1/ A classic of ours: your personnal pop culture absolute reference ? And the one specific to zombie universes (if different)?
I am a sucker for the Lord of the Rings, it shaped my taste for culture in so many ways that I can’t even list them! I’m not sure there are any zombies in LotR, but there are undead creatures.
Of all the zombie franchises, I’d say I love the movie Shawn of the Dead and also the Boardgame Zombicide.
2/ What kind of games do you like? Did you play Zombicide before developing it?
I enjoy tabletop wargames such as A Song of Ice and Fire TMG and Middle Earth SBG, but I also play a lot of boardgames. I played the first season of Zombicide long before I developed any of the games. It was a great experience and I never imagined I would be able to work on such an amazing project!
3/ A bit more about yourself, in a few words; and how you ended working for CMON.
I’ve played games all my life, and have dreamt of working with games since I was younger. As I grew and reality kicked in, I convinced myself that it was a childish dream and I should try to find a regular paying job. I graduated in Advertising and Marketing and started working with Business Intelligence for Ubisoft, it was a lucky coincidence but I was thrilled. Eventually I met CMON’s game Developer Fabio Tola who invited me to playtest A Song of Ice and Fire TMG. After a couple of months they came to me with a proposal to join the Dev team.
4/ What does a developer for CMON? Did you work on any other game(s) for them?
A developer is in charge of receiving a game from the designers and making sure it is consistent. This can vary in degree from game to game. We try to find any loops that can occur, guaranteeing everything is balanced as well as trying to find any colliding rules.
Currently, I’ve helped, in different degrees, on the following projects: Zombicide Invader, Zombicide 2.0, ASOIAF TMG, God of War the Card Game, Cthulhu Death may Die, Bloodborne: The Board Game.
5/ How would you describe your typical work day? Your typical week?
It really depends on the part of the development cycle you are at. In the beginning there is a lot of bookkeeping to do and reading files and rules. When the main playtesting cycle begins, I usually playtest during the day with the development team and later I invite playtesters to come in and play with the changes I’ve implemented previously during the day.
6/ I’d like to dig a bit more about this subject, the core of your work. Let’s say we focus about Invader, because it’s already out. How long did the development cycle last ? The playtesting cycle ?
Zombicide Invader was great to develop and playtest because the designers are amazing and handed over a very close to final version. So development and playtest were done in around 2 months. I am not sure how long it took the Designers to create it from scratch, though.
7/ Was there iteration of them cycles ? (If yes, how many ?)
These processes are almost concurrent. You cannot develop without playtesting.
8/ Could it be possible to have an insight of what was discussed in a dev cycle and then playtested ?
We discuss issues that can range from core gameplay changes (such as concentrated fire), to where to place objective tokens on each scenario. Everything gets playtested though. If you want a small tangible example: we swapped a couple of the missions’ order so they would scale in difficulty.
9/ Do you remember something that existed and that playtested proved off so it was removed ?
There are so many elements that are removed and even placed back! It’s hard to remember one specific item.
10/ What was an Invader thing that was consistent from the start ?
I would say the concentrated fire rule worked great from the start!
11/ What do you remember was the more difficult to balance for Invader ?
I remember that the placing of the spawn points was pretty difficult because of the mold rule that ends the game if two spawn points are connected by active mold.
12/ Is there a SOIF/Zombicide Fantasy crossover somewhere in CMON’s making ?
Not to my knowledge.
13/ Anything yourself came up with in a Zombicide and that you are secretly very proud of?
Unfortunately, no. The designers are always one step ahead!
14/ Would you have any teaser for us about Zombicide 2.0? Or something else coming in the Zombicide(s)?
I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun!
15/ I am sure you have an excellent gaming Zombicide anecdote that happened during one or the other dev session (that you’d share with us).
This is your hardest question yet! We end up playing so many times that they all blend together eventually. I do remember having a blast whenever the stars aligned and I could manage to slaughter the Xenos with the Sentry Gun!
16/ Would you pick SciFi as your favourite Zombicide setting ?
It’s very hard to pick a favourite, but if I had to choose, yeah!
17/ What kind of survivor would you be?
Definitely a survivor with the Shove ability! I enjoyed playing Jared in Zombicide Invader and the miniature looks super cool! I would just paint a Brazilian flag on it instead.
Yes, I’m from Brazil. To be more specific, São Paulo. I work from here.
19/ This would be a matter of intense debate, but Shove is really great indeed, although my personal favourite is Slippery.
Oh yes, every ability has a time and place! It really comes to personal choice. In the end, teamwork is the real key to victory!
I guess that it was the last one, I let you have a last word, if you wish.
I’d like to thank you for your time and attention!