Headquarters for Experimentalism

Interview Clash

ACE Team was formed in Santiago, Chile in the late 1990s by brothers Andrés, Carlos and Edmundo Bordeu, and was named after their first names’ initials. Their first project was a mod / total conversion of Doom II, titled Batman Doom. Ever since, Carlos and his brothers have been working on games development, having been responsible for visually striking and highly innovative titles such as the Zeno Clash and Rock of Ages series. Carlos continues to work in a leading role in the studio, as a designer, artist and producer.

Are there video games you wouldn’t consider art? If so: Aren’t there just two categories in the world – good art and bad art?

That’s a hard question. Is the movie Transformers art? Could it be compared in any way to Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain? People could debate about this topic forever. But games are an art form. That, I do agree with.

Does the aspect of interactivity & fun make games more or less artistic?

From a certain point of view more. From another less. By having control over the author’s vision and being able to “alter” it, there could be an argument about how the original vision is manipulated and loses its direction. But allowing people to express themselves through a medium is a very unique and powerful artistic achievement.

How important is weirdness for art in general and video games in particular?

It isn’t important at all. It can be desirable in certain cases, but weirder does not equal better. There has to be a purpose behind the weirdness. Call of Duty wouldn’t be better if it was weirder … (or maybe it would … maybe Escher-type maps would be ideal for multiplayer … hmmm).

What are some of your favourite strange/avant-garde games?

I loved Playdead’s Inside … though I don’t know if it qualifies as “avant-garde.”

Where are video games today, evolution-wise? What could/should the future of video games look like?

I think the medium sometimes tries too hard to produce innovation hardware-wise, when games are pretty homogeneous in their content/design. Case example: First person shooters – too many people think about how they will play in VR, but there is way more that can be done by innovating art & design in the genre. I believe games need to evolve more in ways in which they could have still been done on hardware from decades ago.

“Zeno Clash” could also be a slang expression for a “young, highly promiscuous woman,” right?

Or a young, two-headed, highly promiscuous woman.

Subversion can be a protagonist in its own right – what are some of the subversive strategies you would like to employ in your next project?

We could make a game about a tortoise. Tortoise Subversion. It would be a game about this turtle that makes sure everything is neatly revised and organized.

Why did you make an almost disappointingly non-weird entity like a beetle Thumper’s hero?

Is this about those ugly rabbits in Zeno Clash? Or the beetles? I can’t tell … The rabbits are pretty weird and ugly. It must be the beetles …

Image source: © Carlos Bordeu

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