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Showing posts with label Retro Sumus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Retro Sumus. Show all posts

Xenocider 'next-gen' demo now available

Remember Xenocider? We do - Retro Sumus' excellent Dreamcast shooter burst onto the scene in early 2021 and wowed us with its lovely graphics, challenging gameplay and incredible amount of unlockable content. Check out our review here

The good news is that Retro Sumus are bringing Xara's adventure to modern gaming platforms in 2022, with PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One / Series gamers all being given the opportunity to engage in a friendly bit of interstellar planetary genocide. Of course, alongside the consoles, there's also a PC version planned and you can try a demo of Xenocider's non-Dreamcast remaster on Steam right now.

Xenocider was - and still is - a great looking Dreamcast game, and is probably the best looking 3D indie title we've yet seen on Sega's console. Naturally though, the modern remaster takes advantage of the more powerful hardware offered by contemporary consoles and gaming rigs, meaning everything has a rather nice visual upgrade. No floating Dreamcast power-ups though, which will no doubt mark it down in our view.

The updated version of Xenocider is being published by Eastasiasoft and no doubt once the game is released in 2022 we'll cast an eye over it and see how it compares to the Dreamcast original. Grab the Steam demo here, follow Retro Sumus here and buy a digital copy of the original Dreamcast version of Xenocider here.

Xenocider digital editions now available

Retro Sumus' superb sci-fi shooter Xenocrisis is now availible - indeed you probably saw our glowing review recenetly posted here at the Junkyard. In case you didn't, here's a link, and a succinct summary would proabably go a bit like this: it's one of the most technically impressive and highly polished indie games we've yet seen on the Dreamcast, and you owe it to yourself to get hold of a copy.

There's even more reason to get involved with Xenocider now though, as two digital only versions have recently been released via the Retro Sumus website. Priced at €15 for the standard digital edition and €20 for the deluxe digital edition (which also includes the fantastic OST and a digital game booklet), Dreamcast owners who prefer to play their games using a MODE, GDEMU or other such device can now grab either of these flavours and enjoy Xenocider totally disc free while still supporting the developers.

The whole topic of downloading roms onto SD cards and whatnot is a bit of a grey area when it comes to classic consoles, but it seems Retro Sumus have fully embraced the concept by offering their first Dreamcast release as a download, and this is commendable. It could also pave the way for other indie releases to be offered in a similar fashion in the future - selling a game digitally with zero shipping costs and at a reduced price point is always a positive in our book; and that you can now achieve this legally and still support the folks creating new games is a no brainer. 

On top of the digital editions now being available, the remaining stock of physical copies of Xenocider are now available with free shipping worldwide. There's not really any excuse not to give Xenocider a whirl now.

Check out the digital editions of Xenocider at the Retro Sumus website here.

Review: Xenocider

Full disclosure: The Dreamcast Junkyard has been reporting on the development of Xenocider pretty much since we learned of its existence, and prior to that we reported on Retro Sumus' previous foray into indie dev, Ameba. Over the years we have built up something of a friendship with Carlos Oliveros and the development team working on Xenocider. However, in the interests of transparency and 'ethics in games journalism,' we will not be giving Xenocider a free pass. This review will be conducted with the same unbiased cantankerousness as you've come to expect here at the Junkyard. With that out of the way, on with the review!

Retro Sumus first appeared on our collective radar way back in November 2014, when the Spain-based indie developer announced a visual novel starring a down at heel detective trying to solve a mysterious, supernatural murder. That game was Ameba, and since it was first introduced to the community it has been put on the back burner. Not because of any kind of internal turmoil, development hell or the game quietly becoming vapourware; but because Retro Sumus turned their attention to another project that was initially going to play second fiddle to Ameba. That side project appeared to hold more appeal to the development team and as they pivoted away from Ameba, the projects switched places with the former going into hibernation and Xenocider - the other game - stepping into the limelight.

