If you ever want to bring your life into the internet-age, please take into consideration what my mate Fabien told me only the other day, whilst speaking to him about his two amazing media-driven projects -- 'Live your life by the fullest by turning your passion into your profession'. Now have you got all of that, folks? Good. Next can check out what else he said to me as well. Click-Click! Chop-Chop!

Forbidden planet

1) What are your own origins, Fabian? Plus what path did you take in life prior to getting to where you are today?   I was born and raised in Germany, and for the latter part of my childhood I grew up in Switzerland. I was always a passionate gamer as a child, as well as an avid reader of comics & manga’s, which just started to get popular in Europe at the time.

After I graduated from High School, I decided to dive deeper into the world of technology and am currently about to graduate from Parsons in May.

In the past few years I was fortunate enough to have worked on a plethora of phenomenal projects, some of which included works done for Conan O’Brian and Zaha Hadid.

Conan O’Brian
2) How did ‘Aeria’ come about? It’s ‘secret origin’ so to speak.   The original idea for “The Tale of Aeria” started to take shape in my mind about five years ago. At the time I never tackled such a large project before and originally planned it to merely be a creative outlet for me to dish out some art. I was very active on DeviantArt back then, and it was on that web portal that I started posting chapters of Aeria as well as a collection of sketches & concept arts.

It gathered a notable amount of attention by my watchers, and this led me to hosting a little contest where participants would create an image based on “The Tale of Aeria”. The winner of this contest was none other than Songwut Ouppakarndee (see title image). In fact, I was so taken back by his phenomenal work,  I didn't hesitate for a second to contact him after the contest ended. 

What did I contact him for? Whether he’d be interested in working with me on a weekly webcomic. I found out that he actually lives in Bangkok and if we were to pursue this endeavor, we’d have to work remotely with vast time differences primarily over Skype and Dropbox. That hindrance certainly didn't stop us, and over the years we've not only worked together flawlessly, but the partnership also grew into an invaluable friendship. And here we are, 5 years later.

The Tale of Aeria
3) In your own words how would you sum up this webcomic?   “The tale of Aeria” is about a lost orphan, Fabraz, who was saved by and brought up under a group of happy-go-lucky air pirates called the Jackals. These air pirates traveled around Aeria, a large floating chunk of world surrounded by habitable space, stealing from the rich and living a laid back life. The Jackals saved Fabraz and they became his only family, until they were brutally torn from him one fateful night by a ruthless magician called Serpentis.

Now Serpentis, who is inherently evil and abhors Amarogs, foresaw that a certain man might be able to restore balance between the two races. This man would be the first human in history to be able to cast Shamanism. That man is Fabraz, and explains why he attacked the Jackals. However, during his murderous escapade, Fabraz gets mortally wounded but manages to escape Serpentis’ grasp.

4) What song would you say best represents your story and why?   It would probably be 'Fairy Tail’s' theme song, as it hits every note of Aeria perfectly. We have the slight celtic touch that summarizes Aeria’s steam punk-ian era. We've got the slower interludes, highlighting the lost child trapped within Fabraz and his desire to finally live a happy life. And it has that action packed chorus, supporting Fabraz’ hot headed nature and the climatic battles he faces.

5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   I’d probably have to go with my childhood hero, Tim Schafer. I always adored and was influenced by his work, and am a big fan of his newest adventure game, “Broken Age”. It embodies my own desire to tell grand stories and tell them to a wider audience. I'm sure he’d grasp the core of Aeria’s story, as well as the stories of my two major video-games, and would be able to convey it to the correct audience. Plus, he’s so dorky and fun, how could you not like that man.

Cannon Crasha
6) Can you please tell us about another one of your projects, ‘Cannon Crasha’?   “Cannon Crasha” was my first video game to garner international success. Development started about 2 years ago when I came up with a conceptual poster showcasing the fundamental gameplay of “Cannon Crasha”. I uploaded it to reddit and it reached front page within minutes, collecting over 300,000 views. I immediately understood that the idea had potential and started contacting companies that were interested in working with me.

One recipient, Markus Jost, responded most enthusiastically and we decided to start work on “Cannon Crasha” together. Upon release, thanks to a significant push of and generous support by reddit, “Cannon Crasha” did phenomenally. We were featured on websites such as IGN, Kotaku, TUAW.

We were written about in newspapers like 20Min, NZZ, and were featured by Apple numerous times, all over the world, under categories such as “What’s Hot”, “Best Tower Defense Games” and more. We were even fortunate enough to have gotten a sponsorship with “Pro Helvetia”, who invited us to display “Cannon Crasha” at the world renowned “Tokyo Game Show”.

7) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavor? And were there any unforeseen obstacles you had to contend with along the way?   Both “Cannon Crasha” and “The Tale of Aeria” have taught me a lot of invaluable life lessons. “The Tale of Aeria”, by progressively working on it, taught me how to plan ahead major fictional story arcs. It taught me how to convey certain personas and characters through dialogues with the help of mannerisms. It taught me how to work remotely over the internet, which ironically became very helpful when working on “Cannon Crasha”.

“Cannon Crasha” taught me a lot in terms of video game design. How to make a game fun, how to balance its difficulty, how to design UI to be intuitive, and how to deal with and fix problems mentioned during user testing.

8) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   I think this varies dramatically between people, but my driving force has been, and probably always will be, my need to create. One thing I pride myself in is that I am never bored. Never. Not for a minute. How could I be? Every bit of free time I have I can use on creating a comic, a video game, a song, or a movie. All of which I can then share with the world through the Internet! What a marvelous time to live in!

Every positive comment I get back, every fan letter or fan art I receive, brightens up my day. Every negative comment I get, every hate mail I receive, pumps me up and makes me want to prove them wrong! You’ll hit your strides, you’ll have your lows, but it’s a wild, adventurous roller coaster ride I’d never want to miss out on. 

9) If you have a motto, what would it be?   For me, without a doubt, it’s the following: You only live once, so you have to make sure you live it to the fullest. Now this doesn't mean you shouldn't work hard in your life, on the contrary. One of the biggest satisfactions in life come from working on projects that you love and seeing them come to fruition. Live your life by the fullest by turning your passion into your profession.

Buy Star Wars Comics at TFAW.com

So there you have it, dear reader. My mate Fabien and his two amazing projects, 'The Tale of Aeria' and 'Cannon Crasha'. When you have the time please click on the links provided, because I'm sure you'd be astounded with what you'll get to see.

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