Jessť Alves Silva aka Jesseas back homepage search
Jessť Alves Silva interviewed by Lucas Metz aka Treeble in July 2002

Lucas: "When did you start to play Tomb Raider and why?"

Jessť: "In 1997, I played Tomb Raider II with my brother, I started to play because there wasn't any better game..."


Lucas: "Wasn't there any better game that time? So you mean you weren't actually interested in the adventure, you played it only to see if it was worth? And now, could you live without Lara Croft/Tomb Raider?"

Jessť: "Well, there were good games, but nothing good enough to compare with Tomb Raider II. In the beginning, I wasn't interested, because I didn't know what Tomb Raider or Lara Croft were, but after playing it I was very interested in the series. Yes, I could live without it, I know that I would lose a lot, and I hope that there's no need to stop playing it."

Lucas: "So, if Core needed a level designer for Tomb Raider XII, could they call you without problems? I mean, even if time wears out the theme of the untouchable explorer girl, would you still like Lara and Tomb Raider that much?"

Jessť: "Yes, of course! I know it wouldn't be funny to play it, but who wouldn't like to help making a Tomb Raider game? I think there's always room for improvement, the TR games always brought us novelties, even if most people said they weren't. I never though Lara's image is overused, if the game has good quality and open ways for innovations, there's no reason to stop the series, no reason for me to stop liking Lara, because the games were never the same, and it's always possible to insert new things in the series."Lara's Clone - Gloomy City (Stad Duister)

Lucas: "We know you have a certain talent building levels (Lara's Clone - Gloomy City (Stad Duister), released Mar 17, 2002). Where did you get inspiration to build your first level?"

Jessť: "Talent?? (*laughs*). Well, as I already said, I didn't inspire myself through any game or things like this. I was inspired by life and death, by dreams and nightmares. The two sides of the coin."

Lucas: "In Stad Duister, Lara is after her supposed clone made by Brazilian scientists. What brought you this idea and how do you intend to do it? Can we expect surprises in Lara's Clone - The New Face?"

Jessť: "Actually, the idea was born with Lara Double from TR4 - The Last Revelation, I made a test level with Lara Double, because I didn't know what it was, and it turned into 'Lara's Clone', how exactly the name appeared I don't remember. Do not connect the title to the history, because the history goes beyond the clonage. About 'The New Face', I hope I can represent it faithfully to what is in my mind, I know it is hard but I will try to connect the reality to the illusion, illusion to reality?"

Mogi das Cruzes

Lucas: "'The New Face' being the second part of a two leveled game, will you stop then your contribution to the TRLE community or do you have plans for other levels?"

Jessť: "'The New Face' will indeed be the final part of Lara's Clone?, but everything can change. Maybe someday I have something new to add, or maybe someday we can have a similar story in a chapter of the Tomb Raider series. I like to do objects and textures, and maybe I will contribute with this, and I also promised to my nephew a 'soft' level, something like a 'toys world'."

Lucas: "Do you play levels from other level designers? If you do, what is your favorite level?"

Jessť: "I've played a few levels, three or so, but my favorite level, is Devilish Habitat (Harly Wuson's, not released yet). I've seen his screenshots and I hope it will be ready soon, because the author really knows how to use the Editor - the way he made the illumination is excellent!"

Lucas: "You really should play custom levels. Some of them are even better than Core's! Why don't you play them?"

Jessť: "In part is due to lack of time, but sometimes it's pure lack of interest. If there's any level related to what I like, like Lara in the Dark, it's interesting, or any level set in Mars, I would immediatly play it, you can recommend them to me. Also, I would like that authors put more screenshots of their levels, because there are levels rated with a 9 that aren't interesting for me."

Lucas: "Well, actually there's a level set in Mars, but I guess that's not exactly what you're looking for..."

Jessť: "And what about that Resident Evil level, is it ready? I don't like these levels that resemble the TR games, I think that we shall create new things, if it's possible, why not? If it were only for the editor, we would still be in Egypt..."

Lucas: "Do you think that to be a success, a level must have a lot of unique things? What composes a great level for you?"

Mogi das Cruzes

Jessť: "Yes, there are a lot of things to use in TRLE, and I will use some in 'The New Face', but some due to the limits can't be done. For a great level, well, that changes from person to person, but what I really like is levels that are near to the 'reality', something based on our time, and variety of settings, with 'surprises', sound effects also help, the background sound, and I am very critical about graphics, specially textures. If there was something I didn't like in Tomb Raider games, specially in TR3 were the seamless textures - that is very ugly. Also, I don't like repetitive actions for the same effects and long runnings."

Lucas: "Hmmm... long runnings? What about those underground passages in Stad Duister?"

Jessť: "*laughs* I could make you a list of everything I didn't like in Stad Duister. A lot of things were strange, such as the senseless beginning, the gates and trees were too ugly etc..."

Lucas: "What do you think about the Editor? Do you think it is too limited? What kind of sceneries would you like to build, breaking through these limits?"

Jessť: "I like the Editor, it's simple and easy to use. Currently, it's very limited. What I really miss in the sceneries built with it, is a better illumination for the objects, although there are some tricks to do it. Also, to place many objects some tricks are also needed. About sceneries, I like realistic scenery with a bit of terror, gloomy cities, underground areas, forests with good atmosphere, and also the high technology ones. I imagine a lot more than the sceneries - massive action rocks, there also has to be a bit of humor and previsible things kill the game experience."

Lucas: "Would you like to have a level editor for TR:AOD? Do you have any expectations for this game?"

Jessť: "I think AOD will be full of surprises, and I like this mystery around it. I would like to see Lara piloting a plane or an helicopter, and yes, I would like such an editor. Settings would go beyond imagination, forests with lakes, parks, haunted mansions, cities, but this new engine seems to be limited. I didn't see yet a setting with big areas, but maybe I am just mistaken."Mogi das Cruzes

Lucas: "Assuming you're a Tomb Raider fan, what is your favorite level of the whole series? The one you liked to play from the beggining to the end lots of times, for pure pleasure?"

Jessť: "Well, I am a fan, but a moderated fan! I liked a lot of them: Colosseum (TR1), Venice, Opera's House, Home Sweet Home (pure action!), Area 51, Thames Wharf, It's a Madhouse, Desert Railroad, Street Bazaar, Sinking Submarine, Old Mill and Red Alert!, but if I can pick only one, I choose Red Alert!, sensational, pure adrenaline."

Lucas: "In your free time, what do you like to do?"

Jessť: "Play games, specially adventures. I like old games, I also like to listen to music, eat pizzas, go fishing, taking care of plants, reading encyclopaedias, watching TV etc..."

Lucas: "What is your favorite kind of music? Bossa Nova?"

Jessť: "I listen about everything, Rock, Classical Music, Pop, Rap, but I really love: Samba, Pagode and Chorinho*. Bossa Nova? Maybe."

*Interviewer's note: Samba, pagode and chorinho are three Brazilian style of music.

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