Now, almost 7 years later, and after a number of huge revisions and an entire lore being created, Xenocider has finally landed on the Dreamcast. A bespoke, independently developed title, created and sculpted for the best part of a decade to run exclusively on Dreamcast hardware and utilising a game engine built from the ground up. You really couldn't make this up. And now, at long last - and much to the relief of the long-suffering dev team, no doubt - Xenocider is finished. It's real, it exists, it is playable on an actual Dreamcast...and by jove it's glorious.

As my learned colleague Mike Phelan alluded to in his comprehensive Arcade Racing Legends review, it would be quite easy for us Dreamcast fanatics to frothingly praise any and every new game to hit the console as a marvel, a wondrous and near perfect experience, simply by virtue of it being a game released for the Dreamcast. To proclaim everything as amazing, awesome, fantastic (or to use any number of other equally meaningless superlative descriptions) is far too easy these days; to turn a blind eye to a game's shortcoming and to give it a free pass simply 'because it's on Dreamcast.' I am all too aware of this trap, and I refuse to fall down into it. I am a hard man to please and I don't believe in sycophantically announcing every new Dreamcast game as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

With this in mind however, I'm quite confident in saying that Xenocider, for all its faults - which we'll cover later - still manages to elevate itself to the upper echelons of the Dreamcast indie library and sit proudly up there alongside stuff like Xeno Crisis, Alice Dreams Tournament, Leona's Tricky Adventures, Wind & Water Puzzle Battles and Sturmwind. That's because this is a game crafted with obvious love and devotion not only to the Dreamcast, but also with a devilish wink and a nod to other games it clearly takes inspiration from; simultaneously offering a refreshingly original take on the sci-fi shooter genre while presenting the discerning Dreamcast gamer with a hoard of gameplay modes, and as many extra bells and whistles as you'd normally expect to find in a current gen title.

Before we get to the game itself, it's worth mentioning the love and care that has clearly gone into creating the whole Xenocider package. From the excellent bespoke cover art drawn by DC Comics' Agustin Padilla, to the quality of the printed booklet and covers, to the artwork on the game disc itself (and on the bonus music CD if you have the two-disc special edition), everything about Xenocider's physical appearance exudes an air of professional attention to detail that is fantastic to see in an independently developed Dreamcast game; and like the JoshProd, Bitmap Bureau, Yuan Works and Duranik titles which came before it, the faux NTSC or PAL styling of the boxes means Xenocider will slot nicely in alongside its contemporaries on any discerning Dreamcast owner's shelf of indies.

So what of the actual game then? Well Xenocider is essentially an 'into the screen' run and gun shooter much in the style of retro favourites such as Space Harrier and Sin & Punishment. I'm not remiss to use those two titles as comparisons as Retro Sumus themselves have often cited those games as inspirations for Xenocider. Here though, you take on the role of Xara, a cybernetic Oppenheimer - quite literally a destroyer of worlds - who must planet hop through the star system, wiping out all lifeforms in her wake before eliminating an end of level boss...and ultimately the very planet itself. Pretty hairy stuff, we're sure you'll agree, and it's upon learning the main objective of the game that the title starts to make more sense. Furthermore, to reveal quite why all this death-bringing is going on would be to reveal spoilers...so we'll say no more.

Preview: Xenocider

It was in June 2015 that we first learned of Retro Sumus' ambitious Dreamcast exclusive shooter Xenocider. Back then, we didn't really know much about what was to become something of a labour of love for lead programmer Chui and his team based over in Spain, but now, almost five years later were are very close to having the final product in our hands, and - most importantly - in our Dreamcast consoles. Xenocider has undergone several revisions over the years, but here we are privileged to share with you details of the latest beta build, and our overall impressions of what we have played so far.
What was initially pitched as a sort of homage to 'into the screen' shooters of yesteryear such as Space Harrier, Planet Harriers and Sin & Punishment, Xenocider places the player in control of Xara, a cybernetic heroine tasked with travelling from planet to planet, basically wiping out all life and ultimately causing said planet to self destruct. As you do.


