HBL Interviews: PlayonRetro.

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PlayonRetroHere is our latest Homebrew Legends interview, this time we are interviewing Spanish retro developers PlayonRetro. Enjoy

HBL

Thank you for agreeing to our interview, please take a moment to tell us a little about you and the team?

Felipe

Sure, It will be a pleasure

We create and edit games that are not ours, for friends, for example. We created PlayonRetro as a place where to edit games with all creative control. I like to Edit and another member is Salva Cantero who loves programming. So Our first edited Games, Miniplanets is from @sikthehedgehog but our first 100% PlayonRetro game was Red Planet for Zx Spectrum.

HBL

What do you for a living away from game creation?

Felipe

I’m graphic designer for a Bionutritional company.

HBL

What’s the idea behind the name PlayonRetro?

Felipe

As before, it’s a secure place to work and edit. Where you can use all your imagination without an editor restrictions. This is a hobby for us and that includes programming, compose, drawing, editing… so funny and exciting.

HBL

What is your mission statement for PlayonRetro?

Felipe

I try to pixel art (impossible lately), I edit games, keep team joined and happy, contact with providers, get grant for ports, deal with PayPal, postal service, assemble orders, pay taxes….uf…I’m getting dizzy 😉

HBL

Any thoughts about doing games on other systems?

Felipe

All retro systems are allowed! But we are just a few and there are systems out of our capacities. I would love to design something for SNES but I have no programmers to do. For example. Any volunteer? We are an open group, if you want to edit or program for a retro machine just write to playonretro@gmail.com

HBL

Are you surprised with the resurgence in retro gaming?

Felipe

Not really. I mean, all those systems were always with us, with emulators and so on. We are lucky now because we never had so many quality homebrew games like now. It´s amazing how mature homebrew is.

HBL

Which one of your games are you the proudest of and why?

Felipe

All of them of course!!! Every game has an unique story behind. We give all developing and editing. Its exhausting but later you read what people write and you have clear that all effort is few. As the great Frank Sinatra said…The best is yet to come!. But If I had to choose one..It should be Miniplanets. Because I´d learnt (and suffering) so much editing it!

HBL

Which game caused you the most headaches?

Felipe

I could write a book about how Miniplanets editing process almost kill me!

HBL

Do you have any games that are just sitting on your drives unfinished that you may release one day?

Felipe

Of course. We have a lives too, duties and not too much free time. I have one project I suffer everyday because I cannot design. I hope one day you can hear about it.

HBL

Can you tell us what prompted you to get involved in Retro Game Development?

Felipe

It was the day I released I could create a retro game! I mean, I had programming friends, I could pixel art, I knew about editing, create a booklet, packaging…all was there…only need to join with passion. Our goal is to offer exciting games at best prices and with all possible quality and service.

HBL

What games at the time (and now) would you say are your biggest inspirations?

Felipe

Always Ghost`n Goblins arcade. That game always make me feel like to had started an epic adventure at first second. I would love to do a game that connect and surprise you in only 5 seconds of gameplay.

HBL

What is the biggest challenge you face with the limitations of the hardware, particularly as you continue to expand features title-to-title? (Memory? Graphical capability? Speed?)

Felipe

Really the challange is for programmers, that have to remember us that we don’t have a NASA computer. hehehe. They know the hardware and they know how to give the best. As designer, I never have enough palettes. 🙂 . But with imagination you can turn those limitations in advantages. We love limitarions.

HBL

Do you have timelines built into the management of these games?

Felipe

Before we die is always a great date! Hehehe. This is a hobby. Just when we are happy with the quality of the game.

HBL

Are you doing all the development individually?

Felipe

No! We are a huge team of friends. You need to work as a group because you will need a graphist, programmer, game planner, musician, illustrator, editor, translators, community manager, etc. I hope not to forget no-one: Migue, Ricky, Bruce, Manuel, Fran, Salva, Rubén, Juan Carlos, Beyker, Laudelino, Andrew, O´Neill, Julen, Jack, Dany, Alfonso, Borja, Javy, Lennart, Saul, Ivan, … and so many that help everyday). Thanks to all.

HBL

What’s next?

Felipe

We have 2 productions right now of well know games and an original one. I will tell you when we have something to tell/show.

HBL

Which is the most downloaded game you have created?

Felipe

L’Abbaye des Morts. 1492 unique downloads till today. You can do it in: https://playonretro.itch.io

HBL

Where can people get physical copies of your games?

Felipe

We don’t get money with this, so we cannot have a permanent shop open. Wen we produce a new game, we open our own crowdfunding campaign. With 2 editions:

– Basic one

– Deluxe. That’s the campaign we really imagine. But we need at last 50 units reserved to make it reality. There is a minimum production number. We made that goal before and hope to continue. In case not, all units will be basics.

You can register at http://playonretro.com and we will keep you informed. We have a Telegram group too: https://t.me/joinchat/AK1NfkGsIBPY9zwgCvzy2w

HBL

Do all your games have English translations?

Felipe

Usually the games were always in English in Spain (gameplay I mean). It’s part of retro too hehehe. But we try to translate booklets at all possible languages as French, German and Spanish. I´d learnt a lot playing retro games in English 🙂 I remember one day in English class when I was very young and teacher asked names of weapons… to a Zelda player like me!!! hehehe he got a bit scared.

Thanks a lot for the interview 🙂

Greetings from all playonretro staff.

Finally

Even with the translation/language barrier I am sure you all loved this interview. Please keep coming back for more and feel free to get in contact if you fancy taking part in something similar.

Thank you Felipe and all at PlayonRetro, we at HBL will follow your work closely.

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