INTERVIEW – In Conversation With Luis Oliván (Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today Kickstarter, Fictiorama Studios)

By Marty Mulrooney

Luis Olivan Dead Synchronicity AMO

Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today is a 2D point-and-click adventure game currently being developed by Fictiorama Studios. Recently announced via Kickstarter, the team hope to reach their $45,000 goal by 12th April 2014. Promising ‘space-time distortions, a dystopian atmosphere… and a dark, bloodstained plot’, the game also boasts a unique graphical style that certainly makes it stand out from the crowd. It is therefore with great pleasure that AMO presents an exclusive online interview with Luis Oliván, Producer and PR Manager at Fictiorama Studios!

Hi Luis, thank you for your time and welcome to Alternative Magazine Online!

Hi, Martin! Thank YOU for giving me chance of sharing our game with the readers of AMO!

Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself please?

I’m Luis Oliván, Producer and PR Manager at Fictiorama Studios, a small indie video games company located in Madrid, Spain. All my life I’ve been working producing media (short films, TV programs, music videos), and now I do more or less the same… but in our own video games studio.

FICTIORAMA STUDIOS - Team in office 02

When was Fictiorama Studios founded and how many people are on the team?

Currently we are four people: Mario Oliván, programmer; Martín Martínez, artist; Alberto Oliván, writer and main composer; and myself. Yes, you will have noticed the surname: Mario, Alberto and myself… are brothers!

Although Fictiorama was founded earlier, you could say the starting point was last November: Martín joins the crew, we hire a small office… and we go full steam ahead with our first game: Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today.

You recently announced Dead Synchronicity, a dark point-and-click adventure, via Kickstarter. What’s the game all about?

Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today is a 2D, dark, point-and-click adventure game. The game tells the story of Michael, who wakes up amnesiac in a refugee camp: the world has been devastated by “the Great Wave”, an inexplicable chain of natural disasters… and by the “Dissolved” pandemic, that gives sick people strange cognitive powers… but gruesomely kills them by dissolving them.

So, the army has violently taken control, and these refugees camps have turned into concentration camps.

Michael will have to try to unravel both “the Great Wave” and “the Dissolved” illness mysteries… as he finds out who he is himself!

FICTIORAMA-STUDIOS-Dead-Synchronicity-20

What does the title ‘Dead Synchronicity’ actually mean?

A good question… that can’t be answered without including spoilers. Let’s say it’s a moment that mankind should try to avoid in order to survive. As players, you will help Michael try to do it.

We actually spoke privately a few times about this project before it was officially announced – how long have you been working on Dead Synchronicity and where did the idea come from?

We’ve been working on this game for more than a year and half now, though not full-time until these last months: writing the story, trying different engines, designing the work-flow… The idea came from Alberto, the writer, who was influenced by books like ‘Synchronicity’ by F. David Peat, or ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy; and by movies like ‘12 Monkeys’ by Terry Gilliam (or the short cult film ‘La Jéttee’ by Chris Marker, that inspired Gilliam’s film).

FICTIORAMA STUDIOS - Dead Synchronicity - Screenshot 05

The art style looks wonderfully unique – how would you describe it and how did you achieve this look?

We usually say it’s “expressionism” inspired, because of the angular, tough characters, the lights and shadows, or the placement of shapes in the foreground.

Besides that, it’s also quite “tribal”, and it’s been influenced by painters like Oswaldo Guayasamin.

What can you tell us about the main character, Michael?

Michael wakes up after having been in a kind of a coma… to a world that has changed dramatically. The “Great Wave” has made a “blankhead” of him: his memories have been erased. In fact, he only knows his name because a female voice in his head calls him that.

His main goal will be to recover his identity, so the player and Michael will go on discovering more things about the character simultaneously.

FICTIORAMA STUDIOS - Dead Synchronicity - Screenshot 06

Who will be creating the game’s soundtrack?

The soundtrack is being written by the indie rock band Kovalski, to which Mario and Alberto belong. Although Alberto is the main composer, the whole band is recording the themes. In fact, the soundtrack of ‘Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today’ will be Kovalski’s new album.

Why did you choose to take the Kickstarter approach?

Firstly, because in Spain is very difficult to get funds for such a project like ours. Secondly, because we have been sharing our project with the community since the very beginning: via our development blog, social networks… So we decided to put the funding of our game in the hands of the community: the players can try the demo and, if they like it, help us fund the whole game!

FICTIORAMA STUDIOS - Dead Synchronicity - Screenshot 14

What rewards are being made available to backers?

On the one hand, our campaign features “classic” rewards: the game itself, the soundtrack, an art-book… all of it both digital and physical.

On the other hand, there are rewards more exclusive, like being featured in the game itself (in several different ways); getting a portrait of yourself “Dead Synchronicity” style; an awesome illustration made by the Spanish renowned comic artist Azpiri; or even private gigs of Kovalski… or a paid trip to Madrid!

What makes Dead Synchronicity stand out from other adventure games being released in 2014?

We would like to point out that the game features a mature plot, that will try to push the player to their moral boundaries: we want to move the player, to make them feel involved in the plot, and even make them do things they don’t want to do… in order to solve some puzzles.

Besides this, our goal is to recover, to some extent, the “open world” approach of classic adventures: the players will have the chance to interact with plenty of locations, characters, hotspots… simultaneously, and they will see how this “living world” evolves as the game progresses.

In addition to that, our game features a dynamic approach to visuals: different points of view in different locations, close-up zoom during conversations and inner reflections of Michael, distorting backgrounds…

FICTIORAMA STUDIOS - Dead Synchronicity - Screenshot 19

What classic and modern adventure games would you cite as inspiration for this project?

Regarding classics, both LucasArts adventures and games like ‘I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream’; regarding modern games, ‘The Cat Lady’, as well as Daedalic and Pendulo Studios’ latest adventures.

What platforms will the game be released on?

From the very beginning, our goal was to release PC, Mac and iOS versions of the game.

During our Kickstarter and Greenlight campaigns, a lot of Linux users asked us about a Linux version; we have contacted a group of skilled Linux programmers who are going to help us with that version. So, a Linux version of the game is now included in the main goal: if the game is funded on Kickstarter… there will be a Linux version as well!

FICTIORAMA STUDIOS - Dead Synchronicity - Screenshot 20

Thank you for your time – I’m a backer and I wish you the best of luck in the final days of the Kickstarter campaign!

Thank you again, Martin: both for pledging… and for giving me the chance to talk about ‘Dead Synchronicity’ on AMO!

DEAD-SYNCHRONICITY-PROMO

For more information about Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today – and to pledge your support – please visit:

Kickstarter.jpg

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fictiorama/dead-synchronicity-tct-a-dark-point-and-click-adve

AMO would love to hear your thoughts via the comments section below! Also, don’t forget to follow AMO on Twitter and Facebook!

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