Review Fix Exclusive: Inside ‘We Left You’

Review Fix chats with “We Left You’ developer Andy Nekca, who discusses the development of the game and his goals for it 

Review Fix: How was this game born?

Andy Nekca: The idea to create a game was probably from childhood, but before when it was only C ++ and a high threshold of entry, it seemed impossible for me to do this – I needed a large budget, a big and experienced team. So I just played games, many games, so many different games. A few years ago, I saw the possibilities of Unreal Engine and Unity – it blew my mind! So many opportunities! And I told myself- it’s time to create something of my own. I have to say that when I started developing the game I had no experience in creating games, modeling, programming, etc. Full noob. But I had experience in forming visual language, atmosphere and mood of the image. (I have experience as a cameraman and working with retouched photos, videos).

Review Fix: What makes this game special?

Nekca: This game is about a lone android, in a big cyberpunk world where androids became outlawed. The atmosphere is the main aspect of my game. Feelings and mood that arise during the game- this is the most important for me. To be honest. I prefer not to say much about the plot of the game. Why? I stick with the rule of cinematography- Speak less, show more. 

Review Fix: What games influenced this one the most?

Nekca: It is Inspired by films like Blade Runner, Thirteenth Floor, The Matrix and games like Fallout (1,2) Mirror’s Edge. Through this, I decided to create a first-person cyberpunk game.  I saved money and quit my job (I worked as a salesman for a few years) to start development. YouTube tutorials, every day, every night. At first, I was very optimistic about development time, like three-four months and it’s done (Ha-ha, what a noob). “the further in, the deeper s**t.”

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

Nekca: The beginning of development was difficult. Often I had to look for the tutorials of YouTube or Google. (God bless people that share and help newbies like me.) At some point, I realized that I could not finish the game alone in the optimal time (at least a year) and I decided to start looking for enthusiasts to get grouped with. (It turned out to be a bad decision for me, a waste of time. I ended up working with friends at least, not strangers from the web) After some frustration, I decided to hire an animator to create some parkour animations for the main character. I was lucky and I found one. So I sold some of my stuff to pay him. 

Review Fix: What were the major lessons learned?

Nekca: Now it’s one year of development pass and I learned a lot of lessons. For some people they are obvious:

Always make a plan, script. 

Write down everything that you can.

Keep your assets and files in order. 

Don’t be lazy to name them correctly. It helps you a lot! 

Procrastination is your worst enemy – learn to fight it. 

You can do everything- but how much time will you spend on it? 

The simple solution is the best solution. 

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

Nekca: Old game mechanics are tested by time and players. They are the best, but not the only ones. I created a new mechanic in my game, but I still don’t know if the players will like it. Experiments are interesting, but may be a failure. Who knows? Beta tests are great.

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

Nekca: For me, games are an incredible opportunity for self-expression. How many pleasant memories do we have with games?  How many emotions — joy, anger, fun did we experience through them? Games unite people, make them happier, smarter (sometimes not). So, I want the players to remember my game with emotions, even if it is sadness. (I hope not to be sad about a bad plot or mechanics).

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About Patrick Hickey Jr. 12841 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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