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E3 2019 INTERVIEW: Henry Fernandez talks Cosmic Defenders

Cosmic Defender

Cosmic Defenders is a recreation the place your aim is to guard your world (in single participant or co-op mode) from aliens that need to destroy it. As you run across the planet, it’s a must to shoot the aliens as they seem overhead. The primary of hopefully many indie video games that Natsume helps to convey to the marketplace as a part of their indie program, Cosmic Defenders is the soon-to-be second title launched by the one-man studio, Fiery Squirrel. Throughout E3 2019, I caught up with the person behind each Fiery Squirrel and Cosmic Defenders, Henry Fernandez, and talked with him about working with Natsume, creating Cosmic Defenders, how he received into recreation improvement whereas dwelling in Venezuela, and extra.

You’ll be able to take a look at Cosmic Defenders at its official web site and at Fiery Squirrel’s official web site. 

You may as well take a look at our hands-on impressions of Cosmic Defender from E3 2019 by our personal Josh Speer right here.

Cosmic Defenders is scheduled to be launched solely for the Nintendo Change in Fall 2019.

This interview has been edited for content material and readability.

Operation Rainfall: My identify is Quentin H. with Operation Rainfall, and you’re?

Henry Fernandez: My identify is Henry Fernandez, with Fiery Squirrel, and I’m a part of the indie program with Natsume.

Cosmic Defenders | Fighting

The objective of Cosmic Defenders is to shoot the aliens down as they try and destroy your planet. (Picture courtesy of Natsume).

OR: You’re a developer from Caracas, Venezuela who got here to Tokyo to develop video games and earn your PhD at Tokyo College of Know-how. How did you become involved with creating video games in Venezuela?

HF: Nicely, I’ve favored video games since I used to be a child. I grew up with the Nintendo Leisure System- NES. I truly didn’t understand that I might make video games till I used to be [in] my fourth to fifth yr [in] university- in my nation, we take 5 years. I studied pc science, and most people truly targeted not on video games, however extra on administration and people type of issues. However once I truly realized that I might make video games, I stated “I need to give attention to that for the remainder of my profession.” And I began to work on very small video games.

The primary game- in addition to the business video games we’re going to speak about today- have been [from] GameJams, like two days for full improvement based mostly on a really particular matter. Apart from that, I attempted to study as a lot as I [could] on my own in Caracas.

After that- I’ve been liking Japan since I used to be a child. I used to be a fan of the Japanese tradition and lots of different issues like anime as nicely. I needed to go to Japan since I used to be a child. Once I was learning, I had the chance to do the final yr of the [program] in Japan, however not in Tokyo. A spot referred to as Niigata. I studied there for round one yr. I favored it quite a bit, and I went again for a while. I went again once more, and that’s how the story started.

“…my nation was going via lots of things- lots of people find out about that, I feel- I assumed that I couldn’t do something since I used to be in Japan.

So I stated ‘Let’s attempt to make a recreation that’s in a roundabout way associated to what’s happening, however that may ship a message to [the] world of one thing that [there] may be cooperation in the long run.’“

OR: You talked about that you simply needed to train yourself- [was] there not a lot of a recreation improvement scene in Venezuela in 2011, 2012?

HF: Not so much- not particularly [for] video games. I feel just lately, they opened a grasp’s [degree] in one of many universities, however apart from that, not a lot. We’re speaking about pc science- the totally different features which are associated to video games like graphic design, programming principally, these sort of issues. However not particularly video games. If individuals wish to work on recreation improvement, most of them work by themselves. A minimum of, in Venezuela, it’s like that.

OR: Why keep in Tokyo after you end your schooling?

HF: After I completed my school in Caracas, I utilized for a scholarship in Japan associated to recreation improvement at Tokyo College of Know-how. I completed my grasp diploma with the scholarship and I continued to remain. The primary cause I needed to maintain studying- I assumed it was a really pure alternative to be nearer to the Japanese business and speak to individuals who have had numerous expertise within the business. And I’ve discovered rather a lot from them, they’re very skilled individuals.

OR: Cosmic Defenders– what’s it about?

HF: Cosmic Defenders is a recreation that’s coming this yr, hopefully. It’s an motion platformer during which there are 4 totally different sorts of defenders who need to shield their galaxy from aliens who need to steal this valuable factor referred to as the Tree of Life, which is what retains the stability of all of the galaxies.

Cosmic Defenders | Level Select

There are totally different levels to play by means of on this upcoming Change-exclusive indie title. (Pictures courtesy of Natsume).

Cosmic Defenders | Aliens


OR: The place did this recreation concept come from?

HF: It’s interesting- the primary concept got here from a Recreation Jam. I used to take part in many various Recreation Jams, it is extremely good the way you push your self to throw [together] concepts in a really brief time. You waste numerous time on that, and [do] not have many assets, and you will get fascinating stuff. This recreation, although, the theme was ‘small world’.

That’s why if you play the sport, you will notice a private conflict. Not solely that, my nation was going by way of a number of things- lots of people find out about that, I feel- I assumed that I couldn’t do something since I used to be in Japan.

