Unboxing Daniel Faiad - Interview

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Cereal Games - We take our own questions cereasly...

Daniel Faiad is Cereal Games' Art Director. In these lines below is something about him, the brazillian that ran away from Bolsonaro and now follows his dream of living in Europe, from the middle of the Atlantic. Games are art, says Daniel, and have long abandoned the "save the princess" paradigm. In them, there exists worldwide discourse and emotions...And they are here to offer meaning to the young and old alike.


Daniel, you’ve arrived at Cereal Games in November 2019, taking charge over the art direction of Pecaminosa - A Pixel Noir Game. Do you remember your evaluation when you tried the game for the first time? Was it like “This looks promising” or more like “I shouldn’t have left Brazil”?

I felt that not only I would be escaping Bolsonaro’s government but I would also start working on a very promising game! I liked the noir climate, the intelligent dialogues and the art being developed right off the bat.

 

Pecaminosa


What in the project did convince you to pack your bags with your wife and son and come to S. Miguel (a paradise as we know, but a region with clear financial constraints)?

Living in Europe has always been a dream of mine and my wife’s, so this opportunity was once in a lifetime: work at Cereal Games and move here, on top of that.
 

Foto_Daniel

 

What area or character did you develop that left you particularly satisfied? One of those that you like to revisit when you play or see someone play...

I particularly like the font of In Peccatum's front, based on a paint of the venetian Renaissance. I was satisfied with the lighting and shadow work on that piece.

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You've been playing and making game art for years, our of pure enjoyment. Did the fact you've been hired for Cereal Games, and having to live up to a professional commitment, influence in any way how you currently develop your work, or how you give life to your art?

I believe it did have a positive impact, allowing me to develop focus and discipline, beyond the knowledge I had not obtained while working individually.

 

"We've moved away from the eternal "save the princess" towards narratives that can communicate authentic emotions, that resonate with angsts and ways of thinking of younger generations"

 

You are 40 years old (God help you) and you've been gaming since the 80's. In what positive aspects do you think games have evolved over the last decades?

I like how in these days we can offer something for the adult audience too. Discourse in games today is more advanced. Especially after game-changers like Shadow of the Colossus and Undertale, we've moved away from the eternal "save the princess" towards narratives that can communicate authentic emotions, that resonate with angsts and ways of thinking of younger generations. To me, it is the equivalent of the expansion of horizons that occurred during the mid-'60s... after Dylan, it was no longer possible to continue with the "my baby, I love you". A more profound discourse was necessary.

 

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What have games offered you, and in a deeper sense, how have they changed you?

I think I'd respond the same way I'd respond to any kind of art: it's a way to travel, to escape from the ordinary, and participate in all those narratives and adventures. I believe fantasy is a fundamental part of games, otherwise, we wouldn't need stories and elaborate art. This is why discourse in this media is in constant evolution as well, as is cinema, literature, theatre, dance, etc.

 

"Coming from painting, I see Pixel Art as a Baroque painting: looking at it close, they seem like disconnected pixels; but at an appropriate distance, everything is configured and gains meaning"


Pixel Art seems to be the aesthetic that you better navigate in. Is that so? What are your major references regarding that?

To games, Pixel Art is very practical, and I really like how it communicates a lot with a few elements. Coming from painting, I see Pixel Art as a Baroque painting: looking at it close, they seem like disconnected pixels; but at an appropriate distance, everything is configured and gains meaning. As for references, I love the way the old artists of the "Point & Click" genre resolved their scenes, animations, etc. I think that, to this day, they are my biggest influence, although they are not superstars and they aren't big names. To name one, I recommend Mark Ferrari's work, he's a monster in the scene.

 

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You have a bachelor's in Art History. Imagine yourself – get ready: this is a stupid and childish question – with magic, divine powers. Which artist would you bring back to life and why?

That is a tough question demanding a long answer. There are so many artists I admire and I've considered many favourites... But I think I'd love to grab a coffee (and ask for some tips) with  Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot: beyond being an exceptional artist, he was an incredible human being.
 

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