Syder Arcade, sublime rétro shoot du studio Italien Studio Evil

Je fus un des premiers backeurs de la console Ouya en 2013, pensant qu’elle aurait pu révolutionner un peu nos usages du numérique et des jeux vidéo. Il y avait notamment un « store » unique avec d’innombrables merdes plus ou moins jouables, même si quelques fantastiques œuvres comme Tower Fall sont sortis tout d’abord sur cette pauvre machine mal née.

Et puis, il y avait des shoots, et notamment ce Syder Arcade HD que je ne connaissais pas du tout. Devant mon amour pour ce type de jeu, je me suis dit « pourquoi pas ? » et voila que je jouais ma première partie de Syder Arcade sur Ouya.

Mais… c’est pas mal du tout ! J’y reviens immédiatement. Mais, c’est très bien ! Mais, c’est incroyable pour cette petite console !! Superbe visuellement, très jouable malgré le terrible lag des manettes de la Ouya, et puis surtout… Nom de Dieu, mais c’est quoi ces musiques ? Elles sont magnifiques !

Voici d’ailleurs un trailer de l’époque qui présente des images du jeu sur Ouya :

Trailer de Syder Arcade sur console Ouya

Il était tellement bien fait pour une petite Ouya et son Tegra 3, avec ses décors magnifiques et détaillés en 3D, ses textures fines et ses petits effets Apple II ou C64 rigolos, que je le montrais à tous ceux et celles qui voulaient découvrir ce que la Ouya avait bien dans le ventre. C’était un peu sa killer app en quelques sortes.

Et puis, l’Ouya est morte, et avec elle pas mal de mes coups de cœur sur les jeux qu’elle abritait, et notamment ce Syder Arcade HD. Oh, non que je l’avais oublié, mais il faisait pour moi partie de l’ADN de la Ouya, et il était certainement maintenant mort et enterré avec elle, au panthéon des machines et jeux qui n’auront pas duré suffisamment longtemps pour véritablement marquer leur temps.

Quelle tristesse ! Ben oui, une mort, même d’une machine, c’est toujours triste 🙁

Et puis quelques années plus tard, sans que j’en compte particulièrement le nombre exact, je parcours nonchalamment les jeux de la boutique de Steam, et que vois-je, je vous le donne dans le mille : Syder Arcade sur PC Steam !! WAIT WHAT !?

La Madame vous attend ! Et c’est pas bien de faire attendre les dames, votre maman vous l’a dit !

J’ai téléchargé tout de suite le jeu après l’avoir acheté une petite dizaine d’euros, fébrilement, et je relançais enfin ce shoot magnifique sur une plateforme pérenne. Le jeu sur Steam a été embelli, augmenté d’un nouveau « vaisseau » jouable, profite de décors 3D boostés et modernisés en FullHD et bien évidemment toujours de l’excellentissime bande sonore. Mon Dieu, merci !!

Devant tant de bonheur et voulant dès lors participer à faire connaitre ce shoot magnifique, je me suis fendu d’un petit test vidéo dans lequel je parcours tous les stages et termine le jeu, et démontre même quelques stages bonus il faut le dire, assez énervés 😀

Afin d’agrémenter ma vidéo d’informations un peu plus utiles que simplement le nombre de boulettes à l’écran dans le stage X, j’ai pu contacter l’auteur de ces magnifiques musiques qui n’est d’autre que Christian Meneghini, dont j’ai fait l’interview suivante :

Interview de Christian « Xevian » Meneghini, coder, sound designer, co funder of Studio Evil in Italy :

Prez : Can you present yourself please for all the people interested into your games and your music ? What videogames do you like ? movies you like ? music you listen to ?

Christian : I am the CTO and one of the three founders of Studio Evil and I’m 43 (woah, I’m that old!). I have been a developer on Microsoft platforms (custom tools and utilities, management tools, etc) for years and systems analyst for a lifetime. I am a realtime rendering addicted and demoscene lover. I realized my dream to drop everything and start with a couple of friends the company we always wanted to have: Studio Evil!

Christian : Speaking of games, I’m a big fan of retrogaming, a word that, translated to my age, refers to games such as Arkanoid, Shinobi, Out Run, Rastan, Golden Axe, Bubble Bobble, Bombjack, Double Dragon and so on 😀 This list includes the arcade side only. If we want to talk about home gaming, well, along with some Atari rough game consoles, I literally love my first home PC, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum on which I started developing in BASIC and then in assembler. Then Commodore Amiga came out, and it was a Blast. Full power to graphics and music! I can’t forget the games I played on that system, but there are too many to pick a single one. I could name Turrican II, Xenon 2, R-Type, Gods, Syndicate, Cannon Fodder, Lemmings, Monkey Island, Speedball 2, etc.
Also the movies I like are too many to name only one of them!! Blade Runnner, the Star Wars saga, Ghostbusters, Karate Kid, Back to the Future, Terminator 2, Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, Matrix, Leòn. I’m also addicted to tv series and short movies! Here there are just three of them: Kung Fury, Stranger Things, Westworld.

Speaking of music, I love to listen to every kind of music, from classical music to heavy metal, but I really love everything that is synthesized and has retro synth feeling.

Prez : Can you present Studio Evil studio please ?

