To Leave is now available on PlayStation 4 and we’ll soon be bringing you a review for the game, so we got in touch with indie team Freaky Creations from Ecuador to talk about the game’s development for Sony’s home console.
PS4Blog: Good morning. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Could you please get us going by telling our readers a bit about yourself and your work?
Hi, good morning, and thank you for contacting us for the interview! My name is Jorge Blacio, and I am the Game Producer and Co-Founder of Freaky Creations. We recently released To Leave, our first game.
PS4B: How would you describe To Leave to someone who’s never heard about it?
To Leave is a game that tells the story of Harm, a manic-depressive young man in possession of a magical, flying door, who seeks to use an ancient, derelict technology to harvest the souls of his homeworld to send everyone, himself included, to heaven. The game is pretty unique, and uses various camera points of view to convey a better experience for the player – the whole experience is abstract but with a strong message.
PS4B: What made you decide to work on a project that deals with mental health in video game form? How will players experience what the main character is going through? What did the team set out to achieve by creating this experience?
In Freaky Creations, we always wanted to create unique experiences, experiences that deal with the human condition. To Leave comes from both the team’s personal experiences and from detailed research on the subject. With To Leave we wanted to tell Harm’s story and condition in two main ways. The first through his Journal which he keeps on all of his activities, and you can experience his thoughts, the thoughts of a maniac-depressive person, right there.
The second one is by way of the dynamic storytelling of the game, since you can see Harm’s personality and condition in the way he does things, the way he interacts with the world and his surroundings. We set out to try and convey a powerful story that would resonate with people by using a video game that is not only entertaining but also leaves you with something to think about at the end.
PS4B: How long did it take the team to bring the game from initial concept to the game we can now play on Sony’s home console? Where there any particular challenges or hurdles you had to overcome during its development?
It took us almost six years – it has been a long ride! To Leave’s development started way back in September 2012. And yeah, there where many challenges we had to overcome!
This is our first commercial game, after all, so we started “from scratch” on game development knowledge, with a few prototypes we did throughout the years. You never end up learning everything there is to learn about game development, but we believe that To Leave is a good first step in this overall learning process.
PS4B: With the game now out, what is the team currently working on? Are you going to focus on creating some new content for To Leave or have you now moved onto working on a new project?
We have a couple of cool ideas flying around, but we are currently focused on bringing To Leave to more platforms, and on patching whatever needs to be patched now that the game is in player hands!
PS4B: And that’s all the time we have for today. Once again, thank you for doing this interview. Is there something else you’d like to add before we go?
Thank you for having me. I would like to send a message to your readers: if you have the chance of playing our game, please do tell us what you think, and what is your interpretation of it. We are eager to hear you out!