If you'll allow me to be a bit wanky for a moment, this does actually bring up some questions of ethics for me. Why is Xara so hellbent on destroying these alien creatures and the very worlds they reside on? If she didn't come blazing through the atmosphere in her ship and then start marauding around the landscapes shooting everything and setting off nukes, surely these innocent lifeforms could just continue going about their daily routine of floating around and minding their own business? I'm sure the answers will be revealed in the final game's story mode, so we'll leave this aspect of Xenocider alone for now. Wanky mode: off.
The similarities with the aforementioned properties from Sega and Nintendo/Treasure are quite clear to see from a visual and gameplay standpoint, but Xenocider does have its own identity too. The aesthetic is very much one of a sort of corrupt artificial life form being directed by a mysterious commander via a communications codec. You travel to various worlds killing stuff, you collect upgrade points that can be spent on your health, armour, weapon strength etc. This is done via a rather excellent between-level hub section aboard Xara's ship - a ship you also get to control in one of the mid-stage bonus areas that reminded me a little of something like Soul Star on the Sega Mega CD, but is actually based on Galaxy Force.

Dreamcast Riding High At Gamescom 2017

The annual Gamescom trade fair in Cologne, Germany is always a hit with developers and publishers of the latest and greatest new games and hardware. All the big guns have been in attendance at the 2017 show, with major players like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft showing their wares, and the public have been lapping it up. But what's all this got to do with the humble Dreamcast? Well, believe it or not, the Dreamcast has been exceptionally well represented at Gamescom this year, with a glut of upcoming games on display for Sega's old warhorse.
Intrepid Izzy from Senile Team, Retroguru's Hermes, Xenocider from Retro Sumus, the recent releases from JoshProd, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, and Alice Dreams Tournament have all been on display and fully playable. This is due in part to the sizeable displays laid on by Retro Spiel and German retro gaming magazine RETURN. It's pretty awesome to see the Dreamcast represented at such a prestigious event, even more so with all these new titles on display. Below you'll find an assortment of photos from Gamescom 2017 showing that the Dreamcast is far from dead - it's very much alive and kicking!

Check Out This New Xenocider Bonus Stage

Work continues apace on Retro Sumus' upcoming shooter Xenocider, and the latest development diary entry goes into finer details about some key features of the game. The Retro Sumus team recently met in sunny Madrid, Spain for an extended working weekend in which new gameplay features (including an upgrade store and difficulty level balancing) were discussed; along with confirmation of the final box art designs. But perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of this get together is the reveal of a brand new 'Shinobi' inspired first person shooter bonus stage:


The most impressive thing about the whole Xenocider project for me, is that all of the guys working on this fine-looking 3D shooter are doing all of the development in their spare time. They have careers in other fields and are working on producing one of the first fully 3D indie games for the Dreamcast once they knock off from their day jobs: now that's dedication for you. Once again, you can read the entry in full by heading over to the Retro Sumus website here.

With Xenocider, SLaVE and several other as-yet-unannounced titles due to hit the Dreamcast in the coming months, 2017 is shaping up to be one hell of a year for Sega's 'dead' console.

New Xenocider Gameplay Running On Dreamcast Hardware

Work on Retro Sumus' debut Dreamcast release Xenocider continues apace behind the scenes, and the Spanish developer has given The Dreamcast Junkyard an exclusive first look at a brand new stage...which we're honoured to share with you lucky lot! This new environment is called Sakura's Realm, and as communications lead Carlos Oliveros explains, is heavily influenced by Sega classic Shinobi:

"Colourful, beautiful, and deadly. Sakura's Realm is the next planet in Xara's way and features lots of enemies and lots of transparencies. And we're not even trying to hide what an obvious influence the Shinobi series had on us growing up..."
- Carlos Oliveros

As you can see from the video below, Sakura's Realm - and Xenocider in general - is coming on leaps and bounds and features aesthetics which borrow heavily from Japanese culture. The most notable thing about this news is that the video is recorded directly from actual Dreamcast hardware, not an emulator, and shows some impressive fogging and scrolling effects:


This new glimpse at the progress being made by Retro Sumus comes quick on the heels of a redesigned box art reveal, with illustrations by renowned DC Comics artist Agustín Padilla.
Xenocider is shaping up to be one of the most eagerly awaited indie games for the Dreamcast and we can't wait to give this promising Space Harrier style shooter a damn good play test. Be sure to check out the Retro Sumus website, where Xenocider can be pre-ordered as either a standard, collector's or steel box edition. You can also follow Retro Sumus on both Facebook and Twitter for updates.

