Good afternoon, dear Emanuel Rufino and Ignacio Tricherri!
We greet you in your beautiful country that is so far away from ours but still close to our hearts. We are very pleased to make the acquaintance of you and your creative work, and we are grateful to have a possibility to communicate with you over thousands of kilometers.
We are quite interested in the project you are working on, and you can believe us that not only visitors of our «Quesstime» gaming portal are interested in it. Our compatriots from many gaming forums have played and still play the first part of the adventure «Hidden Chapter 1 – Primitive Essence» and enjoyed it a lot. And imagine that a great many of them are waiting for the sequel to Tomas Farrell’s adventures. That’s why the news of the further development of your project is very popular within the gaming community of our country.
That means that it is not only the game that is popular and arouses interest, but its authors as well. We would like to ask you a few questions about your creative work, and we hope for your understanding and friendliness.
Ignacio Tricherri & Emanuel Rufino
QuetTime: Please tell us about yourselves. Where were you born, where have you studied, what had you planned to do for a living, and when (or, at what age) have you suddenly come to the idea to take up making your own computer games?
IT: Hi, i’m Ignacio Tricherri one of the members of Lost Spell. I born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and i have a B.S. in Systems Analysis. I have been working in the software industry for a long time and making video games as a hobby or a second job. I love video games since i was a child and it is my dream to make a living making them. I came up with the idea of making video games after learning programming but never take it seriously because at that time things like video game industry or related university careers did not exist here.
ER: I’m Emanuel Rufino. Born in Buenos Aires. Multimedia Designer. I worked for several companies designing webs and 3D art. Gamer before personal computers, I also love sports, martial arts, movies, food and drinks. I always had the idea to make games, but I needed a brain to achieve my goal. And just then appeared Ignacio with his brain… or the brain with Ignacio…
QuetTime: Your studio ‘Lost Spell’ was founded in 2007, wasn’t it? Or was it much earlier?
IT: Yes, around 2007/2008 we started making the web game «Hidden - primitive essence» but some years before we tried some unfinished projects.
ER: We can’t say exactly a date. This enterprise started with a lot of informal meetings and later we could have defined roles. But yes, around 2007/2008.
QuetTime: Your studio has been in fact founded by two persons. How long has it been your idea to establish your little team?
IT: I always had the idea to set up a team but never found people with complementary skills and energy to work on free time until i meet Emanuel. And it was great because we have similar tastes and a balance of skills.
QuetTime: How was your creative tandem born, and what are the responsibilities of each of you?
IT: I love to work in a team and share opinions, i think this is a rewarding task and you can always learn something on the way. In Hidden I´m in charge of the programming, writing, design and i also make some concepts for Emanuel, who made a fantastic work adapting them to 3D.
ER: My responsibility is to make sure everything looks good. We are like «Two-man Band». This kind of developments have hundreds of tasks, and we juggle to cover all. Of course we have some contributors for specific tasks we can’t do professionally.
QuetTime: Is it difficult to carry out gaming projects made by two persons only?
IT: Absolutely!!, and if you do it in your free time it becomes in an utterly insane idea but we are crazy enough to do it and we have passion for that.
ER: Impossible. Madness. Insane. We love it!
QuetTime: «Hidden Chapter 1 – Primitive Essence», the first part of the ‘Hidden’ project, has been out for some time already. At least, it became known in our country in 2007 and aroused a lot of interest on gaming forums. Was it a kind of a test of the pen for you? Or had you already created something like that before?
IT: It was our first game. We decided to do something small and in chapters because of our few time. But the true is that we always wanted to do a complete adventure for PC. After Primitive Essence we receive a lot of good comments and energy from a lot of people around the globe. All that encourage us to finally take a big step and develop the game we wanted instead of a second chapter.
ER: In some way, I think yes, it was a kind of a «test of the pen» for us. «Hidden Chapter 1 - Primitive Essence» gave us the experience to address Hidden PC. We polished the interactions between us and defined the roles. We know much better each other.
