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"Working with Dontnod has been a great experience, it’s a studio with very talented people. I’ve spent a lot of time in Paris, working hard with the game designers and directors. The passion they put in every little scene of the game was incredible."

— Alejandro Arque in an interview[1]


Alejandro Arque Gallardo is a Game Designer working for Square Enix. He is one of the lead game designers behind the production of Life is Strange and its prequel Before the Storm.

Career Edit

Alejandro Arque is interested in all types of game design and narrative experiences and has been active as a game designer since 2006, working on a variety of platforms including console, PC, mobile and Facebook games.

Arque has a programmer background. From 1999 to 2002 he worked as a programmer for different Spanish companies.

He went to Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. From 2005 to 2006 he went to the University of Westminster to study game development.

From 2006 to 2010, Arque worked for Digital Chocolate, a Spanish studio located in his hometown Barcelona. As the Lead Designer he was responsible for creating new game concepts, level design and game mechanics for mobile, iPhone and Facebook games (most of them winners of Awards on Pocketgamer and IGN); e.g. Crazy Window Cleaners (Mobile), Tower Bloxx 3D Deluxe (iPhone), Diamond Islands (Mobile, iPhone and PC), Pipemania (Mobile).

From 2008 to 2009 he worked as a game design lecturer at two different schools in Spain.

From 2010 to 2013 he worked for Gameloft, another Spanish studio located in Madrid. As game designer, and later senior game designer, he was responsible for creating game concepts and presentations, detailing game aspects such as (but not limited to) gameplay, game world, characters, level design, audio, creating and maintaining the game design specifications document and game flows.

Life is Strange Edit

Since January 2014 he has worked for Square Enix, located in London. Square Enix's main release he was involved with was the episodic game Life is Strange, which he worked on for a year and a half. He was also responsible for design support and guidance in the production of Triad Wars, Nosgoth and Heroes and Generals.

During the development of Life is Strange he worked closely with the developers studio Dontnod Entertainment in Paris. His responsibilities included script, design and principal game mechanics. For example, he designed the Forward or Skip mechanic that Max can use to skip scenes or dialogues she has already seen. Narrative-wise he worked on two key plot elements in Episode 5: Victoria Chase's appearance in the Dark Room if you warned her about Mr. Jefferson[2], and the full conversation in which Max Caulfield tells Chloe Price that she traveled to an alternate reality.

Before the Storm Edit

On June 12, 2017, Alejandro Arque announced that he is currently working on Before the Storm, the prequel to Life is Strange developed by Deck Nine Games.

Trivia Edit

  • Alejandro Arque is of Spanish descent and grew up in Barcelona. Today he lives in London, UK.
  • Life is Strange won, among many awards, the BAFTA Games Awards for Best Story. Alejandro Arque has been a full BAFTA member since March 2017.
  • During a stream of the game, Arque stated that "Katie" from Frank Bowers's book is not Kate Marsh, as it was speculated it might refer to her.[1][3]
  • According to an interview, his favorite easter eggs in Life is Strange are the references to Harry Potter and Doctor Who.
  • During his interview for Blackwell Podcast, the following things were learned:
    • There was nothing that was rejected before the final conception of Life is Strange. Square Enix loved everything that was presented to them by DONTNOD. Things were polished, but nothing was rejected. And this is unusual.
    • His original reaction to Life is Strange when it was first presented to him was, "Whoa!" He was wondering if DONTNOD were really going to that way with the slap Chloe receives from her step-father, as he says he had never seen this kind of thing in a video game before, and because seeing that affected him. He was really impressed by the game and felt he really wanted to work on it.
    • It was never their intention of making an "AAA" game from the start. They wanted to do something that felt "indie" and intended to make Life is Strange more reminiscent of Sundance Film Festival films, because the game is different. The story needed to fit the visuals and the audios of the game.
    • Alejandro also stated that some people say the game is not realistic or, "Why aren't the graphics better?" But he thinks the graphics are great, because they show what they wanted to show. They never intended the game to look realistic, as realism doesn't fit the story they wanted to tell.

Gallery Edit

Interviews Edit

  • Interview - Alejandro Arque, Life Is Strange Game Designer
  • Blackwell Podcast Episode 13 - Alejandro Arque (February 6, 2016)

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Interview - Alejandro Arque, Life Is Strange Game Designer
  2. Mentioned in his interview for Blackwell Podcast.
  3. Extra Life charity stream - Episode 4 & 5 of Life Is Strange (1:54:10)

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