On October 8th, The Watchmaker will debut on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One, under the label of Badland Publishing, and with the signature of Micropsia Games, a talented Chilean team that will transport us to an incredible world of giant gears, surreal enemies and challenging puzzles, while we play the role of Alexander, a most unusual hero. This watchmaker will discover how his colossal clock tower, his masterpiece, has been sabotaged by dragging him into an accelerated aging process that will end his life in a matter of minutes unless he manages to reverse the effect of time while tracking down the saboteur through colossal three-dimensional environments.
In this post you will find more information about The Watchmaker and the different skills and challenges we will find in this colossal platform adventure, but this time we wanted to focus on its creators, Micropsia Games, and interview its CEO and founder, Marco Antonio Gonzalez. This is what he told us from the other side of the globe…
How many people work at Micropsia Games?
When we started developing Watchmaker we had ten people in the studio, but for various reasons that team was reduced and now we are four people working on it.
Despite being a small, indie team, the Watchmaker project is huge, creating a 3D platform of Watchmaker’s size is truly ambitious. How long have you been working on the project?
The project started six years ago, when we really became independent, because we were working in private companies and we became independent to form Micropsia and be able to dedicate all our time to Watchmaker. The first two years were very complicated, we had to get a Publisher, funding and we needed two more years to get the PC version out. Now we are working on several more projects and we are doing the port with Badland Publishing, something we are very happy with.
What sets Watchmaker apart from other 3D platform games?
The Watchmaker has something that hasn’t been seen in any other game, which is that the character ages rapidly, which is one of the most important mechanics of the game. This means that we no longer have the typical character energy bar, or the hearts of other games, but you see the character literally dying every second the game goes on. In addition, there are other things similar to other titles, such as time reversal, there are mechanics like moving objects with the magnetic glove, a lot of puzzle, a lot of cinematics. We have five levels with totally different styles, there is no HUD inside the game, all the visualization is inside the game.
One of the things that has most caught our attention in The Watchmaker is the presence that accompanies Alexander, the protagonist. It’s a kind of flash similar to Navi, the fairy that accompanies Link, but in a perverse way, it’s not a benign entity even though it guides you. How did you come up with that concept?
(LAUGHS), The story really is about Aurelius taking Thomas’ body and only his wandering soul remains. Our main concept is that he should be an entity that guides the character, but as you say, we didn’t want him to be good, we wanted him to be evil and hide things from the main character. Also, there’s a relationship of disputes between them throughout the game that’s a lot of fun. Of course, Navi is a character that we grew up with while playing Zelda. There are tributes within the game, for example this entity has a very hoarse voice but sometimes he speaks just like Navi (here Marco imitates the way Navi or The Watchmaker entity speaks). He makes reference to Zelda, which as I say, for us was one of the games that inspired us since we were children, and that in the end led us to become video game developers.
In the LATAM indie scene, more and more groundbreaking projects are emerging, how is independent development over there, and specifically in your country, Chile?
I’ve been making video games for 14 years, I have quite a bit of experience, and when I started there was practically no industry in Chile. I am one of the first programmers or developers of video games in my country, and I have seen how little by little we have grown. Companies have emerged that today have fifty employees, something never seen here. Also thanks to the support of ProChile we have been able to attend international fairs, meet publishers, do business, etc..
What is interesting is that the culture is totally different from what you are used to. Even if we make games that aren’t in Chile or Latin America, there’s always a trace of our culture in all the games. Everything we do is part of us, that’s why games made here have unusual things that you don’t find in other markets.
Finally, if you had to convince a user of the reasons to buy Watchmaker, what would you say? What makes this game special?
The Watchmaker is a game that although it has modern components, it also has old ones, like the very essence of gameplay. It brings back memories, nostalgia, we are in a world that is a gigantic broken clock and Aurelius, who is the antagonist, sabotages this clock. Time goes crazy, and because of this sabotage the protagonist is aging prematurely. This, deep down, has a meaning for what life really is. When you go deeper into the game you discover that Alexander has a wife, Alice, who he has neglected, because he is a workaholic, and in a lower layer of the game there is a special story and it makes you think about what we do during our day-to-day life. Is it right, are we neglecting our time, are we neglecting the people we love because we are focused on work? It’s a very nice story that we’d like to share and we’d love to have many people play it.
Badland Publishing would like to thank Marco Antonio for taking the time to answer our questions. On October 8th we will see the result of the great work of Micropsia Games, when The Watchmaker debuts on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. If you like 3D platforms, this game is made for you.