EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Zombeer Mastermind Carlos Fernández

Some games take themselves too seriously. And some gamers take games too seriously. And then there’s games like Zombeer, a “first-person-survival-horror-comedy-shooter.” Or at least that’s how it’s described by Moonbite Games’ Carlos Fernández, who describes himself as “Creative Director, Executive Producer, Project Manager, script writer, original game designer, marketing director, and tester.” Though before he adds another title to his resume, or genre to Zombeer’s gameplay, let’s let him explain what he means.

Zombeer 01

Let’s start with the basics: What kind of game is Zombeer and how do you play it?

How do I play Zombeer? With nachos and a cold beer.

Zombeer is a first-person shooter like Half-Life or F.E.A.R., Though it also reminds me of Left4Dead, especially in the final battle. It has crazy weapons, weird enemies, strange QTEs, and surrealistic puzzles. But it’s also a comedy game with lot of gags, parodies, and references from other games and films. And you have to drink beer to keep from transforming into a zombie.

Zombies come in many forms. Are the ones in your game the slow kind, the fast kind, what?

Zombies in Zombeer can walk, run, and some of them even dance…so I think we can talk about crazy runner zombies. And a few of them are really strong, so sometimes you must be focused. However, if you’re a hardcore gamer, shooter lover, and you have good zombie killing skills, you won’t have troubles…except perhaps in three or four different places along the game.

How about the comedy in your game, how would you describe the comedy and what were the big influences on it?

I think we can compare the humor and surrealistic gags to those you find in such films as Top Secret, Hot Shots, or Airplane. Dude, Where’s My Car? is another good example. I also must mention Kevin Smith and Tenacious D, as well as The Simpsons and Family Guy.

As for funny games, one of our favorites is Monkey Island. We love its crazy humor. Another classic example is the first Leisure Suit Larry.

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Will the humor be evident in the actual gameplay, though? Like will you have goofy weapons or silly enemies?

We tried to include crazy humor everywhere. Sometimes you’ll find a gag or a weird zombie, other times you must use strange stuff or even play a full WTF level. You’ll find a dragon, you’ll use a dildo as weapon, you can even travel across a wormhole. But we never forgot that Zombeer is a shooter.

Is it safe to assume you’ve seen the movie Return Of The Living Dead? And is Zombeer trying to be scary or funny?

Yes, I saw Return Of The Living Dead. And Party Zombie, too The main objective is making you laugh, but humor and scary are not so separate. I think it is like spicy Mexican food.

You guys are based in Spain. Is there anything in the game that you would describe as being particularly Spanish? Not that I, as an ugly American, have any idea what would make a game particularly Spanish, but I thought I’d ask.

Sure, you can find a few typical Spanish stuff and jokes. You can find a delicious Spanish ham, for example. But all the team has international influences from Anglo-Saxon and Asiatic pop cultures, so most, 99.99%, of the gags are international references.

Clearly, the game has a story-driven campaign mode. Will it also have multiplayer modes?

No, the game only has a story mode. We would’ve liked to include a multiplayer version, and we were thinking in a crazy-funny cooperative mode, but being indie team, and with this being the first chapter, we didn’t have the budget to do so.

Dang. I was hoping I’d get to be a zombie.

Actually, in Zombeer you can be a zombie. It’s just that if you’re a zombie for too long you’ll transform into a zombie for good, so you’ll be dead. The advantage of transforming into a zombie is that the rest of the zombies don’t attack you; the disadvantage is that you can not run, use weapons, or interact with other elements. So it’s up to you to choose your best strategy.

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The game was just released on PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network, and is also coming to PCs Macs. Why no love for the 360?

There is love for Xbox. Unfortunately, as indie developers, is not easy to publish in Xbox Live Arcade without a publisher. Perhaps in future chapters, who knows.

Is there any thought to doing a version for the Xbox One or PlayStation 4?

Yes there is.

As PlayStation3 developers, we are awaiting the results of the game on PSN. If it works like we hope, we’ll analyze the PS4 option.

As for Xbox One, I don’t know if Microsoft has opened their console to indie developers, so I can not be sure that we can. But of course we would like to.

How, if at all, will the PC and Mac versions be different from the PS3 one? Besides using a keyboard instead of a controller, of course.

There are a few differences.

The PC version will have better graphics — bigger textures, anti-aliasing, etc. — with a better camera. And it’ll include more zombie variations, as well as levels with more zombies.

Will the PC and Mac versions support controllers?

Yes. As a gamer I think this is important.

Zombeer boyant ladies

In the game, there are a number of woman who are rather well endowed. Given how not everyone appreciates such well endowed women, how will you answer the inevitable criticism that your game is sexist and that you should be eaten by the undead as punishment?

In recent years I directed a few games for iPad, Wii, and PC. I’ve directed one short film for cinemas, and I was the project manager in a 3D animation film too.

There are always people who criticize projects, but there was always people that love them, too.

I remember one suggestion from my grandmother about this issue: “Do you know when nobody will criticize you? When nobody knows anything about you.”

The project is crazy, the art is…voluptuous. I understand that some people doesn’t like it, and I understand that some people will understand this humor and the rest of the gags and will enjoy playing Zombeer.

So what beer do you recommend drinking when you play this game?.

If you want to know my favorite beer, well, I really like a local beer from my homeland: Estrella Galicia. Guinness is also a favorite; it’s an incredible beer. Though if people enjoy the game, we might start making real Zombeer.

Answering this question is starting to make me thirsty.

 

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