New Xenocider Footage Released By Retro Sumus

Xenocider is a game we've been keeping a close eye on here at the Junkyard, ever since it was first announced by Spanish developer Retro Sumus back in 2015. Initially a Kickstarter-funded Dreamcast title, the Space Harrier/Sin & Punishment homage has gone from strength to strength and lead developer Carlos Oliveros and his highly talented team have been hard at work behind the scenes working on new enemies, levels and boss characters.
Xenocider is rapidly becoming one of the most hotly anticipated new IPs for the Dreamcast, and the latest development diary video dropped recently. In it, Retro Sumus give us a glimpse of a new stage (called Transistor Highway); and a new boss, inspired by none other than Dreamcast classic Rez. Here's the video:


You can still pre-order Xenocider here, and the recent announcement that the game will ship with artwork by DC Comics artist Agustín Padilla makes it an even more enticing prospect than ever.

Xenocider Box Art & Pre-order Poster Revealed

Xenocider is coming, and Retro Sumus is determined to make an impression with its impressive 3D shooter. If you grabbed the demo version in 2016 you'll already know that the game is well worth waiting for, but now there's another reason to get excited: the revised artwork has been revealed and it looks positively amazing!
Drawn by none other than DC Comics artist Agustin Padilla (Green Arrow, Transformers, Borderlands, GI Joe), this new artwork really brings Xenocider to life, and gives heroine Xara a whole new look. To be honest, I think it looks absolutley badass (to quote Sgt. Apone) and the best bit is this: if you pre-order Xenocider you will get this artwork as a bonus poster to stick on the wall of your choice. Can't say fairer than that. Here's a video from Retro Sumus:


You can find more words and details about this whole Xenocider shebang by clicking this link here.

Xenocider Pre-Orders Open, New Demo Available

The tale of Retro Sumus' ambitious Sin & Punishment-style shooter Xenocider has been well documented here at the Junkyard, but things are looking up for the Spanish outfit. How so? Well, pre-orders for the game are now open, and it also appears to have become a Dreamcast exclusive! From the Retro Sumus website:

"We like to believe we listen to our audience. After the hangover of our failed Kickstarter campaign, fans of both the Ameba and Xenocider projects suggested good old pre-orders. We weren’t sure if that was a feasible option, as we have never wanted to become just another dev team who make promises they can’t deliver. As we have claimed many times, our goal is total transparency, and the last thing we wish is to lose the little trust we earned from those fans.

So we listened. We considered. We re-considered. We re-evaluated our options, our means, our objectives, our possibilities. We solved our differences via Virtua Fighter matches, because that’s what well educated guys do.

And here we are. After all that careful consideration, we agreed to focus our efforts on developing Xenocider for Dreamcast exclusively. This may well reduce our potential profit to almost none, but who cares. Xenocider is still alive, with three stages virtually finished, and our plan is to complete development in less than a year from now. And you can pre-order the regular, limited, PAL or steelbook editions of the game from our new shop today!"
- Retro Sumus

Indie Shooter Xenocider Returns!

Rise from your gwave! You'll no doubt remember Xenocider; the impressive Space Harrier/Sin & Punishment homage from Spanish indie dev Retro Sumus hit Kickstarter earlier in 2016 but was cancelled with days to go when it became apparent that the goal would not be reached. Well, we have some good news: Xenocider is not dead! Far from it in fact, and lead developer Carlos Oliveros has spoken exclusively to The Dreamcast Junkyard to reveal that not only is Xenocider alive and kicking, but the team have completed work on a whole new stage and some new enemy types:

"We simply wouldn't allow ourselves to be so discouraged by a failed Kickstarter as to fully abandon our project. We are still exploring other funding options and alternatives which we will announce soon. In the meantime, we have been working hard on new assets for the game - in our spare time that is - and there's a whole new stage pretty much finished as we speak. Xenocider was simply never gone. And neither is AMEBA, for that matter."
- Carlos Oliveros, Retro Sumus

This is fantastic news as Xenocider was shaping up to be one of the Dreamcast's most promising titles and as the demo showed, the bespoke 3D engine looked like it was going to deliver something new to the scene.

