Hello my name is Gonzalo Alvarez, I am an Illustrator, Game Designer, and Creative Director and Co-founder of Macua Studios with Genaro Vallejo Reyes and Jon DiGiacomo.
Quick bit about me. I’m still studying drawing in college at Lamar University where I have been illustrating worlds, and characters for my comics and video games! I’m currently working on my Mexican Fantasy adventure comic, The Legend of Polloman.
I have always wanted to make games, but the only problem? I had no idea how to code… So I decided to fly over to IndieCade East 2016 to learn more about game development and figure it out. I ended up meeting two awesome guys and together we created our first game based on one of my ideas through a 7-day long game jam.
That game was Borders, a game about immigration inspired by my parents stories of crossing the border. I was so inspired by the arcade cabinets at Indiecade that I decided to make my own and install the game publicly at an art gallery. One email later from the Huffington Post would help Borders get on international news and be selected to show at Indiecade Showcase at E3 and Sheffield/Doc Fest! WHO WOULDA THOUGHT?
Now together(HUGE thanks to Keven Tran for helping me create the prototype!) we look forward to tackling my next idea and first large project: Paleo Hunter, a 4-player capture the flag style game, set in a prehistoric time where tribes hunt and battle for food. Inspired by my prehistory classes and Monster hunter, but a dislike for MH’s time investment and micromanagement, I decided to make something fun,quick, and easy to play with friends. The quirky art styles of Don’t Starve and Castle Crashers has really influenced this project and we are looking forward to share the development as it progresses! I am finally living my dream as a creative director for my own game studio and I hope you’ll want to follow our journey!
Now here is one of our Co-Founders to talk about his background with bees.
Hey! My name is Genaro and I am the Project Manager, Game Designer and one of the Co-Founders of Macua Studios. Born and raised in Mexico, my life has been quite unique. Graduated as Veterinarian, worked as a beekeeper, played Pokémon on a competitive level and currently working as Game Designer in New York. I could not ask for better partners in Macua Studios.
From vet to dev…
When I met Gonz at Indiecade 2016, I was still a game design student in New York Film Academy, where I showed Climaniacs, a game about jumping goats!, Gonzalo enjoyed it and we talked more about our project and goals, and fortunately we had a lot of things in common! So we became friends. Sadly Gonzalo had to go back to Texas, However we still kept in touch thanks to the wonders of the internet.
Eventually, Gonz shared with me his idea about “Borders” and his goal to create this game in one week, alongside Jon, a programmer that also met at Indiecade. Both of them haven’t made a game before, so I decided to put the skills learned at NYFA and helped them to complete their first game ever.
After a long week of hard work (I even managed to meet Jon in person to complete the project) we managed to finish the game! We were so proud of it that we showed in a couple of events in New York, Playcrafting and Pax Solaria, where we got a good amount of feedback and helped us polish the game a little more.
Borders at Pax Solaria! (New York)
However, thanks to the excellent Art Gallery made by Gonzalo and his impressive PR skills, the media took attention, and the snowball started rolling! All three of us were really surprised and amazed how popular the game has become and it is going to be shown at not one… but TWO World class events. The only problem is that both of them will occur at the same time… So we took the decision of DIVIDING and CONQUER. Gonzalo and Jon will be traveling to E3 2017 and myself will travel to the Sheffield DocFest.
UK… Here I go!
I am very excited to arrive to this event, marking my first time in Europe. It is going to be without a doubt an important experience in my life. And the funny thing is it all started with a friendly guy that enjoyed my game.
And Last but no least, the brilliant software engineer that made the game possible, Jonathan DiGiacomo.