Director’s Insights: From Animation to Gaming

Stay Dead - Blog #10

Picture of Andrea Rubio

Andrea Rubio

Head of Marketing

Jordi Ayguasenosa and David Calderón, the directors of Animagic, share their experiences in evolving from an established animation studio to breaking new ground with an adventure video game.

Navigating New Horizons

Vancouver, BC. Canada

In the world of creative media, where various forms overlap and interact, the story of Animagic Interactive is one of subtle yet significant change. Jordi Ayguasenosa and David Calderón, the directors guiding this shift, have opened up about their journey from running an animation studio to entering the video game industry with their first game, Stay Dead.

The Genesis of a Gaming Venture

1. Why Games? What inspired the shift from animation to game development at Animagic Interactive?

The shift from animation to game development was sparked by a blend of passion and opportunity. David explains, “Our journey into games started quite organically. We initially offered our creative services to other companies and had the opportunity to work with Discord developing some of the games in their Activities platform. From concept art to game ready graphics and animations, the work we did for the activities team at Discord rekindled our passion for games and sparked the idea of trying to create our own game.”

Jordi adds a unique perspective on the medium’s shift, noting, “Video games offer a dynamic canvas where the audience isn’t just a viewer but an active participant. This interactive dimension challenges us to think differently about storytelling and character development, transforming passive viewers into active players crafting their own narratives.”

Stay Dead Poster- Zombie Survival Games PC

Embracing the Challenge

2. Can you describe the key challenges you faced while transitioning roles from animators to game developers?

The transition wasn’t without its challenges. The lack of technical expertise in game development initially posed a significant hurdle. “We had to start from scratch in many ways,” David recalls. “Learning game design, understanding coding, and integrating these with our established skills in animation were daunting but exciting challenges.”

Jordi reflects on the learning curve, particularly around adapting animation to the interactive and technical requirements of game development. “They all have to be built in a way that they work with the code. And that’s one of the things that a lot of designers or motion designers or animators find hard to understand. Every step into game development was a leap into the unknown. We had to adopt a mindset of continuous learning and adaptability. It’s about creating an entire world, not just a linear story, and that complexity changes how you think about creative production.”  

The Joy of Creation

3. How have the skills and experiences from the animation industry influenced the development of "Stay Dead"?

Jordi and David articulated how their background in animation provided a strong foundation for entering the gaming world. Jordi explained the advantage of their animation experience, saying, “All the skills that we have acquired during animation for the past nine years, almost ten years since we started Animagic, they’re very easily transferable to game development.” This seamless transition is evident in the visual appeal and character dynamics of “Stay Dead.”

David emphasizes the creative fulfillment that comes with game development. “It blends art, storytelling, and technology in a way that no other medium does. I see it as the pinnacle of Digital Art. Each day brings new problems to solve and new creative avenues to explore.”

Victories and Insights

4. What has been the most rewarding part of developing "Stay Dead" as your first gaming project?

Despite these challenges, the directors highlight the rewarding aspects of their journey. 

“Showcasing our game at GDC and receiving such enthusiastic feedback was a definite highlight for our team. Seeing our ideas come to life in an interactive form is incredibly rewarding,” Jordi shares. “It’s more than just creating a game; it’s about building an immersive world where players can truly connect and have an impact.”

“For me, the hard work and the processes we are establishing are victories in themselves. The true reward lies in the journey rather than the destination. Developing new systems, engaging with potential investors, and learning about game development daily all contribute to a sense of success, regardless of the final outcome.”

Advice for Aspiring Game Developers

5. What advice would you give to other animation studios considering a similar transition to game development?

For those in the animation industry considering a similar transition, David offers this advice: “Dive in with a willingness to learn and a readiness to adapt. Game development is a complex field, but it’s also rich with opportunities for creativity and innovation. If you give yourself time to improve everyday, then you can become an expert at whatever you want.”

Jordi encourages a proactive approach: “Start small. This helps build confidence and skills gradually. And always keep learning; the field evolves rapidly, and staying updated is crucial.”

Looking Ahead

6. What are your future plans for Animagic Interactive in the world of game development?

As we keep building “Stay Dead,” we’re leveling up our skills to become a strong game development studio. “We’re not just learning new skills; we’re evolving as a team,” Jordi points out. This transformation process it’s opening up amazing new ways for us to tell stories and connect with others. In part with this, we’re committed to continue offering of creative services to other game studios and publishers who might need a creative partner for their own projects.

We hope our adventure inspires anyone in the creative fields who’s thinking about diving into something new. Let our journey fire up your excitement to explore what’s possible when you step out of your comfort zone and try something different.

Watch our Conversation

Dive deeper with our Director's complete interview on YouTube

To delve deeper into our conversation with Jordi and David, visit our Video Blog on YouTube. If you’re also venturing into game development, we’d love to hear from you! Let’s connect and explore this exciting journey together.

Stay Tuned and remember to join our Discord server to meet the team and join our community!