QuetTime: Now, as far as we understand, after several years you came back to the first part of the project and decided to make a more expanded adventure based on that very subject. What brings you to that decision? Players’ interest? Or your desire to carry the project to its completion?
IT: We never abandon Hidden, we just take a new and challenging direction: make Hidden a complete game for PC, with a lot better graphics, a large, complete and rich story (no chapters), an immersive atmosphere, a soundtrack to remember and many more things. Players interest for sure was a key factor.
ER: To me, the players interest is very rewarding. Even the bad comments. The greatest recognition in this, is to see comments from people of countries across the world. Everything worth if you reach the players with your story. If we can share our passion, we will be very happy. And that happiness, is the fuel we need to create more.
QuetTime: The legend about ‘a primeval essence’ inhabiting the forests of Patagonia – is it your invention, or is it based on a real prototype?
IT: Yes, the legend is an invention for Hidden but be careful, many mysteries lie depth in the Patagonian forests like a giant serpent named Nahuelito, the lake monster.
ER: Damn it, I would like to have mammoths or yetis in our country.
QuetTime: You have chosen rather difficult genre for yourself, that of horror adventure, which requires not only a detective story and complex and logical puzzles, but impressive atmosphere as well. Is it a deliberate act, are you really interested in that genre?
IT: My favorite genres are Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy. When we began the project it was a Scifi adventure but suddenly the idea of Hidden appears and we liked it a lot enough to make the switch. I love horror stories. Certainly I read them since childhood, beyond movies or other games, was especially literature with authors like Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood and other from Lovecraft Circle who caught me immensely and made me think of all those dark places where many of the works are set.
ER: Me too, and i must add some movies like «The Thing», «The Shinning» and «The Exorcist». Those helped us to generate the right atmosphere, combining art, music and situations together.
QuetTime: In our country, we know and enjoy the cult project of your compatriot Agustin Cordes – ‘Scratches’. Did he somehow influence your work? Or did he inspire you to create your own game? You project does resemble Cordes’ project a little in its concept – there is similar gloomy and severe graphics, the same impressive ambient, even sounds of rain and thunder, even the sound made by touching piano keys – everything is very recognizable. Is it some ‘Argentinean’ style?
IT: Scratches is certainly a great game, i really like the atmosphere they created as you progress through the story. In my case, I think the most important source of inspiration comes from literature and of course if we talk about games, from lots of point and click adventures i played in the 90’s and recent ones too, like Dark Fall, Sublustrum and Phobos 1953 (I have a special attraction to Russian games, also not adventure ones like The Void, Metro 2033, Stalker. Their visual style is fantastic and singular). I also have to say that music is another great source of inspiration and artists like H. R. Giger inspired me a lot.
ER: Scratches is not only and inspiration for us, Nucleosys and also Jonathan Boakes demonstrated to all of us that with one small team you can achieve great games. I don’t know if this is an argentinean style, here are several teams doing different projects.
QuetTime: Musical soundtrack is essential and very successful part of your project. How did you selected music for ‘Hidden’ and did any professional musicians help you?
IT: I totally agree, music is essential to achieve the proper atmosphere in the game. In the case of the web game, I did the music but this time for the PC game we are working with Christian and Agustina from Forging Sounds who are talented musicians with the challenge to bring an immersive and creepy score to Hidden.
QuetTime: There are many interesting historical documents being planned in your project. There are references to popular mystery authors like Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Poe. Do you like their works? Did you have to conduct profound investigations of historical documents?
IT: Yes, of course. And also in the same way those books are related to the story.
We certainly did research in the development process because the game is set in the year 1934 and we want to create a believable environment. I also had the opportunity to visit the Patagonian forests several times and took tons of pictures that we use as inspiration and reference.
QuetTime: Are there your favorite books among those looked through by the protagonist in the game? What are they?
IT: Not exactly, they are more related with the story and the protagonist. If I have to name some of my favorite books I'd say: Starmaker (Olaf Stapledon), Earth Abides (George Stewart), Foundation series, The End of Eternity (Asimov), LOTR (Tolkien) and lots of stories by Lovecraft, Borges and Poe.