Christian : Studio Evil was founded in 2011 by me and my friends Marco and Luca in Bologna, Italy. We develop video games and virtual reality experiences, focusing on new technologies and mixing them with a bit of retro style. We currently have three game released on Steam. Syder Arcade is the first of them, a side scrolling, multi-directional shoot ’em up designed as an uncompromised old school experience. After winning Games of Health Europe 2012 we developed Relive, an applied game that aims to raise awareness of the importance of the cardiopulmonary resuscitation protocol. We’re currently working on Super Cane Magic ZERO, an action RPG developed in collaboration of the comic book artist Sio. This game is currently in early access on Steam. We aim to work on a new proprietary game at the end of this year.

Prez : How is it going for what seems to be an independant game studio such as Studio Evil in Italy ? in Europe ?

Christian : The video game industry in Italy is relatively new. There are around a hundred teams in Italy, most of them formed by very few developers (2/3). For this reason we know each other a lot, which can be very useful if you are looking for someone to share your work experiences with. Europe has a lot of very good game development teams, but a big obstacle is the language barrier. Even if all the developers can speak English the communities are separated and communicate in their own national language. This creates fragmentation, making useful information not accessible to people from other countries and causing collaboration opportunities to be less likely to happen.

Prez : What was the exact intent behind Syder Arcade ? what is the message, the ambition, the feeling, the envy behind it ? What do you want people to feel while playing it ?

Christian : We are all gamers before developers and we wanted to create something that could express our passion for retro titles. Syder Arcade is all about nostalgia and instant fun. There isn’t a deep message behind the game, we just wanted to create something that could be challenging and enjoyable for our players!
You obviously have to play at Arcade or Pure level. Hard as games of years ago were 😉

Prez : I think the only trouble with Syder Arcade is the low number of different stages in the main game, only 6. It’s a bit disappointing i should say, maybe because i like your game so much. Why is that ?

Christian : The idea behind the design of this game is that the player should increase the difficulty level while he/she improves. Six stages might be few, but it takes a lot even to the most skilled player to complete them in Pure mode! Apart from that, we always hope to find a way to release some additional content to the game, so maybe one day you’ll be able to play on new Syder Arcade stages.

Prez : I noticed some different influences in Syder Arcade, of course some Space Opera themes, boss inspiration maybe from games as R-Type or Gradius for the two last stages for example, maybe some inspiration from Turrican or Chris Huelsbeck for the music themes and style ? Do you agree ?

Christian : Yes, you cited many of our inspirations. Syder Arcade is a love letter to all the games we used to play when we were kids. Those titles played a big role in our choice of becoming game developers. I’m still following the work of Chris Huelsbeck today, I think he is one of the best electronic music composers.

Prez : I noticed that the Ouya version of Syder Arcade is slightly different from the common Android version, and offers for example these famous retro video modes that are so funny and that we can find in the PC version. Is there a reason why ?

Christian : When we released Syder Arcade HD, OUYA was more powerful than the average Android device of the time. This meant we could expect better performances and, most of all, that we could test the game on the exact hardware that was going to be used by the final player. This gave us more flexibility and allowed us to add some of the features we had to give up in the Android version. Sadly OUYA failed, and this version is no longer maintained.

Prez : I did look at the credits for Syder Arcade. You appear as :Coding / Shaders / Music : Christian Meneghini. And co-creator of Studio Evil ? Wow, all of that at the same time ? What is the magic you’re using to do so ?

Christian : Many game developers are passionate of various fields, and in a studio small like ours it is very important to have a flexible team. In my case coding has always been my occupation, while I dedicated to music and game development a lot of my free time before Studio Evil was created. I just turned my passion in a full time job. Sadly today I spend more time on company management (and my family too) and for this reason I have to sacrifice some other things, like music production. But I’ll be back, I promise 🙂

Prez : The music you composed for Syder Arcade is so great. Everything is so great to my eyes in this game. It’s a piece of Art. Do you think that videogames should become Art, or be seen at somehow point of view as an Art ?

Christian : We are always happy to hear that somebody appreciated one of our project. In video games there’s lots of art going, this is indisputable. Syder Arcade wasn’t designed to be a piece of art, but just a video game, and in my opinion this is enough 😉 Art is, eventually, in the eye of the beholder.

Prez : Is the mechanic man’s name in stage 3 is Mario ?

Christian : No, his name is Markus, aka Notch 😉

Prez : Thanks for your time ! we love your games, and we would like to insert coins to continue 😉

Vous pouvez acheter en démat la musique de Syder Arcade pour quelques euros, et l’écoute est gratuite sur BandCamp :

My all time favorite :… (This Is How A Man Dies)

Vous pouvez acheter le jeu Syder Arcade sur Steam notamment, et aider le studio Evil en achetant le jeu, puisque c’est je pense un must-have pour tous les fans de shoot them ups : ou sur le site dédié : sur lequel vous trouverez le teaser de la nouvelle version Syder Arcade Reloaded pour la console Nintendo Switch !

Finalement, si vous voulez faire un petit coucou, voici le profil de Christian Meneghini si vous souhaitez le féliciter (il appréciera, tout le monde a besoin d’amour  ) :

Le patrimoine et l’histoire du jeu vidéo vous intéresse ? Aidez nous à les préserver, adhérez à l’association MO5.COM ! ou venez discuter sur notre Discord !

Et longue vie aux boulettes !!

Philippe Dubois « Prez »

Posted in Tripote mon pad.

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