Did you enjoy our review of the firstplatform horror game we ever had the fortune (or misfortune?) of experiencing first hand…? If you haven’t read our review yet, you are probably missing out on one of the coolest, hardest, and most surprising games of this year.
If you have yet to check out our review of DERE .EXE, you can do so here!
Before we start we’d like to thank the AppSir, Inc. Team for participating in our interview and for answering all of our geeky questions! Thanks Guys!
…and without further ado, our interview begins…
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us about DERE .EXE – Please Do Not Play This Game (Yes, that is the actual title). Could you please kick-start this interview by telling us a little about your studio and what drew you to Game Development?
My name is Darius Guerrero. AppSir, Inc. is a relatively new Philippine-based game development studio that started because of a love story between me and a girl named Frances Daphne Ayala. When I met her, I saw a ton of mobile games installed on her phone. When we ended up together, I really liked her and wanted to do something special for her by making a game starring her. Being a Psychology major and a training facilitator, I didn’t know how to make games, so I had to self-study. I showed her the game I made and she loved it.
Other people I talked to started their game development careers because they wanted to earn big money like Flappy Bird did, which is fine. I didn’t start because of the money though. I started because I was crazy for this girl. A few months down the line Daphne and I started AppSir, Inc. and now both of us are making games. We want to get married and turn this into our family business.
(Edamame Reviews) That is the sweetest developer story we have ever heard! Congratulations‼❤
First question. What was the core idea (or inspiration) that sparked the development of DERE .EXE?
As a standalone project, the idea for ‘DERE .EXE’ started when I read about ‘Polybius’ and a dozen other video game urban legends. It was also loosely inspired by obscure website http://anniesroad.com. The ‘Saw’ franchise also inspired it in terms of storytelling and the plot-twist ending.
What were the hardest problems you faced during the different development stages of DERE .EXE?
The initial development of DERE .EXE was pretty smooth and I didn’t encounter any problems until after we released the game.
There was one time when I updated DERE .EXE and didn’t realize that the buttons were disappearing on their own. I didn’t notice this for the first 3 hours too. It was the scariest bug ever and I didn’t notice until I saw a drop in our ratings. There was also a bug where one user reported that when he pressed the back button, his progress got deleted because the entire level would restart. I didn’t update it for a few days because I thought it was a thing that happened only to him. Then, when I saw other people reporting the same thing and giving the game one-star reviews, I knew I had to work on it quickly. When DERE .EXE became even more popular, I had to work harder and update the game even more often.
For our nerdy Developer Fans, what programming language and or software did you use when developing DERE .EXE? And was it a good decision?
I used Buildbox, and some people might be surprised about this because ‘DERE .EXE’ isn’t the kind of game usually made with the software. I’ve released games with Unity, Clickteam Fusion, Gamesalad, and Gamemaker before I really settled with Buildbox, and now I’m sticking with it.
Buildbox is the only engine I’d use for ‘DERE .EXE’ and its sequels. I mean, theoretically, I could’ve made DERE .EXE with other engines, but Buildbox and its features allowed me to make DERE .EXE, and even gave me some ideas that I wouldn’t have thought of while using other engines. The surprise moments in DERE .EXE, the way the game progressively changes into something else, the sudden UI changes, those things would have required a bunch of hair-pulling and gallons of coffee if I had attempted to do it with other engines.
What advice would you give to a new player trying DERE .EXE for the first time?
My advice would be to play the game with headphones. You’ll need to hear some audio instructions and it’s important to keep an ear out for any clues. If you downloaded this for the platforming action, get used to the jump mechanics. It’s old school and it’s a homage to old platformers like Castlevania, and no amount of whining will make me change the game to make it easier for you.
(Edamame Reviews) That last bit of advice is very important…😅
Where do you get your inspiration or ideas from?
While ‘DERE .EXE’ is a standalone game, it is heavily connected to our other games:‘Sorority Rites’ (Android) and ‘The Last Yandere’ (iOS/Android). The long-term interconnected storyline of these games is based on Illuminati conspiracy theories, human experimentation, and mind control programs like MKUltra. And of course, we’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from how Marvel Studios handles their cinematic universe too.
If you were to participate in a Developer Interview (like this) again, what would be the dream interview question to answer? If you have one, please tell us the question and the answer!
A dream question would be, “How hard was it turning your games into a live-action movie?” I’ve always wanted to make my own indie films and I did win some short film contests back in the day. I believe it helped me a ton in terms of video game storytelling though. Now I’m looking at possibly making an indie film based on the lore of these games.
A few words to DERE .EXE fans on Edamame Reviews. Any new games in the near future? What can we look forward to next?
Expect a ton of games with interconnected storylines and twist endings for the next few decades. If we ever have kids, we’ll try to get them to make games too, and it’ll all be in the same shared universe.
Lastly a few words on how you feel about Edamame Reviews and our service.
Edamame Reviews gave AppSir, Inc. and a bunch of indie game developers the opportunity to talk about their work. This is a great service to the industry and gives us underdogs an opportunity to showcase our games. Edamame Reviews also gives relatively unknown games the spotlight. Also, the ranking system and certification system is well-organized and awesome. I am really proud to have had my game reviewed and awarded a ‘Best of Gaming – 2018’ certificate by Edamame Reviews and this interview is icing on the cake!