11 de Septiembre
It's actually a rather 'Long(y) story'!
I got my first PC in 1995, the PC486, when I was just ten years old. I was a videogame enthusiast, but I did not just want to play video games; I wanted to make them too. I soon found that I was able to make my ideas come to life, and I did so all my will and effort. Yes, I’m a bit nerd! ;P
In the beginning I used tools such as Blitz BASIC and Klik ’n’ Play: With them I was able to produce my very first videogames. From reconstructing my school in 3D in essentially a Doom (<3 <3 <3) lookalike game, to dozens of other kinds of mini games. I explore all styles and genres: 2D, 3D, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Sports… Everything and anything I had in my mind at that moment! I had no specific goals other than to just have fun in my free time.
When I was fourteen I produced a ray-casting 3D action adventure game, it could better be described as a stealth game. As my surname is Zagaglia, I have come to love using the letter “Z”, and being the very, very original guy I am; I decided to call this game “StealthZ”, just to trouble all those who had to pronounce it. Nerd fun!
I later made a game with DivGameStudio; spending a couple of months on it. The result was quite interesting for a boy like me. So I decided to send it to an Italian videogame magazine called “The Game Machine”, with no genuine expectations. Well, they decided to publish it in the ‘Talent Zone’! They wrote a couple of pages dedicated to young developers (the term “Indie’” was not well known or used in Italy at this time). They also put my game on the CD-ROM attached to the magazine, so millions! …or billions! …or at least hundreds of people played my game! I was a very proud fourteen-old guy!
Strangely, nobody founded a ZAGO fan club! I don’t know why… :(
Anyway, the important this is, this gave rise to a new character. The main character of StealthZ was named John T Longy! I had created my personal hero!
I liked the idea I had a lot, and I wanted to improve the StealthZ ‘experience’ as well. This of course meant updating a bunch of libraries, things, stuff, assets, and with that brought chaos.
So I designed a nice 2D isometric game with a beautiful story and… no, just kidding! The true story is another one: I started an ‘Experiment’ in 2D isometric to try rendering shadows of the main character on walls and objects, and I used the ‘design’ (for whom there wasn’t one yet!) of John T. Longy to create the main character. The ‘Experiment’ went well and I was satisfied.
After that, I inserted simple game mechanics, to encourage the player to move from room to room, to pick objects, to use objects, to interact with environment’s elements, to kill things. I began adding mini games and enigmas to solve here and there; I thought about these puzzles day and night. I continued to make a lot of little videogames, but I combined all of their elements into one: the ‘Experiment’.
One night I had a dream! Or more accurately, a nightmare. However, it had a lot of visual special effects, so it was really a beautiful nightmare, with a bunch of single-eyed creatures running towards me, a beautiful soundtrack and a quiet good screenplay!
I loved those single-eyed-creatures! I decided to put them in the ‘Experiment’.
The ‘Experiment’ was no longer a mere experiment, now it was a little but real videogame. So after a week …or a month? Bah! Time is relative! I gave it a new title: “LONGY”! (As I said, I am very original at choosing names)
It was a 12-level action-adventure-stealth-escaperoom-2D-isometric-platform-survival-sci-fi game. A crossover between lots of different genres of videogames. You know, when you work alone, you can put on the screen what is maybe only a rough idea in your mind, not-organized, not-designed. It seems confusing, but when you finish it, on the screen you see your videogame-soul realized; and the player can taste it. …sometimes. :P
I ‘published’ Longy in the ClickItalianSoftware community (now indievault.it, the main italian independent developers community) and the game had amazingly great success. My friends and other community members enjoyed it a lot. Some month after, I submit it in the GPI (Game Programming Italy - another Indie Videogame Dev community) contest, and I won the first prize! For the best game and for the best graphics! (Clearly, they were stoned when they examined the game!)
So that is how John T. Longy came to be the main character of my latest videogame “ALBEDO - EYES FROM OUTER SPACE”.
But I think I bothered you enough. In the next few days, (while I’ll take a break from programming - I’ll do it while I sleep, two hours a night) I’ll explain the rest of the story: from 2D to 3D, from “LONGY 2” to “ALBEDO - EYES FROM OUTER SPACE”