Argentine video game “Unusual Findings” won the “best hardcore game” award at the Game Development Awards, a ceremony that took place last Tuesday at Game Connection, an event in San Francisco.
“Unusual Findings” was developed by Epic Llama, a video game company from Córdoba province which was founded in 2009.
“Argentina’s video game industry is getting bigger and bigger,” Hernán López, CEO of Epic Llama, told the Herald. “And this award reflects that”.
The Game Development Awards were held at Game Connection, one of the most prestigious events in the video game industry. It is an international business convention and marketplace for game developers, service providers, and publishers. The awards have eight categories, and “Unusual Findings was nominated for three of them: the “Grand Award,” “People’s Choice Award” and “Best Hardcore Game.” “Hardcore games” are games made for seasoned gamers, the opposite of “casual games”.
The “Grand Award,” which is the most prestigious accolade of the event, went to the Swiss game “The Wandering Village.”
Epic Llama was not alone in representing Argentina in San Francisco. During the event, Argentina had a booth that was sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, where the country’s developers could meet with potential business partners.
“It’s good that Argentine companies have a presence in these events, so the size of our video game industry is highlighted,” said López.
Designed and written by López himself, “Unusual Findings” is a coming-of-age story set in an apparently quiet town. When evil aliens appear, the fate of the world is in the hands of three mischievous teenagers — even if that means putting aside their plans to secretly (and probably illegally) unscramble a pay-per-view adult TV channel.
“It is an adventure where you have three kids that are friends – Vinny, Nick and Tony. That friendship is felt along the game in the way they talk to and diss each other,” said López. “We’re transmitting the teenage friendship the way it was when we were kids.”
An old-school adventure game set in the 80s, “Unusual Findings” pays homage to classic films of the time, including “E.T.”, “The Goonies,” and “Stand by Me.” Its intricately detailed retro pixel-art graphics fit the theme and the 80s-inspired synthesizer music was composed by Tomás Ferraro, of the Latin Grammy and MTV-Award-nominated band Rayos Láser (Laser Rays).
“I’m very happy, it’s always nice to receive an award,” López said. “Also, Argentina seems to be winning at everything.”