Review Fix Exclusive: Inside ‘Broken Reality’

Review Fix chats with “Broken Reality” designer Sebastian Covacevich to see what’s next for his “little game that could” after a successful Kickstarter campaign.

About Broken Reality:

It is the future, and supercorp NATEM is now responsible for offering most digital services. Your computer and the internet are all within NATEM‘s control.  

 To better integrate their various technology services, NATEM has decided to transform the experience of using a computer from a traditional 2D experience into a three-dimensional digital existence. 

Users can now move and interact with websites as if they were physical spaces. 

 You are invited to join the world of NATEM.

Review Fix: How was this game born?

Sebastian Covacevich: The game was first born in a Multimedia Center in an arts academy in Mexico City called CENART when Adrian (artist) got a scholarship to work on a project of his own. He gathered a team of about 5 people. People left or didn’t take the project too seriously, but Adrian and I stuck to it until Killscreen wrote an article about our Tumblr blog. That inspired me to quit college and invite ( I was doing a Game Design degree ) Adrian to live at my grandmother’s house outside of the City. We worked on it there for another year, which is when Rodrigo, a college friend of mine, joined the team to Program it. We released a failed Kickstarter, but got in touch with Digital Tribe, who was awesome and took our game for the same amount that we needed from Kickstarter! From there we worked for another year with Raul, our Audio guy and Music composer on delivering the full experience! We still needed another 6 more months, so we did another Kickstarter, this time with a demo, and this one worked! After another year of work, here we are, ready to launch the game! Not to be too confusing, its a total of 4 years of development time.

Review Fix: What was development like?

Covacevich: Eclectic, to say the least. It was a learning process, where I think we had to learn a little bit about all the pieces that go into making a game to properly synergize. It was always challenging, but very fun! Creating puzzles, levels, quests and all that that can’t be tricked or cheesed is a puzzle of its own!


Review Fix:
What makes this game special?

Sebastian:

I think it’s a quirky concoction. First of all, there are the beautiful visuals that Adrian creates. The atmosphere in each level is, in my opinion, kinda unique, and there’s always aesthetic details in every corner. But game design wise, I think what makes it interesting is that it follows along the line of adventure games like The Vanishing of Ethan Carter but sticking to its “videogamey” roots. Gameplay loops are intended to be juicy and shorter, while quests and activities don’t repeat often, keeping you guessing what joke or mission is coming next.

Review Fix: What games influenced this one the most?

Covacevich: On a “big picture” level, our biggest influences were games like Jazzpunk, Shenmue and Katamari Damacy. On a personal game, level, progression, and puzzle design perspectives, I drew a lot of inspiration from the Soulsbourne games, Frog Fractions (2), WoW, and Killer 7.


Review Fix:
Any fun stories or wild moments during development?

Covacevich: Long story short, we had a verbal agreement with a musician from Mexico for a song that we used on our first Kickstarter. It was upbeat and the trailer was edited around it. The day we released our Kickstarter, I sent them a link to the Kickstarter, to which they only replied: “Thanks, I’ll report it asap”. We had an internal panic (we were in the middle of PAX in Seattle, not at home), but luckily we had a laptop with us and the support of a French music producer called NxxxxxS (shoutouts) who let us use a track for free to save the day. We replaced the video on youtube (bye bye 10k views in one day) immediately, and never heard from the first musician again. A wild ride, but good for learning a lesson: Get a signature.

Review Fix: Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?

Covacevich: I’m not a big traditionalist, so I’d say keep and use whatever works, and dump or change what doesn’t. It’s like when the first Megaman had a high score thingy, because, “Well its a video game and video games have those, right?”. That said, there’s a place for high scores in infinite games like Tetris! 

Review Fix: What’s your favorite memory as a gamer?

Covacevich: Well, as soon as I read the question, my brain shot up a memory of that Christmas where I was lucky to get a copy of Ocarina of Time! I remember opening up the package, firing up Kokiri Forest and just being blown away by the promise of life.

Review Fix: Who will enjoy this game the most?

Covacevich: The best audience: stoners and kids! Just kidding! I think that people that are looking for a combination of chill and challenge will find their place in Broken Reality. We made sure it wasn’t hardcore compulsive gameplay while respecting the intelligence of the player with some thought-requiring puzzles or activities

Review Fix: Bottom Line, why must someone play this game?

Covacevich: To have a good laugh enjoy some platforming, some puzzling and some cool atmosphere.

Review Fix: How do you want this game to be remembered?

Covacevich: As the little game that could.

Review Fix: What’s next?

Covacevich: Definitely more games! More adventures, more worlds, more mechanics!

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 8131 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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