Knights, spaceships and arcade games
I grew up in the Spain of the 80s, dreaming of mythological heroes, giant monsters, intergalactic adventures and other silly things. Back in the day it was common to find arcade cabinets in pubs and restaurants, and I was fascinated with their colours, sounds and restless action. But the economy wasn't good enough for the kid to throw coins into machines, so I spend years watching others play and, without realizing it, studying the design of those games.
I dreamed of creating my own titles.
But the dream was too big…
As an adult I found myself trapped in a stressful gray world. But one night, to escape the daily problems, I started fooling around with my old favourite things: pixel art, chip tunes and intense action.
Since then, my project as Locomalito has been to create my own new classic-like video games, quietly working over a low flame in my spare time, like a grandma who prepares a cake. It's been more than ten years already, but I keep developing this way for reasons that not everyone understands. Who cares anyways?
How I work
Every night before turning off the light, I take out my notebook from the bedside table and spend a few minutes drawing ideas and making plans for the next day. The next day after dinner, I sit down at the computer to develop some of the stuff in the notebook. If it works, the idea stays in the game, if not, it goes to the trash. When I have enough content ready I start playing routinely, improving details here and there until everything feels right. It's a slow process that over time takes me (more or less) to the game I wanted to make.
I use GameMaker to create games. It is a friendly tool for me, and one I've been using since its older versions. For graphics I use a little Windows XP icon editor called Iconomaker, wich accidentally fits my needs like a glove.
But I'm not a lone wolf. My brothers in arms are Gryzor87, a close friend and a talented composer who I really admire and Marek Barej, who illustrates many of the covers. Also, since 2016 Abylight Studios is publishing some of my games on the big consoles, something that I have always been asked for and could never offer.
Of course, none of this would be the same without my family, friends and all the people who support my project. Thank you 1000!
The philosophy in my games
Classic style. There are as many ways to style a video game as artistic expressions, but I love the one born from the very folklore of video games. Pixel art and chip sounds are no longer a technical limitation, but an artistic choice as valid as watercolor or oil paint.
Difficulty. I think difficulty is part of a game's personality, like the script in a movie. There are no difficulty options in my games, just a hard-but-fair curve that I carefully craft to fit each level and situation.
Direct to the point. My intention is to offer the biggest amount of fun, challenge and content in the shortest possible game length. The only way I know to achieve this is by launching something new to the screen every few seconds, avoiding repetitive or meaningless content.
Secrets and rewards. Hidden stages, special objects, Easter eggs and bonuses are always there for experienced, curious and crazy players. So open your eyes and try things while playing.
Extras. Looking at a cover, reading the stories in a manual or touching the details of an arcade cabinet are things that extend the experience of a game. I always include some extras with my games.
Tributes. I've learned a lot by studying the work of great devs, so whenever the context allows it I show my respects by spreading the word about my influences. I love it when someone learn about the classics because of my games.