So we’re a young blog.  One of the problems with being so young is that you’re writing for a very small group of people, and you don’t know anybody in Malta.  You don’t expect a review of a Maltese (so that’s where that word comes from!) game to get back to the developers, so you send a nice short email thanking them for their hard work and here’s what we thought of their efforts and so forth.

The nice thing about indie game developers? Sometimes they write back!  Here’s Gordon Calleja offering some of his thoughts on how Will Love Tear Us Apart came into being.

With regards to why I chose the song… it started off what my wanting to make a game about a poem or a song.  As a challenge –  had not seen one done and figured it would be interesting to see what difficulties I would come up against when forcing game mechanics to tackle woven metaphor.  The song has been with me through my life and from time to time pops into my head and spends days there – as a sort of soundtrack to my life.  Just keeps repeating in my head.  One such period hit while I was thinking about the above challenge and I woke up in the middle of the night seeing the song as Duhreresque spatial environments.  I put it on and it was there in front of me.  The aesthetic and some of the spaces that made it into the game.  Parallel to all this a close friend of mine, Steffi Degiorgio, had started working in graphic design and games and quickly made a name for herself in the indie game scene.  We had known each other from the age of 16 and I had been encouraging her to unleash her creative side since then… and it only happened 15 years later.  So it seemed obvious that my being into game research and design and her now being a rising star in the indie game visual art scene we NEEDED to collaborate on something.  I immediately called Steffi and after some strings of zombie-muttered “fuck yous” in Maltese she gasps and goes: YES, let’s do it.

And that’s how it started.  I was still living in Copenhagen back then (where I ran the center for games research at ITU copenhagen), but wanted to do this with an all Maltese team.  So I recruited a couple of guys I had been developing with already and applied for an art fund in Malta.  We got the fund and started working on it.  Only Steffi injured her shoulders and wrist and couldn’t work on it.  Finding a replacement for her was tough and stalled the project for months.  Finally we got Anthony Catania on board, a great Maltese artist with a gorgeously dark style and the work proper started.  I took over the art direction and brought on Costantino Oliva to take the project management bit from me.  At the end of the process Anthony had to leave us and Nel Pace came on board to do an utterly fantastic job (all of the cut scenes are hers).  Not only did she deliver to a ridiculously tight schedule but managed to adapt Tony’s style fabulously. 

I can’t wait to see what Mr. Calleja and the team over at Mighty Box Games do next.

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