Welcome aboard, Marc! Why did you decide to move from tranquil and sunny Barcelona to vibrant and energetic London?
I wanted a change in my life. After living in Barcelona for ten years, I felt like that chapter of my life had come to a close. So I started sending out my CV to good video-game companies around Europe.
When did you decide you wanted to become a video game developer and why?
I’ve been playing video games since I was little, but it used to only be a hobby for me. I never thought about it as a career choice; but when I turned 18, I decided to do a university degree in Multimedia Engineering. It’s a degree that’s similar to Computer Science, but with more of a focus on software development.
‘Video games are an art form, just like a work of mesmerising cinematography, an intriguingly-crafted novel, or a thought-provoking painting.’
What three personality traits do you think a video game developer needs to have?
You have to be persistent and hard-working when developing video games, constantly wanting to learn new techniques. It’s important to be inquisitive and keen-eyed, questioning the reasons for things (whether they’re needed in the video game), because when you develop a game, and especially on the programming side of things, there’s no handbook that tells you how to do it. Every game is unique and every bug needs to be fixed in its own unique way. And finally, you need to have the resilience and the mental fortitude to face the challenges that arise.
Lots of people think that video games are just a waste of time. What do you say to that? What role do you think video games play in modern society?
Video games are an art form, just like a work of mesmerising cinematography, an intriguingly-crafted novel, or a thought-provoking painting. They each tell us a story and entertain us at the same time. However, video games also provide something else that I like very much, something that distinguishes them from everything else: interaction. In other words, the power to interact with the fictional world and to change the course of the story that is being told. This is why the popularity of video games is on the rise, and given the speed at which technology continues to advance, soon it will be possible to enter imaginary worlds and experience stories that seem so real that it will feel like you are actually there.
We know that you play a lot of video games and that, even in your free time, you create video games. What type of video games do you usually play and which is your favourite?
When I was little, I tried to play as many video games as possible. I was curious to find out how the controls worked in one game and what you could do in another. As the years went by, I had less and less time to do that, so I could no longer play lots of games and had to just play the ones that I really liked.
In general, I like all types of games, but I especially focus on RPGs and strategy games. I really like games where you feel a sense of progress and where the character grows, starting the game as someone weak and becoming very powerful by the end.
Personally, the best game I’ve ever played, and the one I’ve spent the most number of hours on has been and always will be StarCraft II, a game that combines strategy and mental skill.
What was it about Wibbu that led you to decide to leave your job in Barcelona?
I wanted to learn new things and to face new challenges, not only professionally but also on a personal level. And to be able to be a part of the development of a game that not only entertains but also tells a story and helps the player learn two of the most spoken languages on the planet. What also made me want to move to London was the opportunity to be in a great working environment with a culturally diverse group of people where I can learn lots of new things.
‘Being able to speak two of the most important languages in the world opens up many doors, and you end up doing things that you might not have otherwise done or dared to do.’
And what do you like most about your new job?
I like the challenges, and that I need to try to improve myself with each that I face. I’m also enjoying being part of our video game to learn languages RUBY REI, where people not only have a great time playing, but also learn values and new languages. That’s something that I think is incredible. And the most important thing is receiving feedback from the users, learning from them and trying to improve on any mistakes so that I can contribute more as a developer to the next project.
Wow! Now we can see why you like your job so much. As a game developer, what is the biggest challenge facing you right now at Wibbu?
My job is to make the Game Designer’s vision a reality, to make Ruby, our main character move in the way she needs to, and to create all the game logic, for example, when the player pulls a lever, a door opens. My biggest challenge at Wibbu right now is to create the foundations so that levels can be made as quickly as possible without any problems cropping up.
And finally, you speak English, Spanish and Catalan. What role have languages played in your life?
Learning new languages always leads to good things. In my case, I lived in New York for three years when I was little and the truth is that the majority of the English that I know now I learnt there. It’s helped me a lot, not only at school, but also when I’ve had to communicate with people from different parts of the world. And being able to speak two of the most important languages in the world opens up many doors, and you end up doing things that you might not have otherwise done or dared to do.
By Jonay Suárez, Head of Marketing at Wibbu.