The game Atetier was released back in 2011 but recently I got a chance to sit with the man who designed the concept and was responsible for its release, Fabien Demeulaner. Here’s how the conversation went down as he described the development, issues and excitement he faced during the games journey from concept to completion.
What was your career like before the game’s inception in late 2009?
The team that worked on Atetier was actually comprised of close friends and colleagues. We guys had all met in 2005 at Paris while working with Vivendi games. Then onwards, we went looking for a suitable partner for our concept passing over Gameloft and even Konami during the process. At this point, I was working with my good buddy Thomas Boxtiger; contributing to the Digital Piano Reviews part of his website. This wasn’t for me though. Finally, we decided to go solo and joined together forming a core team that had just four people.
One of us was a character designer, I took helm as graphic designer and developer while the other overlooked all our freelancers. Naturally, we needed the expertise and help of many other folks such as translators, musicians, testers, network administrators, web designer, advertising directors and more otherwise our first game would never have come out.
How do you see the professional gaming world?
From the very beginning we understood that the professional world of game development is quite difficult to break into. If you simply want to survive you must be hardworking and strict with your schedules and deadlines. In fact, in the words of Rene Grosnicky, “It is a world of serious many working on serious somethings for an outcome that is far from being ever called serious”.
What motivated you to make the Atetier?
It all actually began way back in 2005 when I met my partner Jonathan. During our time together at Vivendi we worked on separate projects but came to respect each other’s work and the idea of getting together for our own venture soon took hold in our minds. As the years rolled on, we discussed this notion further and then in 2009 we finally took the plunge when both us were ultimately among those who were cut from the company thanks to downsizing.
How did you manage to compartmentalize the requirements?
To begin with, David is excellent when it comes to production and all the tools necessary for the same. Me being more technical and artistic at the same time, I took over the reigns of artist management and technical design. Then there were several freelancers that we roped in for the small bits here and there.
What are your short and long term objectives?
One of our key objectives is to keep publishing and developing video games exclusively for portable devices. As for the closer goals, we hope to have a roster of titles by 2020 so as to build a market reputation.