Disclaimer: This interview was published in February 2019 in Portuguese, but now it’s also available in English.
I had the opportunity to play KEO at the Lisboa Games Week event, which took place at the end of last year (2018), and the title seemed quite promising, as these awards prove.
Marco Bettencourt, Project Manager at Redcatpig, gladly accepted to answer some questions and I hope you enjoy the final result.
Before we start, I want to congratulate Redcatpig Stuidos on the recent PlayStation® Talents Awards for Best Game of 2018 and Best Online Competition Game.
Well, let’s get down to business. 🙂
Redcatpig is a rather peculiar name. How did it come about?
It’s a bit of a… different story.
We always wanted something different, to mark the differentiation right away and to serve as an ice breaker in conversations.
Let’s just say that after several brainstormings, everything that came out was very “normal” for us. That’s when we decided to go out on a Friday night in order to drink a lot of “water”. When we were really happy with so much “water” we drank, the three of us each said one word in English… red, cat and pig was what came out.
To make it even more different, we did the salmon logo.
How many people is the studio made up by these days?
There are only 3 of us, me in the position of CEO, project manager, public relations and the like, a programmer and a 3D concept artist.
Is KEO your first game? How many people are involved in the project?
Yes KEO is our first game and we are all involved in it.
For those of you who don’t know it yet, can you talk a little bit about it?
KEO is a game of combat vehicles, customizable, in different arenas with different game modes. From survival to racing to co-op, the player will be able to further customize his vehicle through the acquisition of cosmetics. But nothing better than seeing the game’s initial trailer, with the sound very loud!
How did the idea for the game come about and what are its influences?
Initially the game didn’t have much to do with what you see now. For budget and team reasons, we were changing some points that compromised the timely production of the project, until what we see now emerged.
In terms of inspiration, I think it’s more than obvious that we pulled a little to the nostalgia of Twisted Metal and in terms of vibe, a little Madmax.
Congratulations on the Playstation Awards. What does this recognition mean for the studio?
It’s fantastic. I confess that the team was already extremely happy with the nomination for finalists, considering that it is our first project.
In the meantime at the awards ceremony, we were even happier with the Best Online Competition Game award, after all it’s the core of KEO.
But when they announced that KEO was the winner of the Best Game award, well, I went to the moon and came back.
This is all validation that we’re on the right track and that we have to keep working even harder now, with that great responsibility that we have with the acquisition of those awards.
Looking at all the projects present at the Playstation Awards, it seems to me that the Portuguese market is well on its way to the future. What’s your opinion?
Despite the awards, we’ve only been in this industry for 2 and a half years, but I can say it’s the best industry I’ve been involved in until today. The feeling of camaraderie is constant among the studios. This plus our extreme technical capacity, for me, are the perfect ingredients for this industry to have a promising future in Portugal.
Do you have any kind of support/partnerships for the project or is it all up to you?
Two years ago we had the investment of a business angel who believed in the project and mainly, believed in the Redcatpig Studio team.
Currently this investment is over, so we are running a round A investment trying to raise the necessary amount to finish KEO and work on other projects already. I can say that this round is going well and KEO is guaranteed to go to the street.
Do you have any predictions for a release date? And for what platforms will the game be available?
We intend to have the game ready in 10 to 12 months and when it comes to platforms, for now we have Playstation guaranteed obviously. When it comes to other platforms, we can’t say anything.
Is there any chance for people at home to try before the launch?
We have a tester program in which, after reviewing the application sent by email, we select the candidate taking into account his/her profile.
If anyone interested is reading, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and in the body of the email fill in his full name and date of birth.
Before we finish, tell me where the public can find you in terms of website and social networks? Thank you very much for agreeing to answer these questions and good luck for the future of KEO.
If you go to http://www.redcatpig.online you will find all our social presences where you can always be up to date with the development of the project.
On behalf of the team thank you very much for the opportunity and stay tuned to KEO! 😉