Meet the Makers: Stillalive Studios and Son of Nor!

Stillalive Studios is terraforming a new path in the gaming industry.
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Lately I’ve been loving on the indie games that are cropping up everywhere. There’s just something so appealing in something people spend a lot of effort, time, and genuine interest on that I can’t help but get the warm fuzzies for all of them. One such example is Son of Nor from Stillalive Studios, currently campaigning on Kickstarter. I sent some questions and they were awesome enough to give me some great answers, so let me give you the run down.

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Stillalive Studios, based in Innsbruck, Austria, was founded by lead programmer Julian Mautner in 2010 and has since acquired several teammates from all over the world, including Switzerland, Germany, Italy, the US, and Ecuador. Chris Polus is the game producer and can be seen in the Kickstarter video for Son of Nor while story and game designer Ricardo Valenzuela provided some great background to me on their project and team.

Their current game child is Son of Nor, an action adventure game for PC, Mac, and Linux, with a focus on physics in terraforming and telekinesis. The environment can become your means of escape or your weapon. Other features include multiplayer (up to 4 co-op with network or splitscreen options) as well as spell fusion.

According to Ricardo, Son of Nor came out of one of Julian’s dreams and evolved from there. Early development from their informative Dev Diary updates shows an extreme transformation in style and realism with the arrival of one of their 3-D artists, Ruben Buchholz. As for the story and characters, they intend for Son of Nor and the world of Noshrac to include “personal experiences and history [as well as a] mix of cultural beliefs and differences that [the] team itself has.”

“Everyone has different influences in the team… Julian loves Western RPGs… In my case (Ricardo) I love action adventure games and puzzle games…” It’s clear that the diverse interests on the team play to their advantages when creating new games. It’s also because of this diverse love of games that the team always seems to have a “future production” list as Ricardo calls it. Currently, Ricardo has explained that there is a mobile physics based game and a space game on the docket.

It’s clear that this is a team of people who truly love their work, if you can call it that. Even when the people at Stillalive Studios aren’t in the process of development they immerse themselves in gaming. “…During the Kickstarter campaign, we have been playing Neptune’s Pride… usually we have League of Legends matches at night before everyone logs off.” At the end of the day it truly is wonderful to hear that a game studio, though diverse and wide spread, can still act like a family and truly enjoy video games for what they are instead of looking at them as another product.

I had asked if they could provide some words of wisdom for any new game developers from they’ve learned themselves, and here’s Ricardo’s great response:

“Never give up, if you want something, go for it; if you can’t get it, look for other means. There’s always a solution, you just have to think hard where to find it. Also study, there’s a ton of information out there and for free, it will help you, take into account other’s people experience, if it’s good: reproduce it, if it’s bad: avoid it. Finally, there’s no exact science to things that are not exact science. Failing is normal, learn from it and use it to succeed.”

These guys are truly phenomenal and have a ton to give the gaming industry. I urge you to check out their Kickstarter and their blog to see how Son of Nor is progressing. They offer a wide range of incredible rewards for backing them as well if you need some initiative aside from the satisfaction of supporting a unique incoming game. I know I’m going to. You can also find them on IndieDB.

Visit Stillalive Studios main page, their Twitter, their Facebook, and their Kickstarter to check out the buzz!


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Designer, opera singer, gamer, and pug lover.