Interview with Julián Quijano (Beautiful Glitch)

Interview with Julián Quijano (Beautiful Glitch)

First off, tell me about the team at Beautiful Glitch?
We’re based in Barcelona, for the most part. But lots of our collaborators work from other countries. We are people who rarely come from the videogame industry. Novelists, musical writers, illustrators, graphic designers, people from advertising, etc.

What advice would you give to someone trying to do what you do?
It’s hard to tell. Circumstances differ so greatly. I think there’s a mix of great ambition and grit, pursuing what you dream; but also being strategic. Everyone wants to make video games. And that’s great; but reality is 98-99% of indie games don’t sell more than 3,000 copies (according to a Gamasutra article from some years ago, so numbers may have changed). So it’s good to also go into indiedev with that in mind and acting accordingly. Such an endeavour comes with consequences, not only for yourself but also for anyone who’s joining in your journey. So, sometimes I see people wanting to break into the industry and I honestly think that maybe it is good for them to first go into some other loops in order to learn and gather experience they can later use into their indie project?

What games do you remember from your childhood and do you feel those have influenced how you make your own games?
Hard to tell. I can list lots of games that left an impression on me. The Family and Megadrive were my first consoles when I was a child. Played Mortal Kombat with my father and I rented lots of awesome titles. I had some PC games like Claw or Megaman X4. Honestly, the video game consoles that really were at my peak of console gaming were the GBA (which I never owned directly) and the Gamecube. I played Super Smash Bros Melee competitively. Then I discovered indie games before people used that word so regularly. Played a lot of browser games and free games you could download. Especially remember the ones from Cactus. And then I finally discovered Steam and started playing many indie games, leaving AAA games almost for good, since most of them appeared to me too time-consuming.

But these are just memories. Monster Prom takes a lot from a game called The Yawhg, which is amazing. Though it doesn’t take from video games as much as it takes from my two real passions in terms of fictional consumption: literature and TV shows.

While we are talking about other games, what other indie developers do you like, and can you recommend any games from them?
The Yawhg, obviously. I love Nuclear Throne. GRIS is a beautiful game from devs that are from Barcelona, just like us. FTL and Into the Breach have some of the best, most well-thought out game design I have seen so far.

And then, if I have to name some names that are somewhat smaller and could use some noise: The Hex; Card City Nights; and Dicey Dungeons.

How many games has your team developed and how long does it usually take from the idea to the finished product?
Two and a half. 18 to 24 months.

Moving on to Monster Prom, how long did it take to develop?
24  months, give or take.

How many unique storylines are there roughly?
It all depends on what a storyline is. Monster Prom is not linear; but semi-procedural. It is not made out of storylines; but events. There’s around 400, then around 120 more for its DLC.

Who was your favourite character to write?
I like writing them all.

What is the thing you are most proud of in creating Monster Prom?
There’s many things we’re proud of. Monster Prom is wild on how we let ourselves elaborate all kinds of ideas while collaborating with many people of different talents. To brew all that to get a polished product that has connected with so many people… that doesn’t happen every day, really.

What improvements did you make between Monster Prom and Monster Camp?
I think the narrative evolved. The stories are a bit more complex and the humour is – in my humble opinion – better. When I see both games, I can clearly see how we as professionals of our own but also as a team have matured and gotten to understand this franchise.

Now that both games have been out for a while, what would you change (if anything) about either of the Monster Prom games?
Nothing. It is what it is. Best we can do is to learn from them and do better on our next games.

Lastly, which character from the game would you spend the day with if you could and why?
I live in Barcelona, Spain. Half the people I love are in their own ways and to some extent, like Polly. We are a Mediterranean country: we know how to chill and we know how to party. So, in a way, I’ve already spent many days with Polly, and I’d spend many more. People who always remember that it is all good to try to conquer your own life; but there’s no point in that if you don’t stop to feast on it, to savour it.

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