Xenocider Kickstarter Cancelled

Well, this sucks monstrous amounts of putrid ass. News has reached us that Retro Sumus' awesome-looking Sin & Punishment/Space Harrier clone has been cancelled with six days to go on the Kickstarter project. Pretty much everyone here at the Junkyard backed the game in some form or another so this is a bitter pill to swallow, but we're sure this isn't the end for Xenocider. A similar fate befell Leona's Tricky Adventures and after a round of alternative crowd funding, and we all know how that story ended (read our massive review of the final game here). Here's the rather somber update from Kickstarter:

"Hey guys. This won't take many of you by surprise, but we think it's safe to assume we won't be reaching the funding goal in the remaining 6 days...

We are cancelling the campaign today. We will keep working on Xenocider, on alternative ways of making it happen, because we love our project and are deeply proud of what we were (and still are) intending to create.

Those of you who were fans or followers of Retro Sumus already know we like keeping you guys informed of what we're up to. We have no plans of changing that. This is only a good bye for now. We will be back, and we will be better.

Above all, thank you. We deeply appreciate every single one of your pledges, comments, messages, tweets and suggestions. The Dreamcast scene is still amazing, and exciting, and we are proud to be a part of it. And we would like to thank every backer, journalist and developer who gave us a hand. You all know who you are :)

Thank you so much for your support."
- Carlos Oliveros, Retro Sumus

On a personal level this really disappoints me because I know first hand how passionate Carlos, Chui and the rest of the Retro Sumus team are having spoken with them many times, and I even agreed to appear in the Kickstarter video such was my faith in the quality of this game. However, all is not lost and we do hope Retro Sumus bounce back with an alternative way of getting Xenocider off the ground (no pun intended) and into Dreamcast consoles around the world. Furthermore, I think the world needs to be able to shoot me in the face for all the bollocks I come out with on this blog!
Don't worry if you donated to make this a nightmarish reality - all donations will be refunded when I can remember my PayPal password!

Initial source: Sega Nerds

New Xenocider Demo Adds Space Harrier Stage

So the Xenocider Kickstarter campaign is well under way and plenty of us Dreamcast owners have pledged to make this game a reality. If you haven't, I urge you to take a look at our previous posts on Retro Sumus' ambitious Space Harrier clone before heading over to the project page and lending your financial support. As we've already discussed, the Xenocider Kickstarter campaign allows prospective backers the unique opportunity to download a playable demo; but now Retro Sumus has gone one step further by updating the build to include a bonus 'Fantasy Land' stage that accurately mimics the first mission from Sega's famous arcade shooter.
This extra mode differs from the regular demo stage in that you can fly around the screen indefinitely and you don't have the ability to move a targeting reticule - you simply fire forward just as in the original Space Harrier. You can also run along the ground (watch out for trees!) and there are a couple of new enemies, explosions and sound effects that draw inspiration from Yu Suzuki's retro masterpiece. It's a really cool addition to the (already great) demo and hints at some of the bonus stages we can potentially expect in the final game. 

The original Space Harrier did make an appearance on the Dreamcast in various guises, but we missed out on a home port of Planet Harriers even though it was rumoured. Happily though, Xenocider looks like it could be the game to fill that void, and if you actually needed yet another reason to check out this project then surely this is it.

Grab the new Space Harrier demo by heading to the Xenocider Kickstarter update page and clicking on the 'playable demo' download link. You can then select the new stage from the main menu.

