"Hellbound" is a beautiful game being released by Saibot Studios with the essence and style of a classics 90's first-person shooter. You'll lay waste to your enemies and destroy anything released from Hell itself. You are Hellgore, a gigantic brute whose only purpose in life is to kick ass and take names, and these demons don't have names!

I got the chance to talk with Saibot Studios founder, Tobias Rusjan, about their development and work on their newest project, what the future holds and hear about the amazing Kickstarter video they created.

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Interview

BN: A brief history of your development team. How'd you meet, and what were some unique challenges your team had to overcome?

Rusjan: We started in early 2012 after I left NGD Studios, the biggest (and one of the only big) video game companies here in Argentina. But we started with a small team of people I met in the previous job. We were only two at the beginning and we started working at my mother's department, in my bedroom. In 2013 we were able to finish and publish our first game: "Doorways: Prelude." This gave us the opportunity to invest in the second game and have a bigger team of people.

In 2014 we released "Doorways: The Underworld" and we kept growing and learning. And in 2016 we finished the Doorways saga with the release of "Doorways: Holy Mountains of Flesh." But the team has changed a lot since then. The only members that keep since the beginning were David Levill (music producer and SFX composer) and I (director, programmer and game designer). We have overcome a lot of challenges. Most of them regarding doing as much as we can because the lack of money and human resources.

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Also, I came from other companies were I use to work as programmer. So I didn't know anything about delivering a game and managing a team, that was tough at the beginning. Today we have a lot more of experience, a stronger team and we're very well known here in Argentina. But we're still having troubles with funds, that's the reason why we're on Kickstarter right now.

BN: What do you think makes fans (like me) so nostalgic for these 90's style FPSs?

Rusjan: Hellbound is the kind of game I wanted to create since I was a kid. So it's a game made (or at least, directed, programmed and game designed) by one of those 90's FPS fans. I have been making Video Games since I was on primary school and I've been working on the game industry for more than 10 years, and all this time I wanted to make a game like Hellbound, but only today I have the resources and experience for that. So it's not just another project for me.

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It's something very personal. To give you an idea, when I was in high school I made a 2D version of the original DOOM, called DooM-PlatforM. So I think all this passion makes an important part of the final experience while playing Hellbound.

BN: What was the biggest challenge in development? Whether it be the art, music, coding, and how did you overcome it?

Rusjan: The visual style took us a lot of dedication in Hellbound. We have started working on concept art for the main character at the beginning of 2016.

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We have made a lot of tests to get to the results you can see in the game. It had to be grotesque, but at the same time pretty and cool. And then to be able to reproduce that style in the 3D world with Unreal Engine 4. Which is a great tool but it also has its roots (we use to work with Unity before that, which was pretty easier to work with).

BN: Like I said, I love the cheese video with the man in the chair and Hellgore shows up. We don't get those very much today. What was the shoot like and why was it so important to your team to make that?

Rusjan: So we wanted to have a great campaign at Kickstarter, something informative but also funny and with the style of Hellbound (pretty straightforward).It was a great experience for us and we worked with Andres Borghi and the team from Brain Storming Visuals. This guys are indie movie creators from our country. We already worked with them to create some live action videos of Doorways. In the next days, we're going to upload some bloopers from the shoots, so funny!

More about 'Hellbound'

BN: In the future, would you ever consider a sequel, add-on or do you have a new project in mind already?

Rusjan: Yes, we would like that. But for a sequel, we first need to have a base game finished, haha! And about a new project, sure. The idea is to keep creating new and better games all we can. But unfortunately and as I mentioned before, what is lacking since day one are funds. We're always on the edge with that.

BN: What was your go to 90's FPS back in the day?

Rusjan: I will go with the original "DOOM" (1993).Is though, yes, but DOOM was so important, so much that it was the reason why I entered in game development.

BN: What part of "Hellbound" are you most proud of/excited about?

Rusjan: I love the global experience, that everything is so badass and frenetic. And I feel that all the pieces work well together: the controls, the visuals, and the audio. It took us a lot of time and tests but I think the final result is pretty damn good. I like to play it and I like watching other people playing it.

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