The Another World creator gets the rapid-fire question treatment

FAQ: Eric Chahi

Who are you and what do you do?
I am a game designer. What I do depends on the project. I can program, create graphics or do the design.

What are you working on right now?
I’m working on a new game concept. It is really at the beginning so I can’t say anything about it right now.

What was the first video game or product that you ever worked on in the industry?

It was a game named Frog, and it was published in 1983 on the ORIC 1 home computer.

What was the first video game you ever played, and did you enjoy it?
Space Wars. It was the one from Cinematronics released in 1977 in the arcade. That was a great experience; being able to manipulate a ship on a screen was fascinating.

What was the most recent video game you have played, and did you enjoy it?
It was Thomas Was Alone, an indie game by Mike Bithell. It was shown at the GameCity conference and it is very promising and beautiful, with a clever game mechanism.

What is your favourite game ever, and for what reason?
I don’t know. I just can’t tell.

How many hours a week do you spend playing video games?
I would say one-to-two hours, but it depends on the games and my free time too. Usually during the crunch period of a game’s development I don’t play so much of them, for example.

What area of the industry needs more ‘investment’?

Perhaps less investment in huge projects?

What do you enjoy about the video games industry today?
It’s the diversity. The diversity of projects, of team size, and of platforms. There is a place for everyone.

Of all the games you have worked on, which has been your favourite to work on?

I will tell about three games, because it depends from which perspective that you want an answer.
I’d say Future Wars on the Amiga, because it was the only development I did without any stress. I was in charge only of the graphics and animations. All the programming and design was done by Paul Cuisset. It was a nice and peaceful collaboration.

Then there was Another World because that was a major step in my creation process regarding the way I design games based on the feeling.

Finally, From Dust, because of the systemic approach which has also been an important turning point for me.

What game that you were not involved with would you most liked to have worked on yourself?

I don’t know. That question is too tricky.

What other video games developer do you most admire?

I admire Will Wright for his ability to master such complex systems and create fun games with them.

What hobbies, collections or interests do you have that are completely unrelated to video games?
I have many. Paintings, volcanoes, photography, speleology, wildlife, trekking, music and theatre.

What is your favourite book, movie, TV show and album of all time?
Time is always moving, and tastes evolve over time. All time means too much and nothing. Today I would say the novel The Separation, from Christopher Priest.­

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