One day after spending some years playing music at various bars on the east coast of Puerto Rico and holding all kinds of odd different jobs, I decided at the age of thirty to enrollin college. I grew up playing video games, mainly RPGs,most of my childhood and adolescent life.Since my brother who is four years older than me and his friends were also into video games, I was privileged to experience at a very young age some of the most memorable adventures ever created.From the early days of figuring out how to beat Final Fantasy I all the way to games like Xenogears, we play, think and talk about games. We could not get enough RPGs to fill our sense of excitement every time we played any of these games.Squaresoft was our religion.
The feeling and memories these games leave upon one, even after years of stepping away from them, is hard to describe. But after years of playing there was a time where I leftvideo games behind me and continued with my life. It was not until something totally unexpected in my life came about. I started dating a woman who had a 12-year-old son. As my relationship grew and developed with my girlfriend it was clear that I needed to do the same with my stepson. And what better way to connect with an adolescent son than playing video games together!?
First, we started playing mainly the modern games he was used to playing.As he became more curious as to what types of games I really liked, I was able to start introducing to him some of the classics. But with RPG’s there is usually a problem, most of the games are one player. While there is nothing wrong with playing a one-player game with someone else, to enjoy some time together, there is nothing more exciting than being able to play at the same time. Now, suddenly the strategies and actions you decide to take are not only reliant on the enemies but the very own moves and actions that the other player is executing. It leaves opportunity for communicating and coordinating strategies otherwise impossible to execute on your own. It creates a different type of bonding experience. Of course, one of the most memorable and classic two players RPG’s to ever exist Secret of Mana, was a no brainer to choose as a game to play with my stepson.Secret of Mana was a game that I already had fond memories of playing together with my brother. I can’t count the many times we would play and wander around the world of mana looking for where we needed to go.But the fun of the experience, what made it fun and enjoyable, was being able to share this world with someone else.Who would know then that many years later, I would find myself sharing the joy of playing this wonderful game and introducing it to a new generation. Save the Kuin is heavily influenced in this way. While it is still focused on being able to be enjoy by one player, one of its core elements came from the decision to provide a smoother gameplay when there are two players. One of the most noticeable things while playing again Secret of Mana was that specially as the game progresses and you obtain more weapons and magic, there is a lot of pausing to get into the menus to select items, change weapons, cast magic, etc. That’s why for Save The Kuin we decided to make a system where you could go through your inventory without the need to get into menus and stop the game. Since players constantly getting into menus and pausing the game disrupt the experience of the other player. After the passing of hurricane María through Puerto Rico, and the devastation that causedprolonged power outage all over the island,I found myself reflecting about my life. What was going to be my next step in my life? Withoutelectrical power I found myself unable to play the usual games with my stepson, so we asked his uncle to lend usa Nintendo DS and some of his games. One of those games was Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced 2.As we settled in a corner of a room in the dark and I watched him play through the game, a surge of beautiful emotions poured over me. I was in awe at what I was looking at. I found the graphics so charming, the music so relaxing, melodic, calling me for fun adventures. The complex and at the same time simple way of the implementation of the addicting mechanics. All those fuzzy and warm feelings from when I used to play games earlier in my life came rushing through me. The next day I researchedcolleges in my area that could had a program with something related with video games. I found one who had specifically an Art and Game Design Bachelor's Degree program and later enrolled in it. While at college I found out about the great community of NES developers that were making games for the original Nintendo console. It was exactly what I was looking for. As the NesDev 2019 competition wasannounced, meand Olddbdecided to team up and participate in it. That’s how the original inception of Save The Kuin came to be. The challenges of making a game in general, even more so a game for an old console,werenot easy. Especially for me, as I don’t consider myself the most talented person.But I had a lot ofpassion and decided I would not quit. This was one project I was not going to give up onmidway and was determinedto go all the way through. The NesDev competitiondate arrived, and we submitted our game. It was a hard but fun time in my life. Going to college full-time and working at night part-time, I had to squeeze as much work into the game as I could between any free time,like during lunch breaks and in between slow time at work.But after the competition we decided to make Save The Kuin into a full fledge game and expand it greatly from its original conception. Over three years later, here we are, less than a week before the launch of the Kickstarter campaign. This 1st of March is going to be one filled with emotions for me. No matter what happens that day, whether the game launch is successful or not, I already feel accomplished. I made a commitment to myself to give my all, to finish and make as great a game as possiblewithin my abilities, a game that people could enjoy and feel proud aboutowning it. Through the whole development I always had in my mind the possible people who would take time of their busy day to play the game.For those of you out there that want to give Save The Kuin a chance and relive some of those feelings from the past and experience some new memories, I can only say from the bottom of my heart Thank You!