Review Fix chats with “Ashes” developer Philip Machado, who discusses the development process and more.
Review Fix: How was this game born?
Philip Machado: After I made my first game “Talewind” I wanted to dip my feet into something more AAA’ish and less colorful, I brain stormed a bit and came up with ashes.
Review Fix: What is your role in the game?
Machado: I am the game director and programmer of Ashes.
Review Fix: What has development been like?
Machado: The development of Ashes was fun because it was something I had never done although it had some growing pains because of that, I had to hire way more people because I wasn’t working with a partner like the first game, it was delayed by 5 months because it was my first time managing so many people but it was also fun working with stuff like voice acting and directing people how to make assets and seeing the final product. Some things didn’t come out like I wanted by the end, like the trailer for example because I ran out of money, but overall it was a good experience.
Review Fix: What makes this game special?
Machado: I think what probably makes Ashes standout from the rest is the story and how it explores the mental state of the main character, the voice acting really helps with that, the game itself is more like a tool to unwind the the hero’s emotions, although I also think the combat and puzzles are really fun.
Review Fix: What games influenced this one the most?
Machado: It has a broad influence from walking simulators with a bit of Skyrim in it.
Review Fix: Any fun stories or wild moments during development?
Machado: I once deleted the whole game by mistake hahaha, luckily I had a fairly recent backup and it only took me 1 day of work to get back to where I was.
Review Fix: What were the major lessons learned?
Machado: Taking time to find good people to work with is very important, marketing should always be a priority and making the level load in chunks is a very boring task.
Review Fix: Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?
Machado: I think this heavily depends on the game and if it is a sequel, honestly it is something that I have not given much thought to.
Review Fix: What’s your favorite memory as a gamer?
Machado: Playing the mega drive with my cousin when I was a kid, the first time I played legend of mana, my first sieges with my old clan in darkfall, getting to the top of the competitive s4 league community in my country, there’s quite a few, i’ve been playing games since I was like 4 or 5 I think, my first game was Prince of Persia for the DOS.
Review Fix: How have your previous experiences in the industry helped this game?
Machado: Well, first I knew what to expect from a development cycle, in my previous game I was living with the artist and we had some differences which where hard but helped me mature a bit, I think that also helped when dealing with people, besides that I really knew not to over scope and what to expect realistically, the games industry is rough and you really need to have your feet planted on the ground.
Review Fix: How do you want this game to ultimately be remembered?
Machado: Ideally, I want the game to be remembered as an experience that gave people strength.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Machado: I am currently working on a competitive multiplayer online shooter, which was my end goal since I started making games, if I can complete it only time will tell, I think I have over scoped a bit with this one because it is something that I really wanted to make haha.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Machado: Thank you for taking the time for this interview and I hope people enjoy ashes, if any player wants to chat send a message through the Facebook page or leave a comment on the steam forums, I am always available and I try to answer everything.