Knights, spaceships and arcade games
I grew up in the Spain of the 80s, dreaming of mythological heroes, giant monsters and intergalactic adventures. Back in the day it was common to find arcade cabinets in pubs and restaurants, and I was fascinated with them: their colours, their sounds and their restless action. But the family 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.
Of course I dreamed of creating my own titles, but the dream was too big…
As an adult I found myself trapped in a world of pressures and deadlines, and to forget about the daily problems, at night I started fooling around with my favourite things: pixel art, chip tunes and intense action.
Since then, my project as Locomalito is to create new classic-like video games, working over a low flame, in my spare time and with no more than my own demands.
It's been more than ten years since I started this, but I keep making games in the same way for reasons that not everyone understands. The case is that this little hobby has become a very personal thing, and although it has an uncertain future, who cares? I'm having fun so far…
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 straight to the trash. When I have enough content ready I start playing routinely, improving things here and there until everything seems to be in place. It's a slow and almost handicraft process that over time takes me (more or less) to the game I wanted to do.
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 games. Thank you 1000!
The philosophy in my games
Classic style. There are as many ways to style a video game as artistic expressions, but only one represents the folklore of video games. Pixel art and chip sounds are no longer a technical limitation, but an artistic choice as valid as oil painting or black and white photography.
Direct to the point. My intention is to offer the biggest amount of content in the shortest possible game length, and the only way to achieve this is by launching something new to the screen every few seconds, avoiding repetitive or meaningless content.
Single difficulty. Difficulty is part of a game's personality, like the script in a movie. There are no difficulty modes in my games, just the hard-but-fair difficulty I carefully crafted for each level and situation in the game.
Secrets and rewards. Hidden stages, special objects, Easter eggs and bonuses are always there for the experienced, curious and crazy players. So open your eyes and try things while playing.
Extras. A video game is more than a piece of software. Looking at a cover, reading a manual or touching the details of an arcade cabinet are also part of the experience. There are always some extras with my games.
Tributes. I've learned a lot studying the work of great devs, so whenever the context allows it I show my respects in the form of homage or mention to their works. It's the least I can do to honour their legacy.