Who are we and why we are doing Fran Bow

Year 2009, Isak and I got married, the 25th of July to be exact. In front of god inside the church we promise to love each other for ever. But this is about games, right? Well, is not only about that, is also about life and learning. Growing with every fail and trying to live up the dreams that consume our head everyday.

The relationship between us started because a huge dream, to create!
It never mattered how or what we were creating, it was always about just, creating things.

We started doing short films and music videos, because we both loved to do films, Isak was studying film making so he knew a lot more of cameras and story telling that I, so I also joined the school! It was 2 years, but Isak had already been there for one year so he was finishing and I only stayed for one period, not even a year. We really wanted to do things, and studies only made everything slower, and like always, with no money at all, but that helped to find the cleverness to solve problems with only the things we had to hand.
We did not do a lots of shortfilms either, because it was really time consuming, but everyone who creates know that it takes a lot of effort and time, love and a lot of patience!

(This is some of our work, they are many more!)

The respect to the artist is always in some sort of weird limbo, only those who are part of the elite can be respected and loved, but really?

We believe in the purity of creation, that it doesn’t matter how you do it, or with what, is the things you make feel and the soul of the whole, that can make you lose senses, standing in front of the creation until you get the Stendhal syndrome and break in tears and pass out because you can’t stand that much beauty!
Well… maybe is not necessary to that extreme , but is blood and love what we put into whatever we create.
So yes, we are dreamers and will die being it! But hopefully with some of the dreams come true!

Our trip into the creative world hasn’t been easy. Because we are dreamers and not salesmen.
In this world the artist are hardly taken seriously and that is because the world have pretty weird laws of being a human being with a proper job and all that, but the truth is that jobs or activities that seem normal for the “whole” are not appropriate to everyone!
Under the years we have been witnesses to very unfair things related to our creation and mostly because of not being a couple of good salesmen. But we learned of course a lot, from everything!
37424_1523894816730_6098197_nIn the year 2010 I started studying animation for real and that opened actually a big door for us both. Isak got to do more music because I was doing animations, so that experience in a way helped to grow all our artistic sides. Since I was very young I was making animation, but I only did some short stuff and they were pretty but with no technique.
In 2012, when I finished animation school, I though of studying more animation and get some kind of specialization in Games animation. But then Isak wanted also learn to code, so we could work together! We thought that almost all of our ideas, our stories were pretty cool for games.

We started to look around Game schools in Stockholm. But we were a bit tired actually of studying. So we got the Gamemaker (the free version), just to test some tutorial. Isak and GameMaker was love at first sight!
We worked a lot at that time, I was making animation work and Isak was working with something he really don’t like (Installing internet).
We saved some money and bought the Game Maker Studio. Isak and I made some prototypes for other games that we really want to finish someday. But then Fran Bow came up.

Why are we doing Fran Bow!?
The Story of Fran Bow is actually based on my life and in a way is the last chapter of a very long and dark period since I was 4 years old, now I’m 27 almost 28. I had suffered many traumas that left me many scars and bad habits. So I start to write stories when I was around 14 years old and the story of Fran Bow is the mix of everything, from the darkest side to the lightest situations. Like I said, is based on my experiences, my reality, in my stories I always made everything mixed with fantasy so it wouldn’t be so painful.

Isak loves the story of Fran Bow, he loves the weirdness inside of it, the psychological horror and the creepiness of it, and even he knows everything about my life, he understands also that is very important to finish this “chapter” of my life. I’m everyday thankful for the help and the strength Isak gives me, because this game is causing me pain but also a lot of laughing and learning!

So, that is one of the personal reasons to finish this game, but not the only one.

WE LOVE how the whole thing came together since the very first days of making the First chapter of Fran Bow. This game was all we wanted for a point and click and the horror I wanted to put into this is not the typical jump-scare technique, I wanted to go deeper into a world that nobody understands at the beginning and is disturbing.

We think often about the insensibility people have gained with all the media, all the extra violent images we see everyday… so is very hard to “scare” people in a clever way.
But the whole game is not about “scaring” people in the typical way of
– Oh my god I jump off the chair and die! –
is about a trip intro the unknown and that is always a bit scary, isn’t?

In the beginning we were a bit lost and scared. We did not knew things that today we can. About the coding part, Isak made the whole first chapter but then he erased everything and did the coding again, because with the time he learned a lot. I also did all the graphics again, because I was not satisfied with it. Fran Bow has been a school it self and when we realized that the game was alive in some way… we realized that this wasn’t going to be just a little game… this was going to be very big! A long trip! A story that gather many years…
There was a period when we left Fran Bow aside, not because we did not wanted to work on it anymore. To the opposite, we wanted to lean more to really make the Fran Bow game that Fran Bow deserves.
So we did a mini game called Pixxxel (something really silly and sexy) And we also made a Ludum Dare Jam, the game we did then was Run and Destroy.

banners_0000s_0000s_0000s_0000_whip     it!banners_0000s_0000s_0005s_0000_banana!
Run n Destroy

After that we were loaded again to keep working on Fran, and we worked pretty hard!

But then I lose my job because there were not more animations for me to do and Isak was working much more! We nearly did not see each other, because of him coming so late and waking up at 4 in the morning to catch the train.
After a while of that kind of routine, we though of making a crowd funding. We have to finish this game! We love it! We will do what ever it takes to finish it! But never giving up our ideas, because like I said, the story is my life and that NO money can change.

We looked also into kickstarter, but it was impossible because we don’t have US or UK bank account so we did Indiegogo!
And showing Fran Bow to the world is one of the most incredible things we ever done and happened to us, we have meet a lot of amazing people! But about that, we will tell you in the next post!
Thank you so much for reading this and thank you if you already supporting Fran Bow!

Lots of hugs
Natalia and Isak

13 thoughts on “Who are we and why we are doing Fran Bow

  1. It’s hard to express it with words… I admire your attitude towards creativity and the path you to learn its ways. You two are the best artists I had the pleasure to know.

  2. Pingback: Free Level | Fran Bow finally has something to smile about: $20K on Indiegogo

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  10. Wow guys,
    I JUST read your article on the game. Looks good. Alas I wish I had the money to contribute, but I do not. However I will be buying the game to show my support.

    I believe this and indie games like this are great for gamers like myself and videogames in general. It shows us that some people make games because they love what they’re doing not being in it for the money.

    BTW you should bring this to Sony PS Vita Sony has a pub fund and loves indie games on Vita. Check it out!

    Thanks for sharing your experience and Best of the luck!

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