Had a fantastic time talking with Sam Guglielmo from TechRaptor about 0°N 0°W during PlayNYC and the conversation just went live as great article :) The following is an excerpt:
TechRaptor: So this is 0°N 0°W.
Max: Yes, correct.
TechRaptor: Why don’t you just quickly tell me about the game?
Max: 0°N 0°W is a surreal exploration game where you’re wandering through all these different dream worlds, and the whole aim is to relax and have a very meditative experience. There’s a hundred dreams to discover and they’re all like very beautiful colors and environments. You get to see cities, deserts… but again, the whole aim is just to have a virtual vacation of sorts where you could just explore endlessly and just meditate.
TechRaptor: What exactly, or, well doesn’t have to be exact, but what did you do on this game? What did you make?
Max: So I’m the solo indie developer. So I did the programming, composed the music, did all the environments, the shaders, and everything.
TechRaptor: So basically you did absolutely everything?
Max: Yes, yes. It’s… yeah. Three long years of no social life. [Laughter].
TechRaptor: It’s all okay. How does it feel now that it’s…?
Max: Awesome. Yeah, it’s great. I released in March on Steam and so now it’s amazing going to expos, getting people playing and just hearing their feedback first hand. It’s a really special moment right now.
TechRaptor: So while I was playing this I was in one dream that just surreal. There was just colors everywhere, just– I’m not sure if there was any sense or reasoning behind it, and then I go to another dream where I started in this really nice sci-fi house and across the way there’s a dystopia, a utopia… So how do you make all these dreams?
Max: So it’s a lot of different inspiration factors that happen in making the dreams, and what I like about dreams is when you’re dreaming usually you start in one very specific setting, and then quickly something happens in a dream where you’re in an entirely different environment. There’s no real in-between. You just kind of fall into it. So a lot of the visual styles I used in the levels are inspired by early 20th century modern art, like cubism and futurism. I love going to the museum and looking at these paintings and I always wanted to, like… wouldn’t it be awesome if we could actually explore them in 3D? So that was a big driving factor, making these very sharp, angular, colorful worlds.
TechRaptor: So you said it took about three years to make this game. Did it always start as just the virtual vacation simulator basically?
Max: Uh, yes, so it started as a side project. I was working in another field even, and I always wanted to do video games. So I released a small world, like a small dream, on Itch.io back in December of 2014. It somehow blew up, there was like a lot of good reception, some Youtubers covered it. So I was like “you know what, I want to keep doing this” and I applied for [Steam] Greenlight and in just two months it got approved in Greenlight so from then on its been like a magical ride, you know? Just developing and… took way longer than I thought.
TechRaptor: It’s all okay, that’s one consistent that I hear, that it “took longer than I thought.”
Max: Yeah, yeah, way longer. [Laughter.]
TechRaptor: You said currently this is out on Steam, right?
TechRaptor: Are there any plans for consoles?
Max: Yes, so actually in PaX East I was approached by PlayStation about porting to the Ps4, so I’m starting that process. I need to raise funds for doing the development time and getting the dev kits, but yes I would like to release on every other consoles like the Switch, Xbox, PlayStation. It just takes time and, as a solo dev, it’s going to be a slow process.
TechRaptor: It’s coming to consoles. Is it also coming to VR?
Max: So yes, right now I’m starting to work on the VR patch. So when you buy it on Steam there’s a free DLC that is essentially the Early Access to the VR version. So you can already explore one of the worlds in VR and the more I introduce into VR the more you can play. I want to do VR Early Access, you can jump in as soon as you want.
TechRaptor: Awesome, ’cause this does seem, like you said it’s a virtual vacation, that seems like it’s almost ready made for VR, nice headphones, just relaxing.
TechRaptor: Alright I’d like to thank you for taking the time with talking with me.
Max: My pleasure.
TechRaptor: It’s a really interesting game, I’m glad I got to see it.