INTERVIEW: CHUBBY PIXEL - The Path of Indie Game Development

May 26, 2019
INTERVIEW: CHUBBY PIXEL - The Path of Indie Game Development
Fabio Ferrara and Giulia Airoldi, founders of Chubby Pixel

In this ever-growing industry where the popularity of a game became more significant than the quality, we want to take every opportunity to give our love and support to indie developers who turned their skills and passion for video games into something we can all enjoy.

Recently, GameBuz had the opportunity for an interview with Fabio Ferrara, co-founder of Chubby Pixel, which is an independent game development studio based in Milan, Italy. Chubby Pixel was founded in 2012, and I wanted to know where did the inspiration for starting their own company originally came from.

Fabio Ferrara - In the beginning, what inspired me was to be able to shape my ideas and create great games, experiment a lot and develop original games.

During the years the objective of the company changed considerably, and now we're trying to find the most talented people in the industry in order to make even greater games.

GameBuz - You made games for PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, even for mobile devices. Which platform is the most interesting to develop games for and why?

Fabio Ferrara - I think, right now, the most interesting console is Nintendo Switch, even though it is not easy to fully optimize games for it. I think that this console has a lot of hidden potential that needs to be discovered yet by the developers.

Fabio Ferrara is not just a co-founder of the company; he is also a game designer, sound and 3D artist. Considering the fact that every artist needs inspiration in order to create, I was interested in where did the source of his creativity lie.

Fabio Ferrara - I get inspired by a lot of other games and developers, from the least known indie games to the well-known triple-A games. I think there are interesting pieces of ideas hidden in every game that you can get inspiration from.

GameBuz - Woodle Tree Adventures was the first game your company published back in 2013. What was your experience working on it?

Fabio Ferrara - That was the first game and I made it entirely by myself. It was a way to start learning and to be able to understand how to make a complete game from the beginning to the end.

GameBuz - Three years later, you made a sequel for it. Was it as successful as the first one?

Fabio Ferrara - In terms of sales, the sequel was not as successful as the first one, since it needed a lot of polish, in fact, we're actually redesigning the entire game to bring it on Nintendo Switch.

One of the games that caught my attention was Suicide Guy. After seeing the title, I couldn’t tell if the main character’s goal was to commit suicide or fight that urge, or if I was just deceived by the title to think any of that. Being that mental illness is a big issue in a world, I had to ask more about this game and how did Fabio come up with a concept for it.

Fabio Ferrara - I was trying to find an interesting mechanic for a game that could make people think. That's when the idea to create an anti-game suddenly popped in, in which the objective is the complete opposite from all the other games where you need to survive.

GameBuz - Suicide is a pretty serious subject, yet the game is pretty bright and colorful. Is mental health actually the theme of Suicide Guy?

Fabio Ferrara - Actually, since the protagonist is dreaming and not really killing himself (even the death animation is not visible since you wake up a moment before), the game is not about mental health. But there are hidden themes to make people think about today's society.

Ok, I guess I was deceived a bit by the title after all. But surely I’m not the only one. Someone out there must’ve wondered about the same thing. So, what I wanted to know next was what were the community’s reaction to it.

Fabio Ferrara - When we released the full game, the gamers were enthusiastic, and most of them had a lot of fun playing it. Even the press had very positive reviews about it.

Every developer in the Gaming Industry has faced some problems at a certain point; I at least haven’t heard of anyone who had a completely smooth path to success without any challenges. Fabio is no exception, and here’s what troubled him.

Fabio Ferrara - The most difficult part was probably the fact that the development took a lot more time than I thought. It's almost impossible to forecast everything in a game if you want to make a high-quality product.

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As hard work most certainly brings rewards, Fabio shared with us what was the most rewarding part of working in the Gaming Industry for him.

Fabio Ferrara - Probably the reaction of the players and the love that they have shown for our games and their protagonists.

GameBuz - What advice would you give to young developers just entering the gaming industry?

Fabio Ferrara - I would suggest them to experiment a lot and to keep trying even if their first game fails. The industry really needs innovation and I think we have just scratched the surface of this fantastic medium.

At the end of this interview, I asked Fabio if there was anything else he would like to share with our readers. To this he said: “Yes, buy our games!”. You heard the man. You know the drill. Visit their website and take your pick!