Shorts: Chibig Indie Dev Interview

On our Patreon page we publish interviews with independent developers for our customers. The last interview with Diego Freire from Chibig, in Valencia, Spain, under the sun!

I was very happy that Diego agreed to interview us: Chibig is Summer’s studio in Mara, who started as a Kickstarter and was a hit this year. It’s interesting to take a look behind the scenes, especially since they recently funded a new Kickstarter project for Deiland Pocket Planet Edition!

Because I know that many of our readers are also big fans of Summer in Mara, I couldn’t resist sharing part of the interview with you in this short film.

Chibig: Small and large enterprises combined

How did Chibig come to be and what’s behind the name Chibig?

Chibig started out as a one-man studio. Abraham started making games for mobile phones in his room, just to see what could happen. In 2016 he released Tiny Planet and Ankora for iOS and Android. These games are very important to the studio and to us because they created the Chibig universe.

Then he decided to leave his room and go out into the world. It took less than a year to form a team, and less than a year to develop Deiland for PS4. PS4 and PC followed in 2018. Deiland was also a great success for a relatively small team. So far more than 30,000 copies have been sold, but we have distributed more than 100,000.

The team grew and we formed a team of 8 people for the summer in Mara. I think you already know the story of Mara’s birth: We had an idea, we launched the Kickstarter, and it exploded from there. We now have 8 people in our team, but it’s not all the same people who did the summer in Mara.

The name Chibig is a (bad) pun between chibi in Japanese and great in English. We’re small, but we’re also big!

Input: Summer in Mara!

Summer in Mara comes with a twist for Switch. At LadiesGamers we have a lot of readers who absolutely love this game. What inspired you to do this?

Our main source of inspiration was, ironically, Dayland. We wanted to do something bigger and freer for the player. In Dyland you are on your planet and go to different places, but you can’t explore as freely as in Mara. Then we came up with the idea of creating an open ocean with islands. And we’ve been looking for various references.

We started with Studio Ghibli movies like Ponyo, but also Spirted Away. For new projects we are always inspired by the style and art of the films or animation series we like. When we have to think about mechanics, we draw inspiration from games like Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon.

Deiland pocket edition of the planet in the Chibig Universe

Chibig now has three Kickstarter projects, the latest of which is Deiland Pocket Planet Edition. The three games have similarities in design, history and other similarities.
Can you tell us a little more about that?

We have the idea of the Chibig universe, where every game we’ve made is connected to every other game. The trap is not to make a sequel or a prequel, but to tell stories that look more like spin-offs. For example, if you start our universe from Anchora, in the summer you will encounter an adult moon in Deiland and a young moon in Mara. And you can play them in any order.

We also want to make games that are instantly recognisable. We’d like to get someone to see the game and say Oh, it’s a Chibiga game!

Want to know more?

Would you like to know more about the challenges of creating the summer in Mara and the prototype? What are the studio’s plans when Deiland Pocket Planet Edition is finished?  And what is the balance between work and family life in the team, while working from home? Or what advice would Diego give to aspiring game developers?

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