“From the Devs” is an ongoing feature where we find indie games with potential, and let the developers tell you about their projects and what makes them unique. Today we have Sergio Rosa on his indie game, Enola.
TechZwn: What’s your game and what’s it about?
Rosa: Enola is what we call a horror/adventure game. It’s more “adventure” and not “survival” because it relies a lot of the puzzle-solving and exploration found in first person adventure games. Enola does not have combat, so it’s a different kind of horror game. This does not mean, however, that you can’t die or won’t run into horrific things (some of them lrthal as well), just that it will not feature any monsters or zombies.
The game is about a serial killer. You’re an unnamed character and don’t have any idea of who you are, but you have to solve the mystery and find out who you are.
TechZwn: What makes your game unique?
Rosa: I don’t think there’s such a thing as a “unique” game because any game will usually utilize pre-existing mechanics (like jumping, puzzle solving, health management), existing genres (like horror), and even stories (serial killers are a common theme in these games), so I think I’d simply say what Enola makes different. Enola is very story-driven, but not like making the story forward as you play, but rather making you figure out the story behind everything.
Everything in Enola relates to the killer or your character in some way. For example, there’s a reason why there is a wrecked ship near the beach, or why there is a tower on the other side of the island. The same applies to puzzles, so we could say what makes Enola different (or unique, in a way) is how the world and backstory are presented to the players.
TechZwn: Where did the inspiration come from?
Rosa: I wanted to make a horror game, but I didn’t want Enola to be a game with monsters, zombies and things like that. We could say my main inspiration came from living a violent country, because human beings can make really really horrible things. When you take the killings in Enola and know all those killings were not made by some monster, wizard or possesed man, but by a regular (but disturbed) person, you see things in Enola differently. I think one of the most horrific things can be a human being willingly hurting another one. Even if it doesn’t cause the “oh crap!” moment like when you run into a brute (and try to run away) in Amnesia, it’s something that sticks in your mind.
TechZwn: Is there anything you saw in modern gaming that you’d like to change or build on with your game?
Rosa: I think horror in gaming has been left aside as many games that were born as horror are now becoming a more action oriented games. For example, I liked Dead Space a lot, it was an extremely cool game, but DS2 was more focused on action and I didn’t quite like that, and now DS3 looks like it’s going to be some sort of GOW and RE hybrid.
Of course there’s pure-horror games like Amnesia, where combat is minimal and you focus on survive, not kill things with your shotgun. There are more but it’s hard to find info about them because they don’t get enough coverage.
With Enola, we want to make our contribution to pure-horror games, while changing the formula a little by staying away from any supernatural elements and using a different formula to tell a story.
TechZwn: Is there anything else you’d like to say or talk about regarding your game (or gaming in general)?
Rosa: First of all, since we’re alpha-funding Enola I’d like to say thanks to those who support the developing of the game, and those who are intrigued for the game are more than welcome to buy it and help us as well. If we earn enough to continue making games, that’s cool because I’d love to continue exploring the horror genre (or maybe other genres, not sure).
Personally, horror games are my favorite although I’ll enjoy many other genres from shooters to RPGs. There are many types of games I may not like (I’m looking at you, platformers) but that doesn’t mean they are bad or crappy, because other players do like them. For some reason there’s a tendency from certain groups to overstate some games are crap because they are “mainstream” and they don’t like them because “mainstream” is not “serious” gaming, but I think that’s a stupid and elitist way to see gaming. Mobile and social games are seen the same way, and yet there are millions playing those games. There are games for all tastes, period.
I think gaming is a very cool medium to tell stories or simply to entertain and today anyone can start making games if he or she has enough drive to do it, because the tools are already out there. All it takes to make a game now is an idea and the desire to make it.