So I stated ‘Let’s attempt to make a recreation that’s indirectly associated to what’s happening, however that may ship a message to [the] world of one thing that [there] may be cooperation in the long run.’ Whenever you play the primary prototype of the sport, which could be very, very small, you can’t full the sport with out collaborating with the remainder of the characters. That’s a really, very first prototype of that. It has modified, nevertheless, because it has many issues.

However for those who didn’t cooperate with others to destroy the aliens, you wouldn’t be capable of full the sport. That’s how this philosophy was included within the recreation.

“That is the best way that I truly work so far- I begin with gameplay, the mechanics. If I like them and if I really feel they’re good, then comes the aesthetics and the story. However I attempt to make every thing work collectively from the mechanics as a core viewpoint.“

OR: You first recreation was Fluffy Eaters for Android and iOS in 2012. What classes did you study out of your prior recreation that you simply’re making use of to Cosmic Defenders?

HF: Numerous issues. Not solely from the event level of view- technical stuff. However all of the issues I discovered and comprised of errors, I utilized to Cosmic Defenders. I discovered about recreation design, additionally since I’m working mostly- not all, however mostly- on my own, earlier than I began to work with Natsume, I additionally did a number of advertising technique, plans, and this type of factor. Fluffy Eaters taught me rather a lot. I feel I made loads of errors when the sport was launched itself. I feel it’s an fascinating concept, however the execution was not the perfect.

From that, I might do many various issues with a purpose to be proud of the sport for individuals to take pleasure in in the appropriate means.

OR: You talked about that you simply’re a one-man studio over at Fiery Squirrel. What roles have Natsume taken over as a part of their Natsume indie program?

HF: They’ve been very useful from the start. We began when [Natsume and I] met at BitSummit. I used to be there representing the sport. We began speaking concerning the recreation, in fact we didn’t know one another. We contacted one another and we began discussing the sport. And since we began working collectively, it has been very very good. I’ve to say that Taka- particularly Taka, however everybody at Natsume- and I work each week collectively. Not simply from the suggestions viewpoint, but in addition for testing, which could be very exhausting on my own. Having extra individuals with that could be very good, particularly for a multiplayer recreation, so we will kill extra of the bugs.

Taka has been serving to with the sport design concepts. When he sees one thing, he provides me suggestions and concepts. Truly, he formed the a part of the story mode [on demo at E3].

OR: Which got here first: the story, the gameplay, or the aesthetic for Cosmic Defenders?

HF: That is the best way that I truly work so far- I begin with gameplay, the mechanics. If I like them and if I really feel they’re good, then comes the aesthetics and the story. However I attempt to make all the things work collectively from the mechanics as a core viewpoint.

The rationale why I did this, I prefer it and I feel it’s good, however not solely that- you understand how we research quite a bit by ourselves and attempt to see [what] different builders do [in making games]? I’ve found that Nintendo is on board with this philosophy for a very long time. They give attention to the gameplay mechanics to make one thing distinctive, one thing fascinating for gamers, and from that time ahead they concentrate on creating different issues. In order that’s what I’m making an attempt to do.

Cosmic Defenders | Gameplay

There are a number of gameplay modes in Cosmic Defenders for gamers to expertise. (Picture courtesy of Natsume).

OR: What platforms is Cosmic Defenders popping out on?

HF: It’s popping out on Nintendo Change, to date. There are not any different platform bulletins but. However for positive, the Nintendo Change.

OR: Is there multiplayer?

HF: There’s multiplayer, sure.

OR: How does it work?

HF: The one [at E3] is the story mode, which incorporates the cooperation that we talked about earlier than. However since final yr [after] precise improvement of the sport began, I needed to attempt many various concepts. And now [Cosmic Defenders] has Battle Mode, which is multiplayer. You’ll be able to play in an off-the-cuff method, however will probably be battle [against] different gamers. In my thoughts, its actually, actually enjoyable. Apart from that, the core concept is cooperation, so battling could be very, very good.

There’s additionally a combined mode through which you cooperate first, after which on the finish earlier than the session is over, it’s a must to struggle the others. It’s like preventing for the throne, that’s one of many modes.

The ultimate mode is survival. You’ll be able to acquire cash, and you should purchase stuff-not like with actual cash, however in-game foreign money. You should purchase hats, and different cute stuff like that.

Cosmic Defenders | Multiplayer

Along with single participant mode, there’s a co-op mode out there for Cosmic Defenders. (Picture courtesy of Natsume).

OR: Do we’ve a launch date?

HF: Not but. We all know its coming this yr, however don’t know precisely when.

OR: Ultimate question- for somebody who might not have heard of Cosmic Defenders till this E3, and perhaps is curious about choosing it up, what do you need to say to them?

HF: I feel in the event you like old-school motion capturing video games with a singular factor, this would be the recreation for you. You’ll take pleasure in loads of play with your mates, not solely cooperating [with each other]however within the battle half. It’s numerous enjoyable.

OR: Thanks.

What do you consider Natsume’s first indie program title? Are you excited to play Cosmic Defenders solo or in co-op?

Tell us within the feedback under!

About Quentin H.

Likes pina coladas and getting caught within the rain. And video video games. Can’t overlook these video video games. Anime too. Shouldn’t overlook that both.

Cosmic DefendersE3E3 2019Fiery SquirrelHenry FernandezNatsumeNintendonintendo switchSwitchVenezuela

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