100 Creatives 2014: Eleazar Galindo Navarro, Retro Video Game Maker
What He Does: If you're in your 30's or 40's and your parents loved you then you probably owned a Super Nintendo because it was literally the result of fun assuming plastic form. The 16-bit era of gaming was a magical, whimsical time, and while I wouldn't trade The Last of Us and other cutting edge gaming achievements to go back to it there is a part of me that laments such games are no longer being made for the old girl.
At least not from Nintendo. Meet Eleazar Galindo Navarro, the head of Piko Interactive. Piko specializes in releasing games for defunct systems like the SNES, Genesis, and Game Boy Advance. I don't mean flash games, emulators, or 16-bit mobile phone titles; I'm talking about cartridges you can put in an actual console just like the old days.
Navarro is not himself a programmer, but he heads every other aspect of bringing titles to life. We first got to know him after the successful Kickstarter campaign he ran for his Super 4 in 1 Multicart, in which he teamed with three other programmers to release an anthology game that featured side-scrollers, puzzlers, and other games. Piko has also jumped on the Flappy Bird bandwagon, and published the minor internet fighting hit N-WARP Daisakusen. Currently the company is looking to start bringing their properties to the mobile market, but they remain committed to providing physical releases.
Why He Likes It: "The story of a game. If a game has crappy graphics and a simple engine, but has a good story it will get you hooked no matter what."
What Inspires Him: Pretty obviously the main inspiration for Navarro are the games he grew up with. He always wanted to make a game for the SNES ever since he was young and after he graduated broke and jobless from college he started doing just that as a way to pass the time.
More than anything else, it's the Hero's Journey that drives Navarro. He's a quest junkie. Though he's not religious he's a big fan of the various larger-than-life heroes and monsters of the Bible. That, and all the Dragon Ball Z he watched growing up in Mexico shaped much of his work.
If Not This, Then What: "Film. My first major in college was game development; I dropped my first Java class, it just wasn't for me. I then changed to TV, radio, and film, but ended up being involved in video games anyways. Ha! Irony."
If Not Here, Then Where: You don't spend your life obsessing about warriors and dragons without developing a mild Europe fetish. Navarro would like to visit and maybe move to the United Kingdom or Sweden one day.
What's Next: "The major project we are working on is Mysterious Song for SNES. Mysterious Song is a turn based RPG similar to the original Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest RPGs of the '90s. It is a port of the Turbo Grafx version, but it is being develop from the ground up. We also have an original IP waiting to start development after we finish up Mysterious Song."
More Creatives for 2014 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page). Kate de Para, textile and clothing designer Shawn Swanner, video game painter Andy Gonzales, painter Chris Foreman, comic book sketcher Theresa DiMenno, photographer Jessica E. Jones, opera singer Atseko Factor, actor John Pluecker, writer, poet and language justice worker Ricky Ortiz, painter, tattoo artist Rabēa Ballin, artist David Wald, actor Lisa E. Harris, performing and visual artist Stephanie Todd Wong, executive director of Dance Source Houston Pamela Fagan Hutchins, novelist Heather Gordy, artist Mark Nasso, comic artist Shelbi-Nicole, artist Marian Szczepanski, novelist Jonathan Blake, fashion designer Doni Langlois, interior designer Kat Denson, dancer Blame the Comic, comedian Margaret Menchaca Alvarez, artist Jacquelyne Jay Boe, dancer Rene Fernandez, painter Teresa Chapman, choreographer and dancer
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.