Interview with Anahit Fernandez From Mexico

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Anahit Fernandez

Anahit Fernandez and her brother is the brains and brawn behind Navegante Entertainment's breakout indie title, Greak: Memories of Azure!

Interview With The 2022 NYX Game Awards Winner – Anahit Fernandez

1Please provide us with a brief bio of yourself and your background.

My name is Anahit Fernandez and I am the Producer and Business Development at Navegante. My background is focused on the administrative side of the business as well as Human Resources Management.

2What led you to become a Game Developer / Marketer?

My brother is the Lead Programmer at Navegante. We have always played games since we were little and I have been very close to the development of Greak: Memories of Azur.

I love networking with people, coming up with production plans and the administrative side of the business. I think what got me into game development was seeing the potential of our game Greak: Memories of Azur. The passion of our team and feeling the emotion of the players. Seeing videos of people playing Greak all over the world was amazing and I wanted to contribute to the success of the game.

3What is your role in the company, and what traits should a game developer / marketing professional possess to be successful in their role?

In my role at Navegante, I manage the production and deliverables, I handle the administrative activities of the studio and I coordinate the commercial aspect.

I believe that to be successful in video game development you have to be very consistent as well as objective. Being open to comments from the team and from users is what makes you a better developer.

4Tell us more about your studio / company.

Navegante is an independent video games development studio located in Mexico with collaborators in Latin America. We are passionate about creating unique and high-quality experiences for players that can leave them a positive message.

5What is your own definition of a great game?

A great game for me is the one that stays with you once you finish it and leaves positive feelings or a strong message.

6Describe the genres of the game(s) your studio / company specializes in, as well as its main characteristics.

We specialize in developing narrative and story driven experiences. Something that is unique about our studio is our passion for art and hand-drawn animations as well as the attention to small details. Creating an integral work that can feel hand crafted and different is our main motivation.

7Tell us more about your ideation process.

Normally we start with an idea, a character or a message that we want to convey. From there, we explore what kind of game we would like to create and know what lies beyond. Then we try different combinations of mechanics that support the story and we remain very honest as a team to know if we like them or if we should make changes. On some occasions, as was the case with Greak, we focus on the mechanics being very strongly related to the narrative.

8Congratulations! As the winner of the NYX Game Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?

Winning at the NYX Game Awards is a great achievement for our team. Greak: Memories of Azur is the first video game from our studio and having this recognition helps us let more people know about our work and continue making video games.

Recording the game’s soundtrack with an 82-musician live orchestra was a big task for our small indie studio and receiving the Best Music NYX Grand Award is a great recognition to everyone involved. We also put a lot of effort on the artistic style using hand-drawn art and animations, in-game cinematic clips as well as a custom made parallax system. Getting the NYX Grand Award for Best Visual Art was also a big accomplishment!

9How has winning an international award help promote your company and game?

Winning at the NYX Game Awards has helped us reach new audiences internationally so that our game Greak: Memories of Azur is known by more people. We are so proud to be Grand Winners at the NYX Game Awards and to stand alongside other amazing studios and video games.

10What are the challenges of developing / marketing your winning entry(ies)?

Developing Greak: Memories of Azur had a lot of complexity since, in the design part, we chose to iterate upon a new gameplay idea where players have to control multiple characters simultaneously. This was a big challenge especially for a first-time studio as we didn't have many references to draw from. We feel proud because we were able to experiment with new mechanics and deviate a bit from the traditional platformer genre to offer players a unique and different experience.

Additionally, the art style had its complexities as we are a small studio, but we were determined to deliver a high-quality experience that players could enjoy.

Finally, promoting an indie game is extremely complicated. As a developer, not only do you have to worry about making a great game, but you also have to worry about making it known. This is extremely difficult, especially when it is the studio’s first video game. Fortunately, there are opportunities like the NYX Game Awards that help developers get more visibility and promotion.

11How has the country, you are based in, helped during your ideation process?

Our studio is located in Mexico and we have collaborators in other Latin American countries. Family ties are very important here and that's something we wanted to capture in Greak: Memories of Azur.

During the creation process, we like for everyone in the studio to feel identified and passionate. We all have an amazing relationship with our families and siblings and that is why we chose to develop this story.

12What are the current trends in the game industry that you are most excited about?

I am excited that it is becoming easier for indie developers to launch their games. There is a lot of information out there and the engines and tools are more accessible now than before for people that (like myself) don’t possess a strong gaming or programming background.

13What are the top THREE (3) favorite things about the gaming industry?

I would say that something I really enjoy is the players and the community. Receiving comments about their experiences with the game, their feedback and their involvement with what we do is an incredible feeling.

The second thing is the contact with other developers. Listening to their ideas, experiences and sharing with them has been very enriching and very interesting. This truly is a supportive community.

The third and most important thing is the creation of a game that together manages to highlight feelings or emotions to the players.

14What resources would you recommend to someone who is searching to improve their game designs and development ideas / skills?

There are many resources out there, but I found that the GDC talks are very interesting and there is a lot of valuable information there. Greak: Memories of Azur was made with Unity and having resources like the Creator’s Spotlight or other information on their website was extremely helpful.

15Where do you see the evolution of the gaming industry in the next 5-10 years?

We believe that the competition will be even stronger since Game Dev studios must not only compete with new games but with all existing games as well as their post-launch added content.

On the other hand, we believe that gamers are finding great satisfaction in game subscription services and we must as developers find a way in which we can satisfy that form of consumption and maintain our vision as creators.

16Who inspired you in your life, and why?
It was definitely my family, Rodrigo (Co-Creative Director and Lead Programmer) is my brother and Gustavo (Co-Creative Director and Game Designer) is a long time friend and we are a very strong team and complement each other. Our families have supported us unconditionally to get where we are and we owe and dedicate everything we have achieved to them.
17What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

I believe that to be successful, you have to be very persistent. Things will go wrong or not as desired many times, but you have to be convinced that things are possible if you put all your efforts towards it.

The second thing would be to look for the right people to partner with. Those who can have your back when you make mistakes and that can celebrate with you the successes are the ones worth keeping next to you.

18Do you have anything else, which we haven’t covered, that you would like to include in this interview?

I would just like to thank everyone who has helped us get here. Every gameplay video, steam review, social media comment or other support helps us tremendously to continue making games and to help develop the video games industry in Latin America. Please feel free to follow us on our Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts @PlayGreak or @NaveganteGames to learn more about our future plans.

Thank you for your time and for letting us participate in this interview. I hope you hear more from us and our studio very soon!

Winning Entries

Greak: Memories of Azur | 2022


Greak: Memories of Azur is a single-player puzzle platformer adventure made with traditional hand-drawn art and animation as well as an orchestrated live-recorded soundtrack. The player will take the role of three siblings: Greak, Adara and Raydel to guide them through the lands of Azur. Alternate control between them and use their unique abilities to escape from the Urlag invasion. Key Features: •Hand-Drawn Art and Animation: Enjoy a captivating narrative telling a story of family, home, and union, all brought to life with hand-drawn art. •Live Orchestra Soundtrack: Enjoy the expressive and atmospheric music themes specially created to enhance this unique adventure. •Specially Crafted Puzzles: Players will solve intricate puzzles to navigate the world of Azur, using the three siblings’ unique abilities to flee the threat. •Unique Gameplay: Each sibling boasts their own powers and abilities, and players will alternate seamlessly between the trio to best navigate the world.
(read more at NYX Game Awards)

Anahit Fernandez

Anahit Fernandez and her brother is the brains and brawn behind Mexico’s very own breakout indie title, Greak: Memories of Azure!

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