we plan to have more.
Will players be able to create and share their own levels?
Not for now. I have to say that it would be a great idea, but it is also a big challenge for me. I honestly haven’t made any level editors in the past but it’s certainly a feature we would like to tackle once we complete development of the game.
What can you tell us about the music in game?
Jose Mora (the composer) is making the kind of music that we’d have in our music playlists. It is a combination between heavy metal and retro-bit soundtracks (He is an Iron Maiden fan).
Why do you think we are seeing a resurgence of old school style games such as platform jumpers and side scrollers?
I really like side-scroll platformers. Technology these days can help us create amazing 2D graphics; there is no way an old NES game could render the changing background color we have in Fenix Rage, for example. Of course, we are not the only ones that are taking this into account; experimenting with classic genres and current technologies is a healthy and fun practice that lots of studios are making today. Maybe that’s the reason we are seeing more old school style games, not only side-scrollers.
What have been the biggest challenges in creating the game and the biggest triumphs to date?
The biggest challenge so far has been the economic funding. A Kickstarter campaign is very complex to do from Costa Rica; another challenge is that most Costa Rican companies do not recognize videogame development as genuine service. We’ve gotten offers for making big games just for a $500 budget; that can give you an idea of how hard is to deal with negotiations. And if we ever get a good deal, we have to work very hard and save the income in order to make our own projects, like Fenix Rage.
Personally, the biggest triumph right now is that we are having the opportunity to bring Fenix Rage to excellent platforms. This is the first time we are doing this development and we will do our best with it.
Will the game have any differences between the versions?
We hope there won’t be too much of a difference between versions – we definitely want to deliver the same fun Fenix Rage experience on all consoles. If development time permits, we’d like to try to experiment with possible extra features suited to each console if it’s convenient.