So what?

You take a chance, throw your best shot at that giant leap and make the change.

So what?

What happens next? Do you feel better with your choice? Do you feel accomplished? Where is that insta-win state of mind you have been longing for so long? Worse of all – where is all the peace?

It is not there. There are no securities, no safety nets. When you swing from one trapeze to the other, you are on your own. Gravity and momentum. That is all.

“What if I fall?”, people ask me.

So what?

If you fall to the ground it will only mean you are alive and aware of the rules you set to yourself. The rules you respect in order to play the game, no matter wether you cheat or not – cheating is nothing more than validating and legitimizing the rules of play.

Stand up, shake the dust from your clothes, check your smile and move on. In the end, it’s never about the finish line, but about the way you snap your finger to start the next song in the queue.

That’s what!

Advertisements

The Wheel Turns and the Path Unfolds

Loved finding this title.

I only had “The Wheel Turns” on my mind, over and over again. Then, the Universe showed me the rest (with the help of Google).

So yes, another year has passed since this blog’s inception, this was the first year of new discoveries, the first year after saying YES to life, universe and the rest. The first year where I was open to the abundance of [insert better word for ALL].

So what happened last year? Continue reading “The Wheel Turns and the Path Unfolds”

Gone Home (or why I love being in the videogames industry)

Back in 2013, when I was working as a producer for a very famous free-to-play mobile publisher, my guts started telling me (more like pressuring me, as only guts know how to) it was time to move on to what I loved most: telling stories.

Besides starting to get involved in talks about a project I am currently working on, that was also the same year when Gone Home was launched.

I was immediately drawn to the promo image (the one above) that gave away traces of mystery/occult/retro/artsy art direction. Then, after a few searches, I came across a few reviews in popular web games press sites and got to see the first gameplay screenshots, and even a short gameplay video.

lwt2d

What the f*ck did I just watch? How come something with such an appealing (at least for me) promo art had turned out to be a first person game with graphics that seemed a bit dated (apologies for being completely honest) and did not show any of the atmosphere I was craving for?

Somehow the press and the public were praising it like maniacs. So I decided to give it a shot, someday, when time would allow. I ended up not playing the game at the time, but apparently all of my videogame-guru-friends did and that was a pain because no one cared if I had played it: they just shoved all the important info down my throat, like a BDSM slave being force-fed spoilers while on the rack.

I hate it when that happens. Nonetheless that did not impact my curiosity to play the game. I read what I could about it, while at the same time I was trying to avoid any more unwanted, spoiler-filled information. I really wanted to play the game.

Then I guess “life happened”. For some reason I kept postponing it. Days became months, and months… well let’s just say it was almost two years after launch that I actually played the game, but I will get to that shortly (I promise).

The year after the game’s launch, I went (as I do every year, with the exception of 2015 – with great sorrow) to the best games conference in the world and I knew I that I was going to attend a talk by Steve Gaynor from Fullbright. That thought grew in me (again) the desire to finally play the game.

I went to the talk without ever playing the game, but I seemed to know all about it by then. What it was about, plot twists and weird ways players found to finish the game (aka speedruns). I felt as passionate about it as any other fan that had played it, an already considered the game a brilliant piece of art.

I must say that I had never been in a games talk by anyone as passionate about his/her creation as Steve’s. I could have sworn that, at the end of the talk, his eyes had that special specular reflection, the one you can only have when you are about to shed a tear. I truly understood why Gone Home had the success it was having (and still has): it had been made with passionate love.

Now I was really mad about playing the game! I congratulated Steve (would have loved to have a few drinks with you but Mike took you away immediately after, acting like a freaking bodyguard in a ‘security compromised’ situation) and said to myself that when I got back home I would finally play the game.

Guess what: “Life Happened: The Return!”.

Then, after quitting my job to become a indie/freelancer/consultant/ games adventurer, spending months bootstrapping my career and flying to distant and exotic lands showcasing game design as a tool for empowering youth, I finally played the game, like today, Julian date 15144.

