Copy-and-pasted from my article I wrote on my google+ because f#%k you
NaissanceE was one of those undiscovered gems on steam. Hidden in the loud and ever-changing steam library, this beauty rests. Unlike most games that I play, NaissanceE was one of the first that moved me. It truly shows how digital experiences like NaissanceE are becoming an art.
First things first, NiassanceE is absolutely beautiful. French game developer Mavros Sedeno has a great eye for design, style and lighting. The numerous worlds you explore in NaissanceE are absolutely amazing, and it is obvious that the developer put a lot of time into creating them. The music choices and sound design in NaissanceE are two of the main components of the game’s dark atmosphere, making the experience much more immersive. The strange machine universe of NaissanceE feels so...alien. I always wonder why things were built and the absence of life. But for some reason, this feeling of loneliness is almost comforting. The long sterile hallways or the enormous underground cities can create a calming atmosphere when pared with the subtle instrumental soundtrack. The experience still sticks in my mind even when finishing the game a long time ago. The story isn’t very direct. Everything that takes place in NaissanceE is really up to your imagination, The experience could be different for everyone. I personally think that the world of NaissanceE is a version of hell, and that the fragments of human civilization could relate to memories of the protagonist. I mean, the name of the game means “birth” in french, so the game’s ending could mean the escape of hell into life once again. I just feel like the story is very phycological. I am not religious at all, so I don’t know many of the stories, but it could be a re-creation of one too.
NaissanceE isn’t a game for everyone. The type of storytelling in NaissanceE is very subtle and ambiguous, containing no dialogue or characters to lead the way (Very much like LIMBO). Personally, I really enjoy this way to tell a story since the experience can be much more interesting when your imagination tells the story. There isn’t really anything in NaissanceE that is mature, only that when you get hurt blood lines circle your vision for a period of time. The game does simulate intense themes, such as insanity, but nothing really direct. NaissanceE also has a haunting feeling at times, but only to create a better atmosphere. Although, you need a very powerful PC to play it, so just a heads-up to the people who have one. I really want the developer to get the support he deserves for creating such an amazing game.
Game Developer Interview:
Mavros Sedeño (Creator of NaissanceE and founder of Limasse Five)
1. What was your overall plan for NaissanceE to be?
NaissanceE was supposed to be a first try to make an Indie Game. It was a way to see if I was able to create a game by myself, mainly because I didn't know anybody already to work with me for free several years. The game was a kind of spin-off from a bigger and way more complex project clearly impossible to make without a good team. This project started with the Jeux d'ombres mod released in early 2007. Eventually, it became too complex to be handled alone as a first indie game, so NaissanceE arrived. It was an experiment focusing only on some gameplay mechanisms from the original concept and only a part of the universe.
2. How long did it take you to make NaissanceE?
I spent three years and an half creating the game. It was, of course, longer than expected at the beginning of the project. I had to learn various things, mainly on the coding side. Even the graphic part of NaissanceE took much more time than I thought it will.
At some point during the development I decided to cut a big part of the game and gameplay systems, already done in proto version, in order to keep a reasonable development time.
Also I removed almost all the narrative mechanisms, it was not good enough with the tools I used and without the cut game parts, it was more interesting to let the player use its imagination to create his own story. According to the world and the atmosphere I created and the visual style, it was more pertinent to do thing this way.
3. I noticed that your idea for NaissanceE came of of a video game mod you made in 2007, did you make any other mods before that?
Nothing before except some maps, I was discovering the mapping/modding universe at this time, from which I learned a lot. It's at this time I decided to become a game developer.
After Jeux d'ombres I worked on the small Roomette mod with my wife, both mods allowed me to get a job at Darkworks, this was the beginning of my professional career.
The Inferences mod project, which at the end never went further than the graphic prototype (even if I'm still thinking about the game concept and will work again on it one day...) helped me to be hired by Crytek. At this time, mapping and modding was the best key to go into the industries.
4. What was your biggest problem when working on NaissanceE?
Limited resources and time, working alone is not always easy too. It can be difficult to stay focused on a project for a long period of time and staying motivated when you don't have external feedbacks. I also had some difficulties to make the game correctly playtested, so at the release many people complained about the game being too hard on some sections. It was supposed to be hard, but not frustrating. The balancing was not perfect at first, but after I made some adjustments the community noted, it became more like I wanted.
5. What are you planning to do next?
I'm working on a new project, well... actually an old project I imagined before Jeux d'ombres that evolved and became a new thing.
Because NaissanceE didn't sell a lot, I wasn't able to gather a development team as I hoped I could do so, and I will work alone again. My next game should be a smaller, so I'll be able to spend less time than I did on the previous one.
If I make a good game and if it's a better success than my first one, on the commercial aspect I mean, as I'm proud enough of the good critics NaissanceE got, then I might be able to create a game studio and finally will work on more ambitious games like the original Naissance project
For now I'm a bit frustrated to have so many ideas and concepts I can't bring to life, but still I'm very happy to work on this project after all these years thinking about it. It could potentially be a great game.
My google +:https://plus.google.com/u/0/110062996054024094563/posts
This article was written by Oliver Shore. All rights to NaissanceE go to Limasse Five.