Tom is the Enemy

Greetings Junkyard Nation,

As you should all now be well aware, Retro Sumus' Xenocider Kickstarter campaign is well underway, and 3 days in it has so far reached 18% of it's $92,000 funding goal. We hope those pledges continue to roll in and that the community gets behind it, especially when you consider that those stretch goals look particularly tantalising. If you haven't done so yet, you've only got 27 days left to make your pledge and secure your copy of what looks to be one of the most advanced Dreamcast indie games to date. 

In addition, we here at the Junkyard have a proposition for you all. While the $600 pledge tier "YOU ARE THE ENEMY" (which offers the chance for your likeness to be recreated in the game as a secret boss character), is out of the reach of most of us mere mortals, we'd like to take this opportunity to run a mini-donation drive within the broader context of the Kickstarter campaign to get our beloved mascot Tom Charnock into the game as well.
Hurry! There's only 4 spots left!
If everyone reading this donates just 50p to the Dreamcast Junkyard donation box, we'd have more than enough Denaro to get that smug limey face of his on your telly so you can blast it to kingdom come. And as a happy side effect, your donations will go towards helping Retro Sumus reach their Kickstarter funding goal as well...

But, to be honest, it's mainly about shooting Tom in the face.
Artist's impression. Not representative of final version
And when you think about it, that 50p is very good value. It equates to just 0.04p for each article posted in this blog over the last 10 years, or just 0.02p for each minute of scintillating podcast banter we've recorded so far. I'd say that's very good value indeed. Go on, you know you want to. 
And while your at it, leave us an iTunes review as well, it seems to be the only way for us to 
climb higher up the podcast charts where we belong. Cheers.

Xenocider Kickstarter Demo - Thoughts & Impressions

A quick Lets Play style video of the Xenocider demo including my impressions and thoughts. Excuse the random text relating to Rez. It's late here in Japan, gimme a break!


Links to our previous Xenocider articles:

New Dreamcast Game Xenocider Hits Kickstarter With Playable Demo

As if you needed reminding, we've been closely following the development of Space Harrier/Sin & Punishment homage Xenocider for some time now. Coming from Spanish developer Retro Sumus, the game represents something of a leap forward for indie games on the Dreamcast as it features a fully polygonal engine built from the ground up for Sega's hardware. The good news is that the Kickstarter project to fund the final development and physical release of Xenocider has now been approved and gone live so it's up to us - the Dreamcast community - to get behind it and ensure it reaches the funding goal. There are a range of backer tiers, and as is the norm each will yield a different reward depending on the amount of money you pledge.

The goal stands at $92,000 in order to get Xenocider fully funded and the higher backer tiers feature such perks as having your own face transplanted into the game as a stage boss, bespoke models of the main protagonist Xara, and even limited edition customised Dreamcast consoles! Perhaps the most interesting part of this Kickstarter though, is that Retro Sumus isn't happy with simply showing potential backers what the game looks like. No, you can actually download a fully playable demo of Xenocider and play it on either PC, Mac...or Dreamcast.

Xenocider Update From Retro Sumus

A few weeks ago we brought you an exclusive video preview of Retro Sumus' upcoming Space Harrier homage Xenocider. The video was really only a taster of what we can expect from this ambitious indie title, and since then Carlos and his talented team have been slaving away behind the scenes to add even more to the game engine.

The latest video update throws in enemies, more scenery and shows how Xara's main weapon and targeting system will look. Obviously, this is still very early and there'll undoubtedly be many, many changes over the course of development but the video below provides a more accurate depiction of how Xenocider will play when the disc is actually spinning happily inside your trusty old Dreamcast. Here you go:


The Xenocider Kickstarter launches in May 2016 and Retro Sumus hope to be able to offer a downloadable playable demo in the coming weeks. As ever, we'll keep you posted on any further developments on either Xenocider or AMEBA as they come.

