Interview With Nastycloud: A Gnome Adventure From Buenos Aires

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Xsolla talked with Francisco Tufró from a small studio Nastycloud, situated in Argentina. We’ve talked about their recent project Nastycloud, which is currently gathering pledges at Kickstarter, and discussed the advantages of having a great active community.

Could you tell us a little bit more about your team?

Nastycloud is a 6-member (an artist, a musician, a game designer and 3 developers) studio from Buenos Aires, Argentina. We’ve been working in the game industry for about 4-5 years independently but joined forces this year. We believe videogames are the most unexplored art form, and that’s why we want to make them. Other entertainment fields are already crowded and have long history. Games are still a pretty much open place to experiment and create new forms of art.

Do you work on Nubarron full time or is it a side project?

We’re working part time and trying to make the shift.

Tell us more about Nubarron.  What kind of game is it? What are its main features?

The game is a hardcore puzzle platformer where you play Gnome, who lost his hat and bad luck (represented by Cloud) started chasing him. The whole game is about the relationship between Gnome and Cloud, you start trying to avoid cloud’s thunders, but along the way you start noticing how to use those thunders in your favor to solve puzzles and cross platformer sequences.

You sources of inspiration are numerous: Limbo, Braid, Journey. What makes your game stand out from the crowd of similar artistic platformers?

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Well, our mechanics haven’t been seen before, all the different uses that Cloud has and how you can exploit them to solve puzzles is going to be neat. Besides that the fact that we’re a Latin American team will for sure provide a fresh look at all those US-Europe dominant games.

You are using Unity for building your game. What the advantages of this technology? Do you use the asset store?

Unity provides us a fully featured environment that would take years to develop ourselves. For now we’re not using anything from the asset store, but we’ve used them for previous projects. The problem with the asset store is that a lot of the stuff in there is not open source, and we won’t buy anything that is not open source. It’s just that products in there probably won’t solve our problems and we’d need to modify them. The major problem we see with Unity is related to Source Control Management. It’s really hard to collaborate using it.

How much time do you plan to spend on this game? What are the most time consuming tasks you have to perform as the game developer?

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We don’t want to make fake promises, but we’re expecting to work from a year, year and a half. The most time consuming tasks are probably all related to Community Management. It’s very important that you have a great community and our Kickstarter is lacking a little bit of that. We’ve been working hard to foster a community, but it was not nearly enough.

How’s your crowdfunding campaign going? Why did you decide to go on Kickstarter and how much money are you planning to get?

Hm.. not great, we’ve had a major backer that helped us a lot, but, even if people are really excited about the game and talking everywhere about it, that doesn’t convert into pledges, which is sad. We think we’ve officially entered the slump, and will do all we can to finish this!

What functions does Kickstarter also serve for your game? Does it help you with marketing, with getting the word our about your game? Did you get a lot of requests from press after your Kickstarter started?

Yeah! You know, for three days it’s been all excitement. A lot of people sharing, liking on Facebook, retweeting. Even if this campaign fails economically it will be a major success in terms of our community. We now have a forum where people can login and discuss with us aspects of the game and some of them are already contributing cool ideas! So we’re really happy with that!

How are you planning to sell your game? Do you want to get on Steam through Greenlight? Are you considering using other distribution platforms?

Yes, we have an active Greenlight campaign that is doing well enough. Where usually you get like 40% of yes votes on Greenlight, we’re always above 63% and we’ve got really good comments on our page. That’s awesome!

You are getting donations from your official website? What kind of payment solution are you using for gathering money?

Nope, not really, I think everyone is just going through Kickstarter. We’ve a bunch of Humble Store widgets, which accept Paypal and other payment options.

What is the most difficult problem that you as the indie developer have to face? Could you give some advice to young developers who want to go indie?

Making high quality games is EXTREMELY difficult. You need a lot of time and money. For new developers I’d suggest to start small and focus on creating a community around your games early on. That’s a major thing in the indie scene. Spend 75% of your time fostering a community and 25% developing the game. Plan this, keep this in mind and try to focus on sharing a lot of your game constantly.

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