The Mysterious Cities of Gold: the video games

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09.12.2004: "Children of the sun": abandoned game project on PSP

Note: this project has been canceled since it was published in 2004.

A video game project, adapted from the series, is under development. To learn a little more, I asked some questions to the team members. Thanks to Stéphane for his answers! All the information is available on their website. The first demos seem very faithful to the series, but the designers offer a little extra for this game since a solar sensor will be needed to play and the course of the game will depend on lighting conditions! They are currently under discussion for the right to use the characters in the series ... Hope this promising game will soon come out.

Main page of the website www.themachopichus.biz

Who is The Macho Picchus team? How was the project born?

The Macho Picchus is a group of students from the 2004 promotion in Angoulême (France). Each year, a group of students realize a project: a video game preproduction. This work includes the production of Game Design documents, Graphic, Sound and Ergonomic charts, Technical Game Design, and the development of a game model. This model can be considered as a mini-demo. It will have to demonstrate the interest of the game, its gameplay, and especially its USPs ("Unique Selling Points" = differentiating elements of the game).

A theme of achievement is imposed every year, that of 2004 being "Heatwave". The research of The Macho Picchus led them to the myth of the "Solar Hero", developed for example in the writings of Chrestien de Troyes, and a strong link was then established between this vision of the hero and the character of Esteban as he appears in the series. The influence of the sun on the game was also an interesting track to develop. The team had just found its subject and started the adventure.

Screenshots of the game

What is the spirit of the project?

Under the tutelage of a professional, the team decided to use this project to become familiar with the real constraints of the development of a game. In other words, it is a professional approach that has been privileged throughout of its conception, and everything was realized as if the game was finally to be presented to a publisher.

Then, Children of the Sun was designed for a specific audience, the casual gamers, and for a target machine, the Sony PSP, the only portable console powerful enough to recreate the experience of thegame wanted by The Maccho Picchus. In the same way, a particular care was brought to the treatment of the characters and the universe of game, in order to remain faithful to the spirit of the series.

What about the project ?

The demo of the game was presented in June 2004 in Angoulême, in front of a jury made up of teachers and professionals of videogames. Children of the Sun was warmly welcomed, and will perhaps be presented at exhibitions in the course of the year. At this time (09/12/04), The Maccho Picchus members finish their training, and are currently in training in French video game studios. They also promote their game, and together speak about the future of "Children of the Sun".


What about the rights?

The Sony PSP should be available in 2005. It was therefore necessary to think the game for this support. Always in the spirit of this "professional approach", the game was developed on PC, respecting the technical constraints of the PSP. For the moment, Children of the Sun is playable on PC, but the result is close to what will be the game on PSP. Some steps to present the game to Sony have already been studied.


It is obvious that the choice of a "professional approach" is a considerable asset in this area: The Macho Picchus benefit from a demo of quality that they will be able to show to the creators to illustrate their remarks, as well as documents of study on how to realize the game, and on the establishment of the means of production.

Just like the audience of the series, the team hopes to see its work succeed, and makes every effort to ensure that this game will finally be edited.

Interviewed on 09/12/04 by email for LesCitesdOr.com

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