HBL Interviews: The Mojon Twins.

Here we interview the prolific Spanish homebrew devs known as  ‘The Mojon Twins’. They have released some amazing games across many formats from the ZX Spectrum to the NES and many more in between, anyway read on and enjoy.

HBL

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

The Mojon Twins

The Mojon Twins are a group of friends which coincidentally make games. Not all of us are active developers all the time – the dev team changes with time due to real life and stuff like that. Some games have been more choral, and many others have been almost one or two people efforts.

HBL

What was the first game you created?

Phantomas Tales, Amstrad CPC

The Mojon Twins

The first game labeled as “Mojon Twins” was Phantomasa 2 in 2007, released by CEZGS for the ZX Spectrum. The first game released as a solo team was “Phantomas Talez #1: Marsport” for the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC.

HBL

What do you for a living away from game creation?

The Mojon Twins

We are several people with very diverse occupations, some technical or IT related, some not.

HBL

What’s the reason behind the name Mojon Twins?

The Mojon Twins

No real reason, or maybe a too complex one, or maybe an inner joke we all forgot. All I can tell you is that we are not brothers, so definitely not twins, and not even two people 😊

HBL

What’s your mission statement at Mojon Twins?

The Mojon Twins

Have fun creating stuff, and do whatever we feel like disregarding what people expects us to do.

HBL

Are you surprised with the resurgence in retro gaming?

The Mojon Twins

Not at all. If there’s “stuff”, there’s always love for “classic stuff” for a number of reasons, namely nostalgia, “back to the roots” attitude, etc.

HBL

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

Ninjajar

The Mojon Twins

Making Ninjajar was real fun, we had a great time doing it, that’s why it’s one of our favourites. Leovigildo is also a personal favourite, full of what we call “Mojonian Nonsense”. Also “Lala the Magical” for the NES.

HBL

Which game has caused or is causing you the most headaches?

The Mojon Twins

Anything we release for the Amstrad CPC gives us headaches. For some reason.

HBL

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

The Mojon Twins

Plenty. We have literally dozens of projects put on hold. It’s always been there. Then suddenly one of them is taken out of the vault and properly finished, or transformed into something else. We usually work on several projects at the same time. We usually get bored pretty fast so we usually switch projects.

HBL

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

The Mojon Twins

It’s hard to tell. Maybe Nostalgia, but I’d rather say that usually retro games are projects one can cope with on his own or with maybe another person, and don’t take forever to complete. Besides, going low-level and having to really understand the hardware is a catch.

HBL

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

The Mojon Twins

This is very hard to say. We are avid players, but not all of us like the same genres. We usually like japanese games for the mid 80s and budget titles from UK-based software houses – in many occasions, we prefer the cheap Mastertronic or Codemasters knockoff of a blockbuster than the blockbuster itself.

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?)

The Mojon Twins

Memory is always the main concern, and the main limitation of old systems. In every game we have developed there’s always been a couple of “impossible optimization” stages to shave bytes for a new feature.

HBL

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

The Mojon Twins

Never, or rarely. We have entered several compos with deadlines, but that’s not the norm.

HBL

Any thoughts about doing games on other systems?

The Mojon Twins

We like to explore new systems but currently we have very little spare time and we prefer to spend it in new games rather than I+D 😄

HBL

What’s coming next?

The Mojon Twins

We are planning a big game for the CPC, a big game for the Sega Master System, and a big game for the NES. But again, we are in the middle of a rather hard time, real life is getting in the way more than ever.

HBL

What influenced you guys to make Nanako in Japanese Monster Castle?

The Mojon Twins

I (na_th_an) developed the game play on a 1h bus ride – I was fiddling with a simple platformer engine written in compiled Sinclair Basic and was struck with the idea of the boxes. I was later told that it resembles that of Solomon’s Key, which I had never played before. The setting comes from a very old game of mine, something I made in 1991 when I was in my early teens, and was inspired by an episode of the old anime Hakushon Daimaou.

HBL

Which game you have created has been the most popular?

The Mojon Twins

Ninjajar. We spent quite a lot of time promoting it and it paid.

HBL

Why is the Amstrad so highly regarded in the Spanish scene?

The Mojon Twins

The CPC sold quite well in the 80s. By 1989 I guess the number of CPCs being sold exceeded or was similar to the number of ZXs. Spanish developers usually made good CPC games, which many times was the base port.

HBL

What is the Retro scene like over in Spain?

The Mojon Twins

Quite active. We have tons of events and there are quite a number of developers. The number of released spanish games grows every year.

HBL

Can you tell us more about La Churrera a package similar to AGD for creating games on the Spectrum?

The Mojon Twins

“La Churrera” was the fun (and mock) nickname to the Mojon Twins Engine MK1. We have released MK2 since, and MK3_OM recently, which can be used to produce games for the CPC as well. Besides, we have AGNES for the NES and SEGA SG-1000. But none of them are really similar to AGD. They are modular engines which are pretty good featured, but you have to be somewhat proficient in C if you want to create a good game which is not a clone of the example game.

HBL

Many of your games have a female lead character, this is a refreshing change, why did you choose to go this route?

The Mojon Twins

In the 80s, female characters were quite a feature in Spanish games (namely Phantis, Hundra, Lorna). We like strong, determined characters, and the typical male hero is such a cliché. Speaking for myself (na_th_an), I’ve always had more female friends than male, so I guess I’m more comfortable writing female characters. Some of them are strongly based on real people, by the way.

HBL

Uwol: Quest for Money is a cracking looking game, how did you come up with the game idea?

The Mojon Twins

It was rather simple, nothing very fancy. It was 2006 when Anjuel an I (na_th_an) were chatting in MSN messenger about games we’d like to make. We cited one-screen classic arcades as “very easy to make something that’s fun and works”. We added the elements one by one. The idea of having a pyramid with all the levels you could traverse, and requiring that players did it several times in order to get enough money to finish the game, came quite later in the development.

HBL

Do you catalogue all your games on an English website as it can be hard to find every game you guys have created?

The Mojon Twins

That’s one of the things we have to rework. All our game cards are in Spanish and English, but the main site is hard to navigate if you don’t speak spanish.

Anyways, here’s a list of all our releases: http://www.mojontwins.com/juegos_mojonos/

Finally

A huge thank you to the guys at The Mojon Twins for taking their time to chat with us, some rather exciting news coming real soon, stay tuned.

 

One thought on “HBL Interviews: The Mojon Twins.

  • December 15, 2018 at 10:24 am
    Permalink

    Mojon Twins -Titans of Retrodevs !!!

    Reply

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