And I finished the game in the same day (granted, it is not that big). And I only wish I had done it sooner!

lwuq2

Gone Home pushes all the boundaries on what storytelling games should be all about. It presents you a solid narrative, with multiple hints throughout the game, that always show you a different side to the story, a possible subplot or even some genius interactivity moments where you are, at the very least, grow a big smile on your face (I even got a nice big scare at one point).

Overall, and in a no-spoilers mood, this is a game about unconditional love, freedom and breaking free from social shackles.

This is the sort of game that everyone should play at least once in their lifetime. This is a game for you to show your children, your parents and your loved ones.

This is a game that makes me feel good for doing what I do, for standing on the shoulders of giants.

Why You Should Move (Videogame) Development to Portugal (And Why You Should Do It Now!)

videogamedevelopment

In this day and age in the global village, nothing holds you from working anywhere in the world. Well, almost nothing. I guess that unless you are a penguin enthusiast, you should probably not open a design studio in Antarctica.

“Give me a place to stand and I shall move the world” said Archimedes. “Give me internet, nice weather, great food and awesome talent, and I will conquer top 10” says Tiago Loureiro, videogames professional with a 10+ years industry experience ( 20+ in IT and entrepreneur since the tender age of 17).

That is what we have in Portugal: nice weather all year long, with one of Europe’s longest time of exposure to the sun – sure, we have rain too, and snow in the highlands, but usually we do not have blizzards nor landslides; we have the best gastronomy in Europe (honest) with delicious mediterranean delicacies to die for, as well as the biggest fishing exclusive area in the world; and to top it all we have amazing talent that some of you may already have hired – we currently we have awesome top notch professionals all over the world.

But you don’t have to take my word for it: other companies are starting to notice that as well. Miniclip made the bet of its life when deciding to open a mobile development studio in Portugal.

There are also a few other big names that have started to look to Europe’s westernmost coast, land of explorers, inventors and of fearless men and women, who do not take things for granted and proactively search for inventive ways to solve everyday problems (we call it “desenrascanço”).

One of those big names even consulted me about moving to Portugal – truly hope they decide to come.

We have Universities and media schools with videogame courses and programmes that interface with some of Europe’s finest academia, cooperating to create highways of personal growth that greatly benefit both foreign and local students. However, due to the current lack of appealing offers in the area they are, literally, flying away from Portugal, to not-so-greener pastures.

And the time is now! Currently, when it comes down to our lovely industry, you have mostly two to three persons indie studios, less than a handful of small companies and one big publisher (starts with ‘M’, ends with ‘p’ and has “inicli” in the middle).

Want to outsmart competition? Be the King of your business? Move your Game from the Loft? Glu the competition to the floor? Make the move now!

Need help? I’m glad you asked…

Life (re)starts at 38

IMG_0935

Yes, it does. For me it’s more like restarting (quite poetic for someone teaching videogames programming at a media school called Restart), restarting on a new paradigm, new roles, new paths and new challenges. Oh, did I mention that today is my birthday?

Today is my last day at Miniclip. This level has been complete, as are all the achievements, and I also managed to get a fair position, mind you, in our leaderboards. Time has come for me to try something new, again, to venture in the world of questions, of learning and, ultimately, of adventure.

Looking back I love the path I’ve tread. I learned a lot, met wonderful persons, laughed a lot and got to see plenty of them growing with me. Some persons will still be in contact, some won’t, but that’s just fine, that’s how life brings you freshness every day: you meet others, make friends, love some, hate others, and, unfortunately, quite often, forget to be in touch more than you would probably want. But still, I guess that’s part of your personal growth, overcoming kindergarten-like emotional intelligence and start accepting who we are, what we want, and, ultimately, knowing how to let go of all the things we do not need in our lives.

I look at you (yes, I can see you) as someone who has taught me something. Even if our paths never crossed, I would like to take time to say Thank You! We never do it enough times in our lives, being thankful for life, the universe and everything.

So Thank You for being a part of my life. Thank you for making me laugh, cry or any other indiscriminated (is this a word?) emotion. You helped me grow, as a human being, a patchwork quilt made of stardust and earth.

Quoting an author you probably know very well:

“You step onto the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Here’s to being swept off!

Love & Light