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Ex-ABQ resident develops video game for Nintendo

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Magical worlds and images mingle in the mind of Seth S. Scott.

Oftentimes, they come together like a puzzle to create something artistic.

It’s been that way since the 34-year-old artist was little and just learning to draw.

His latest creation, a video game called “Membrane,” has been gaining worldwide attention after it became available on the Nintendo Switch.

And it’s quite a big deal for the former Albuquerque resident.

Seth S. Scott

“It’s a dream come true and a dream opportunity,” he says of the game. “I grew up playing Nintendo games. One of my goals set when I moved out to New York was to release a game on a Nintendo console. It’s finally happened.”

“Membrane” is a creative-action puzzle game in which players build, bend and break the surrounding world while creating their own fixes.

Bendy bridges, wobbly ladders and shaky structures are just the beginning.

“The puzzles are not designed to rely on deception or a single solution, lock and key approach to test players,” he said. “Instead, the game was built to reward creativity and experimentation.”

Jess Kostelnick

Scott and his wife, Jess Kostelnick, run Perfect Hat, the studio that developed the game.

But “Membrane” was Scott’s thesis project for his graduate program at New York University.

“I began to prototype this around Thanksgiving 2016,” he says. “And basically finished it before Christmas 2017. The last couple months have been filled with working on getting certification through Nintendo.”

Scott credits the gaming company for its willingness to work with independent developers.

“I had heard that they were supporting more independent developers,” he says. “So I put together a pitch document and trailer and reached out to them on my own.”

The game became available on Feb. 22 for $9.99, and Scott has already had some feedback.

“It blows my mind that I’m getting people all over the world commenting on the game,” he said. “I love puzzle games, and I’m finding out there are a lot of other people who enjoy the same type of games.”

ABQ upbringing

Scott moved to Albuquerque from Manhattan, N.Y., with his parents when he was five.

He grew up in the Duke City, attending Bandelier Elementary School, then Hoover Middle School and eventually Eldorado High School.

Scott then enrolled at the University of New Mexico, where he received a bachelor’s degree in fine art.

A screenshot from the video game “Membrane,” developed by ex-Albuquerque resident Seth S. Scott.

“I did a lot of painting and drawing, as well as printmaking and media art,” he said. “I’ve always been interested in creating things.”

The couple moved out to Brooklyn, N.Y. – Kostelnick is from Albuquerque, too – about three years ago, and today are a two-person team promoting “Membrane.”

From marketing to getting press, the pair are an example of do-it-yourself work.

“Having this available on Nintendo helps raise the profile of the game,” he said. “The coolest thing so far is seeing my colleagues, family and friends see the finished product. It’s been a journey and I’m looking forward to the next one.”

UpFront is a regular Journal news and opinion column. Comment directly to Journal arts editor Adrian Gomez at 823-3921 or agomez@abqjournal.com. We welcome suggestions for the daily Bright Spot. Send to newsroom@abqjournal.com.


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