Talking ‘1000xRESIST’ with Creative Director Remy Siu – TouchArcade

It’s not very often that a game comes along and knocks the ol’ socks off Shaun. I’ve been at this business of reviewing games for more than a quarter of a century now, after all. But 1000xRESIST did just that when I looked at its Switch version a couple of weeks back, and I was so taken with it that I immediately reached out to see if I could interview someone from the game’s developer, sunset visitor 斜陽過客. And lucky me, I got a reply back pretty quickly, and from the studio’s creative director no less. I’ve opted to keep this interview spoiler-free in the main so that whether you’ve played the game or not, you can enjoy the conversation.

TouchArcade (TA): Can you tell us who you are, your role on the game, and what your favorite pizza toppings are?

Remy Siu (RS): My name is Remy Siu and I’m the Creative Director at sunset visitor 斜陽過客. My role on 1000xRESIST was guiding the vision, working as a writer with the writers, leading voice-over direction, working directly in Unity building the game (lighting, level flow, audio implementation, etc.), finding money, doing tax credits, and anything else that needed to get done. We’re a pretty small team, so we all wear a bunch of hats!

My favourite pizza toppings are anchovies – if there is anchovy pizza, you bet I’m going to be ordering it.

TA: How did 1000xRESIST get started?

RS: I started on the prototype in March/April 2020, very soon after Canada entered the COVID-19 lockdowns. I was working on a game about retail theft previously, a kind of millennial Breaking Bad set during the dawn of the HDTV era, but the surreal nature of the lockdown pushed me to put that aside and start something new. That new thing was 1000xRESIST.

The prototype of 1000xRESIST covered the first communion in Chapter 1. It was more dreamlike than the final version, partly because I was working on it mostly between the hours of 1am-6am. Had a lot of trouble sleeping during the pandemic!

After finishing the prototype, we were very lucky to find a publisher in Fellow Traveller and funding with the Canada Media Fund. We started the company right into production, throwing away the prototype and beginning everything from scratch on June 1st, 2021.

TA: How would you describe 1000xRESIST, in ten words or less?

RS: A narrative adventure where you experience the cruelty of time.

TA: What were some of the inspirations for the story and setting of 1000xRESIST?

RS: A lot of the story and setting was influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. This feeling of being alienated from the recent past was something that I wanted to explore. A deep nostalgia for…last year. There was also a lot of death in our lives during development – we are at the age where our grandparents started passing. A major mentor in our community passed. Our dear pets. This feeling that time and history was marching forward relentlessly.

TA: I know one shouldn’t choose their favorite child, but which of the sisters is your favorite and, without spoiling, why?

RS: Knower is my favourite sister to write.

I was speaking to a friend of mine about this, and we’ve been “outcast artists” in more traditional arts organizations before, and it’s this thing you have to learn, to play the system to try and achieve something. All the while, being very worried about being absorbed by that system, and perpetuating things you don’t like about it. I think I ultimately failed at this, because I ejected myself and really wasn’t able to make much of a difference in the end.

This tension of being inside an organization, trying your best to survive in it, but then maybe being eaten by it – that was something I really loved about writing Knower. It’s not clear what her intentions are, or her inner desires.

TA: Is the Moodle real?

RS: Hahaha, I don’t think so! Not YET, anyways. Pinki Li, one of the writers, is the one who came up with the recipe and name. Would love to see someone try to make Moodle, as described. Maybe we should try it and release an actual recipe!

TA: Light spoiler, but what’s the deal with the pigeon?

RS: Unfortunately, I must leave the majesty of the pigeon a mystery.

TA: Outside of the character we directly follow, who was the most challenging one to write and why?

RS: Bang Bang Fire (BBF) was always very challenging to write. We cast the actors before beginning the bulk of the writing, so it helped to have Felicia’s voice in our heads. However, BBF-isms are always difficult to come up with. This kind of awkwardness and willingness to say these strange things, as if she’s communicating 100% intelligibly in her mind. These BBF-isms are somewhat based on how a friend of ours talks. Just these strange and hilarious ways they would give us information. When in doubt, we would always try and recount examples that cracked us up to understand how BBF might say something.

TA: What are some of your favorite games? Have you been playing anything recently?

RS: Some of my favourite games: Final Fantasy 7 OG, Final Fantasy X, Grim Fandango, EverQuest, Star Wars: Galaxies (pre-NRE), Portal 2, Kentucky Route Zero, Nier: Automata, Outer Wilds.

More recent favourites: Perfect Tides, Videoverse, The Case of the Golden Idol, Norco, Pentiment, Unreal Life.

What am I playing recently? I play a lot of From Software games with co-op mods, with my friends. I’m still trying to get through FF7: Rebirth. And like everyone else, I have many many indie games that I want to get to, especially now that I have more time (?).

TA: Bloody Sister, Blue Communion, Inside Sunrise, or Dark ‘n’ Sinful? What’s in those, anyway?

RS: This is a dangerous question, as all these “drinks” are meant to be injected directly into you intravenously, hahaha. Don’t want to provide any recipes. Maybe I can say that Bartender is a real maverick and is willing to try anything.

However, for fun, if we were to compare them to real world cocktails:

Bloody Sister = Bloody Mary
Blue Communion = Sapphire Martini
Inside Sunrise = Tequila Sunrise
Dark ‘n’ Sinful = Dark and Stormy

TA: This is your free space to say anything you want to our readers. The floor’s all yours!

RS: I want to thank everyone who has been supporting the game so far, telling others about it, making podcasts, writing articles, writing posts, long forum analyses, videos, fan art, etc! Since the game is somewhat of a strange object, the word of mouth has been so important. We’re so grateful to all of them! Hekki grace!

A big thank you to Remy for his time and answers, and to the Bens of Fellow Traveller for helping set up this interview. 1000xRESIST is currently available on Steam and Nintendo Switch, and I cannot recommend it enough to anyone who enjoys a good story-based game. Seriously, I won’t shut up about it and it’s starting to annoy the people around me. It’s that good. Thanks for reading, everyone!

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