[Interview] ABEL, a 'uncomfortable' game created by French students

While the BIC 2022 festival was in full swing, friends in a toxic jacket were noticeable at the exhibition hall. I wanted to ask where I bought the jacket, but I didn't have the courage. But I asked if they found me who was standing up, or if I would come first and play the game first.

It turned out that they were students from the French National Game Graduate School, and they were developers who visited Busan to display school projects. Their game 'ABEL', who played in the case, was a game with a very impressive view of the intermediate space and sound effect. Like their jacket.

Suddenly, I wondered how the education of France, which specializes in game development, is going on. Fortunately, I was able to hear a variety of things about the development of ABEL from the French National Game Graduate School, Curriculum, and School Project from Zoe Sempe, who accepted the interview.

■ In French school, BIC is a very famous event, I deliberately put Korean to come here Q. First, please introduce yourself. I heard that students from France were from.

= It is called Joe from CNAM ENJMIN. Five teams participated in the BIC Festival 2022 to exhibit 'ABEL', a project developed for three months.

Q. French National Game Graduate School! Can you give me some school introduction?

CNAM ENJMIN is a graduate school specialized in game development located in an Angolem near Bordeaux. Since it is the only public school in France in relation to game development, it is a process that only a few students can take a lot of tests like other universities in France.

Every student has a specialized field, and a small number of people, including 12 people, 12 programming, 6 arts, 6 operations, 6 sound designs, and ergonomics, are currently studying for game development.. Without competing, we are developing by helping each other.

Q. Listen to the city of Angulem. Bordeaux is a city that I heard a lot, but wine is so famous.

= Haha. Right. Angulem is a famous city for comics. Do you know cartoons like Asterix and Obelix? It is quite related to art and creativity, and there are many arts universities besides Game University.

Q. The more I hear, the more I am curious about the development process of 'ABEL'. How is game development done in CNAM ENJMIN?

= Two-year graduate school, we are conducting a project to develop games every year. This project was free to the topic without any conditions, except that it should be a '10-minute game'. Basically, you can make something you want to make any game.

At the start of the project, you can pitch the topics you want to make for each student. Among them, the subjects of the professor's choice are the students who are interested in the project. Every student suggests ideas and helps each other.

For the project that developed 'ABEL', two artists (sound designers and visuals) were initially added to the overall atmosphere. I want to make a game based on Limnity Space. I just thought about the atmosphere, and there was nothing to determine what the story would happen and what game play to play.

So I was interested in this topic, and I had a lot of conversations to find out what games they wanted to make. He said he wanted to make such a game, not a horror, but not a horror. The artist who worked with me also wanted to create an animation of the game through programming, and I had to devise all of these and to develop development in a relatively easy gameplay.

In terms of the story, I decided to solve the things I had personally experienced and what I had left in, and I was able to complete the project thanks to all the team members.

Q. Based on my personal experience, I envisioned the story, did the tragic things in the game actually happened?

= No. Not so. It would be true that I didn't talk about the actual case, but I wanted to convey the feelings I had experienced, the feelings of losing someone, and the things through the game. He also wanted to melt the fear of facing his heart and the process of forgiving himself into gameplay and story.

Q. It's a very deep topic. Is there any work that was inspired when designing a story or designing gameplay?

= I really like Inception. It's always one of the works that inspire me. On the gameplay side, I was inspired by Life Is Strange and Gone Home. In particular, it looks a lot like Gon Home and gameplay mechanism. It's just walking around, it's scary, but there's no horror element.

Sound designers and visual artists are inspired by Stanley Parables, Control, and Super Remedes.

Q. Although it was a gameplay for more than 10 minutes, it was a level to create psychological fear. Do you have any willingness to make a real horror game later?

= I talked a lot with sound and visual artists and tried to balance the space and limit space in the game. I wanted to design a level of tension and fall, and I had my own concerns to affect this tension.

One of the ultimate goals of ABEL was to convey uncomfortable feelings to those who played. Horror game is well. I can make it someday, but I don't know.

Rather, I really like to talk about the story. So I decided to become a narrative designer someday. I always believe that the power of the story is really strong to increase the immersion of the game.

Q. I think there was a chance to grow my dream as a narrative designer. Or is there a designer who uses a role model?

I was inspired by the French video game company Donnode Entertainment. When I first played 'Life Is Strange', I decided to go to the game industry right away.

'Life Is Strange' was an intense game for me to shed tears, and it was a decisive moment when I realized the potential of the content of a game that could deliver in-depth storytelling and gameplay mechanisms at the same time.

Q. Is there a chance to participate in the BIC Festival 2022 with this work?

= This event is very famous at our school! Everyone wants to participate here. Every year, one or more team projects participate in BIC, because we wanted to come to BIC.


Q. How about it actually? What is the memory of Korean gamers who played the game?

= There are so many memories that I can't say that I pick one.

I really think people are kind. When I greet me, he would say hello again. It's not just a sound, but the French people don't. I felt that everything was kind to listening to the story, playing the game, and telling them.

Some people even brought drinks, and in the evening, they toured Busan with Koreans first. Perhaps all the moments here will be memorable.

Q. Finally, please tell us what you want to feel after people play ABEL.

= As I said before, I hope you feel uncomfortable. Even if it is not necessarily uncomfortable, it was our goal to touch something in one place. If you played the game and felt something, we achieved our mission.

In addition, 'ABEL' can be played free of charge in Itch.io.