New Xenocider Footage Released

The Dreamcast homebrew and indie scenes are exploding right now and Spanish developer Retro Sumus is at the forefront of this wave, working on some very promising titles for our beloved box of tricks. AMEBA is a self-styled 'westernised' visual novel following the investigations of a Madrid-based detective and features some quite brilliant artwork. The other game from Retro Sumus is Xenocider and it is shaping up to be one of the most eagerly anticipated new Dreamcast games.
A clear homage to Sega's epic sci-fi arcade blaster Space Harrier, Xenocider sees you take control of a lone crusader battling all manner of monsters across various alien worlds. Retro Sumus has now released some early footage of its bespoke 3D engine running on genuine Dreamcast hardware and we have the exclusive footage right here.

The game is still very early and doesn't show any enemies or other mechanics, but as a glimpse at what is coming it really is very impressive from a technical standpoint. Fogging is already written in, and other effects will likely be added. Perhaps the important things to take away from this, is that Xenocider is running on genuine Dreamcast hardware, boasts a totally new engine and is running at a stable 60fps. On the basis of this alone, Xenocider looks like a title to keep an eye on.


Thanks to Carlos Oliveros from Retro Sumus for permission to post the video. You can read our interview with Carlos here, or listen to our Retro Sumus special episode of DreamPod here.

DreamPod - Episode 20


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Massive thanks to Carlos for taking part in this episode. For further information on Xenocider and AMEBA, be sure to visit Retro Sumus' official website, Twitter and Facebook. You can also check out Dreamcast.es here and read all about Retro Barcelona here. Enjoy amigos!

Developer Interview: Retro Sumus' Carlos Oliveros

Spanish indie developer Retro Sumus came to the fore in late 2014 when new Dreamcast-bound visual novel AMEBA was announced. Since then, work has been progressing steadily behind the scenes and we decided it was about time that we uncovered just what Retro Sumus is all about. In this exclusive interview with lead writer Carlos Oliveros, we find out a little more about the team, AMEBA and discover that there's another extremely promising (and previously unannounced) Dreamcast game on the horizon...

DCJY: Could you tell us a little bit about Retro Sumus? Who makes up the team and what are your roles?

Carlos Oliveros: Retro Sumus is both our name and our tag line, so to speak. It's Latin for "we are back," or "we are retro" which in my humble opinion makes for a nice Twitter hashtag, don't you think?

#Yes

Right now, the team is made up of four fine gentlemen: Daniel aka Chui, Abel, Juanjo and yours truly. Chui is like Cypher from the X-men and understands any computer language you throw at him, or like Cypher from the Matrix now that I think of it, as he seems to see the world in code. Abel is our 3D designer and the owner of the brain behind Project Q (we'll get to that). Juanjo is in charge of the sound department, and I'm the main writer/translator and the communication guy.

For our first announced project AMEBA, we're recruiting a 2D artist and two more screenwriters to help us put everything together, as it's quite a big story for such a small team.
The original AMEBA teaser artwork
But you have known and/or worked with each other for a while now, haven't you?

In short, yes. I was one of the translators for Watermelon's Pier Solar and, after the Mega Drive release and the fans asking for a PC and a Dreamcast conversion, I introduced Chui to Tulio from Watermelon, as they were looking for a capable programmer to port the original Mega Drive code to more modern platforms. Being the awesome fella that he is, and the creator (or co-creator) of so many emulators and tools for the Dreamcast and other machines, he jumped at the chance and has become Tulio's right hand since, as far as I know. I only knew Chui for his emulators and had talked to him a few times before that, but we began working closer and chatting every other day from then on, as he worked on porting the game and I translated all the new content.

I think Chui brought Abel with him to Pier Solar. There was a Mode7 level in the original game which had to be remade from scratch for the conversion, so he did the 3D for that stage. That initial work was in fact the germ for Project Q.

Juanjo had never worked on any videogame related project. He's a piano teacher and producer, and the current keyboardist for spanish bands Efecto Mariposa and Los Aslándticos. When I told him about my ideas for AMEBA, he didn't even let me finish and said he wanted in. I was honoured, as he knew I couldn't possibly pay him (for now anyway) and didn't care at all. He immediately improvised a beautiful piano tune that will become one of the main themes for the game.