Enric Alvarez, Creative Director for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow to give keynote talk at GDC Europe 2011

MADRID – August 5 th, 2011 - Enric Alvarez, founder and CEO of Spanish developer Mercury Steam, will be presenting a keynote lecture at the 2011 Game Developers Conference™ Europe (GDC Europe). GDC Europe will bring together famous personalities of the videogame industry to share their experience, knowledge and inspiration to provide the European developers with their vision regarding the future of the video game development.

In his keynote, “Postmortem: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – How to Succeed and Not Die Trying,” Enric Alvarez, founder of Mercury Steam, and director and co-author of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will share surprising and inspiring insights into how to create not one, but several AAA video game projects from a small studio in Spain. We will experience how a studio faced the possibility of updating one of the most beloved franchises by video game fans worldwide, Castlevania.

Alvarez will also discuss the dreaded relationships between publishers and developers, and how to successfully manage a project like Castlevania with a Japanese publisher from Europe. Alvarez will share what worked, and what didn’t work, in the development of the acclaimed update of the classic saga for consoles.

"Enric is an example of improvement and consistency, an example that with talent and persistence you can reach the place formerly occupied by your idols in the video game industry, and of course, that the creation of a AAA game has nothing to do with the location of the computer you are programming with," said Frank Sliwka, Vice President of European Business Development and Event Director GDC Europe.

GDC Europe takes place August 15-17, 2011; for more information on the GDC Europe keynotes or all other details about the conference, visit http://www.gdceurope.com.

View Enric’s video interview below.

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3AvvZeBHAE

HD version: www.bestvisionpr.es/descargas/GDC_Europe_2011_enric_alvarez.rar

Bio for Enric Alvarez

Enric is a writer by vocation, has a degree in Psychology, and is a video game designer. He began his professional career in video games creating levels for Rebel Act Studios for the video game Blade: The Edge of Darkness, published by Codemasters in 2001. Though the title was ahead of its time,  much as Doom or Quake were, it was not enough to become a classic, despite having the ingredients for it. A lesson learned.

His desire to create AAA titles grew, and in 2002 he founded Mercury Steam, where he created Scrapland with American McGee as a collaborator and mentor for the project. Original to the core, he and all his associates lost every penny in the game. Later he said that "was an amazing game hampered by lack of tension in the gameplay." One more lesson learned.

But still committed to creating AAA games, Enric reinvented himself in 2005. He convinced Codemasters to create Clive Barker's Jericho with just a fifteen second demo, and for the next two years he began to develop the game for PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The game was Alvarez’s first notable success. During the project, he learned how to work with and within an international industry, on a project where freedom of action was much lower, but the repercussions were greater. Another lesson learned.

In 2008, Konami knocked on his door. Jericho was original and successful enough for the creators of Castlevania to trust in this Spanish studio to give a twist to the saga. Hundreds of mistakes made and international experience had given Enric and his team at Mercury Steam the background needed to create the AAA that they had tried to do with Blade: The Edge of Darkness 12 years ago. Finally, all the lessons learned counted to achieve a true international success, a brand new Castlevania created and designed completely by Mercury Steam, expressed by the will of Konami.  A hard-earned success.

Published in 2010, Castlevania Lords of Shadow is one of Konami’s most successful and recognized titles up to today. Part of their success is shared with Hideo Kojima, who sponsored the title. After Castlevania was released, Alvarez’s name began to spread around the offices of the industry’s top publishers, and to the idols he had when he created levels for Duke Nukem and Quake for the simple pleasure of creating new worlds from his home at Palamós city (Girona – Spain).  Well deserved recognition.

Alvarez is currently creating new projects—AAA, of course—for Mercury Steam.

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