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Interview with Manuel F Cedeño, from Freedintale Studio

Back in December Event-D was released on Steam, had an appealing visual art style, and it looked promising. Truth is, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality, for both visuals and overall presentation. It’s not everyday we get the chance to enjoy such an amazing Sci-Fi adventure, with a solid storyline and an intriguingly engaging plot.

Here at Sinical Anime Network, we reviewed the game, but we just had to contact the developer for an interview, and get an extra peak behind Event-D, and obviously, what’s next for this intergalactic journey.

Please, we ask our readers to read our full Review of Event-D.

This is the interview conducted during the month of January, in 2019, and it’s a direct transcription of the conversation between myself representing Sinical Anime Network (SAN) and Manuel F Cedeño (Manual).

SAN: First of all, I would like to thank you for your time in the name of our community for your availability, and granting us the pleasure of this interview.

Manuel: Thank you! I am also very honored for your interest in the game :)

SAN: Congratulations on releasing the game on Steam, hopefully will be a success. We don't have enough sci-fi action adventures out there! :)

Manuel: Thanks! Yes, I almost can’t believe it is done!

SAN: We know you are a 3D designer, tell us a little bit about yourself, have you previously worked in any game, is this a dream of yours, or something that just happened?

Manuel: Yes, I am a professional 3d artist, and I have been working in this field for about 10 years now. I’m from Colombia, and the game industry here is still small, so I have been bouncing around in many 3d related jobs, but I’ve been fortunate to work in the biggest game studio in the country, and contributed to titles such as ARK, and Dark and Light as environment and creature artist respectively.

However, my adventure in storytelling and visual novels started as a hobby. Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve been imagining stories and worlds, but I never had the discipline to actually sit down and write a full story from beginning to end. That was until about a couple years ago when I really got interested in visual novels, and I realized it was the perfect medium to mix my desire to tell stories and my skills as a 3d artist.

With this spark of enthusiasm, from all the story ideas I had, I chose my favorite, and this eventually became Event-D! The original premise for the story had been in my mind for some years, but in 2018 I made the final decision to make it happen. So in January 2018, I began writing the story as a side project.

At this time I had a day job at virtual reality company making VR experiences, which was really cool, but at some point it became clear to me that if I wanted to finish my project, I would have to go full time into it. So I quit my job and went full indie, and after 12 months of crazy amounts of work, here we are today!

SAN: One thing that I surely need to ask as foremost, we'll get a sequel won't we? We have to!!! Are you currently working on Event-D sequel?

Manuel: Yes, we have to! I myself want to know what is going to happen!

The Event-D universe is much bigger than its characters, probably much bigger that the solar system itself, and there are definitely many things left to explore and explain.

I am not currently working on the sequel, though, it was so much hard work that I want to let it rest for a while. I am currently developing new ideas for another VN story. However, I will definitely eventually write a sequel, although I can’t assure it will be in the visual novel format, I guess it depends on how much interest and demand there is for it.

SAN: If yes, what can we expect? Will you be focusing on a direct timeline sequel or maybe something else?

Manuel: I have a rough idea of how the story and everything is going to unfold, but there are many things to figure out, maybe it will be a direct timeline, or maybe many years into the future, where a new world order has been established and the Event-D phenomenon has been explored more in depth…

That is the best part of writing, you, as the writer are actually discovering the story as you write, so who knows what’s going to happen!

SAN: Do you intend to keep the same art direction for 3D Models? They do look really beautiful!

Manuel: Thank you! Yes, I feel way more comfortable working in 3d than 2d, it’s what I know, so following projects will probably use the same medium and style. However, I would like to explore maybe even more stylization, and find ways to make the 3d models more expressive, which is something 2d has an advantage over 3d.

SAN: Did you design the spaceships from the ground up? They look fantastic!

Manuel: Yes, everything you see in the game was created from scratch!

SAN: What were your biggest inspirations for the game's storyline?

Manuel: I can’t say have a direct source of inspiration for this story, at least not consciously, everything developed kind of organically from the basic premise and my own thoughts about technology.

However, I can tell you that in general, my biggest influences come from Isaac Asimov and his “Foundation” series, and all his stories about robots; Also Arthur C. Clack with “Rama”, Joe Haldeman’s “The Forever War”, and many others.

I like how in these stories, it’s not just the characters going about their lives, but they are immersed in this huge mix of external forces, politics, and all kinds of macro events shaping the story.

Also movies like Event Horizon, Contact, and many others might have influenced in subconsciously.

SAN: In some moments while playing, I completely lost myself, and felt like a kid again watching an episode of Star Trek for the first time! I can see and feel your passion for it, but are you a fan of the Sci-fi thematic or was something that you felt like exploring?

Manuel: I’m a Sci-fi fan for sure! It’s great that you reference Star Trek, because that was definitely another source of inspiration. I really like how in Star Trek, especially in the old movies, they not only show a space adventure, but frequently they are exploring a deep and philosophical idea, that’s one of the most interesting aspects of science fiction, and I tried to achieve something similar, hopefully I got to do it.

SAN: There are some deep scientific thoughts and theories going around with Event-D, did you ever feel you had to be the most accurate as possible, or does the "Unknown" aspect of the Universe is far more interesting when writing the script?

Manuel: That’s a great question. I think writing Sci-fi nowadays can be quite scary and daunting. Real world science, physics and astronomy are going so fast and they are working on subjects so specific that you practically need to become a physicist if you want to write “hard science fiction”. Current science discoveries are often stranger than fiction and are really challenging to even understand.

So in this context, I tried to be accurate within reasonable limits, but at some point I decided to relax and allow myself to write a “soft Sci-fi” story.

A science person or hardcore Sci-fi fan will probably spot weak points in some technical arguments, but for the most part that won’t affect the main plot, so hopefully they will still be able to enjoy the story.

SAN: For some theories such as Teleportation and Particle Fusion, among others, did you do much of a research beforehand?

Manuel: Not a crazy amount, but just enough to make sure I wasn’t talking nonsense, although some of them were pulled out of my hat, like the “Spatial Disarray”, I don’t believe I have heard that one before, so I guess I can claim it! Haha.

SAN: We take you're a video-game fan, and we always ask; what are your favorite games?

Manuel: I love video games, and I feel like I have to name here some really cool modern games, but the truth is that I don’t have too much time to play anymore. When you work in the 3d art industry, there are so many new tools and techniques to learn, skills to master… and if on top of that you are trying to create your own content, there is just not enough time.

I try to stay up to date by watching streams of games rather than playing, though.

That said, back in the day, I really enjoyed playing strategy and world building games like the old SimCity games, those were really fun!

SAN: To wrap up, thank you very much for your time and availability. Please feel free to leave any message for our readers.

Manuel: It was truly thrilling to hear that you enjoyed this story so much, and I can only hope that more like-minded people give it a chance! I tried to create a story that I would enjoy reading, and I’m sure others will also find it entertaining and exciting.

Thank you!

Sinical Anime Network would like to thank Manuel F Cedeño for the time, availability, and for providing us with details and extra info on Event-D.

We recommend our readers to visit Freedintale Studio Official Website and learn more about the game, and its concept.

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Follow Freedintale Studio on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.

Event-D is available to purchase on Steam. Buy it now and enjoy a fantastic and unique 3D Sci-Fi Visual Novel.

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