QuetTime: What are the further plans of your little team? Are there any ideas as for the continuation of the work in the chosen direction?
IT: Yes, definitely. First of all release Hidden as soon as possible is our top priority. As next step, it is our common wish to work full time on new adventures. But of course, the realization of this plan will ultimately depend on the level of success of Hidden.
ER: We have a lot of ideas for the future. Hopefully we can keep working on this kind of games.
QuetTime: Do you plan to try yourselves in other genres?
IT: Definitely, maybe take up again some of the projects that were left out.
ER: We are willing to work in other genres, but we are very comfortable in this particular genre.
QuetTime: Do you have your favorite computer games and developers?
IT: Out of this world, Loom, The Dig, Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, The Witcher, Amnesia, Psychonauts, Civilization, Fallout, Baldurs Gate, Diablo, Portal, Half life... I could carry on for a while longer.
ER: Besides all LucasArt Classic Adventure Games, Jonathan Boakes Dark Fall Series, The Syberia Series, Clive Barker’s Undying, Some of Agatha Christie, Diablo, Titan Quest, Guild Wars, Batman Arkham Asylum, Amnesia, Sport Simulators, some casuals.
QuetTime: What are your interests in life besides your work? Do you have hobbies? Are they the same for both of you, or are they different?
IT: I like reading, music, go to the movies, painting, travelling and naturally playing video games. I also like to play squash, biking and trekking (yes, specially in the Patagonian forests of course).
ER: No no! We are too different outside Lost Spell! it is very Funny. Years ago we had some epic matches of Squash, sport reached by less than 0.1% of the population here in Argentina. I like Sports, Food Drinks, movies and take care of my plants.
QuetTime: Do you like sport? You have great soccer team in Argentina, everybody knows Lionel Messi. Do you likesoccer?
IT: Thanks!. I like to watch some soccer matches, especially the world cup but I’m not a fan.
ER: Here we all breathe soccer (all but Ignacio :) ). People play it at parks, at streets, at home. We are waiting to see Messi in action in Brazil 2014. Hopefully he can break the rivals’ defenses with his speed and talent and we will be celebrating all together at Maracana Stadium.
QuetTime: What music do you like? And what literature?
IT: Both are very important in my life. If we talk about music I like Heavy Metal and Jazz more than nothing, bands like Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Marcus Miller, Mile Davis and also Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Primus are among my favorites. Their music are always with me, specially during my working hours.
Concerning literature, as i said, Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy are my favorites.
ER: Music: Bands like U2, Queen, Guns and Roses, our local Soda Stereo and Los Redonditos de Ricota and some singles like Joaquin Sabina, Ismael Serrano. Literature: Tolkien, Poe, Stephen King and some locals too.
QuetTime: Please tell us a little bit about your country. What sightseeing activity would you recommend for Russian tourists visiting Argentina?
IT: It may sound trite and repetitive, but if you enjoy the great outdoors, Patagonia (southern end of South America) is an excellent choice. You can visit Ushuaia at the end of the world and if you are brave enough you can travel to Antarctica but...you go at your own risk, I don't want to be responsible for the ancient life forms you can discover there.
ER:We also have our north very beautiful, places like Salta, Jujuy. You can also go to eat our «asados» (our barbacues) not so far from Buenos Aires. And of course, you need to see a soccer match at stadiums of Boca Juniors and River Plate. Historical places like «Caminito», and Palermo, Puerto Madero are also good places to visit in Buenos Aires.
P.S. Excellent questions! we really enjoyed writing the answers! It’s is really awesome for us to communicate with you. We know we are in the opposite side of the globe, but with the help of the technology, we can interact more fluid. We thank you so much about your words of our work. We really appreciate them.
Please, do not hestitate to contact us if you need anything!!!
Ignacio Tricherri / Emanuel Rufino
QuetTime: You and your creative work are very interesting for our readers. We hope for further communication and friendship with your little and talented team. We wish you further success, inspiration and a lot of fans! Let the ‘Hidden’ project be a very successful project!
Vetochka and Jurius