Making Games for a Brazilian Pop Star with GDevelop

Marcos Codas

Marcos Codas

Ittalo with Brazilian pop star Juliette.

Ittalo with Brazilian pop star Juliette.

You've heard about him, today, you'll hear from him! In this exclusive interview with GDevelop user, game developer and GDevelop Ambassador in Brazil, Ittalo Ornilo talks us through making a game for his favorite pop star, and how, in his opinion, GDevelop is a good fit for neuroridivergent people like himself.

When did you first learn about GDevelop?

It’s funny because I shouldn’t have. I studied my entire life to be a game designer but I always aimed for board and card games. Never studied programming. One day in 2020 my aunt’s husband, who is a teacher, was contacted by another teacher looking for someone to help him with his masters degree. He wanted to make a game to teach cellular respiration and Krebs cycle, and I’d graduated from biology a couple years prior.

So he proudly said to the teacher that I was a great game designer (???) and made the deal, called me and said: “hey, there a game for you to make, come here and take the money”.

So I was embarrassed to refuse because the deal was already made and started seach in the internet “What's is the easiest way to make a digital game for web and mobile”. Some options popped up, but only GDevelop had clear information about being unrestrictedly free and having the one click export. As I new nothing about code (still don’t) I gave it a try and instantly fell in love.

What made you use GDevelop to make Vai Juliette!?

It was definitely the experience I had with the first game I mentioned before. I knew that I could achieve a very good result in the couple weeks I had off my work. I couldn’t finish the game idea in such a short time with no other engine.

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How have you used GDevelop since making Vai Juliette!?

Yes, all the time, even if I'm not working in a particular project, every time a new update was released I’d check it to stay updated. I love to click around and prototype random unfinished ideas and mechanics.

In what way has GDevelop helped you develop professionally?

I’m a Civil Servant in the Town Hall, that barely pays the bills, the minimun wage in Brazil is like... I worked the entire month to earn the equivalent to 270 dollars.

After Vai, Juliette! went viral, some companies started calling. I made a couple small advergames, got a second job using the game as my portfolio and today I earn about a 1000 dollars a month, more than 3 times what I used to earn.

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That changed my life completely. It’s still not much, but it was enough to help me start paying a house to live with my fiancée.

Every now and then I get calls to make some games and that usually happens exactly when I’m most in need of that money. GDevelop and Juliette are the main reasons I’m happily married in my own house today.

How did the game for Falta de Atenção come about?

A snapshot of the project for the song's game.

A snapshot of the project for the song's game.

Again, It happened in the moment I needed it the most. I was struggling because I wrote a project to teach game design using GDevelop in school but no Mayor I visited called back.

They’re always focusing in something else except computer in schools. Brazil has a ton of schools without any kind of computer classes for the kids, so my time and money started to run out.

I spend my last savings starting a company (laser cutting, 3d printing, stuff like that) with my brothers and my brother’s brother-in-law. It’s still in the very beginning, not being profitable yet.

Some of the events from the game's Event sheet.

Some of the events from the game's Event sheet.

So I got a call from Juliette’s main associate, that had my number and always has been kind to me and he said: “Hey, there's this project for a song, there’s this budget and Juliette wants you to make the game about it”.

How did it feel to have Juliette reach out to you and request this game?

I literally cried the minute i hang up the phone after saying yes. To make an official game for the rising star you are a fan of? That made my year.

A couple days before I have heard from people close to me that my life wasn’t better because I hadn't "made it". So this game would be my answer to that. To show them I was capable of doing great things.

Ittalo meeting Juliette with some other fans.

Ittalo meeting Juliette with some other fans.

How did fans of Juliette respond to the game?

Julliete’s fanbase are not just a bunch of people that likes her and her songs. We’re more like an extension of her family. We are passionate about everything that involves her.

So even being a job, I made the game with passion, attention to details the game is so so simple in gameplay, but it communicates so much hidden messages and Easter Eggs for the fans that they absolutely loved.

You mentioned on Twitter that you have been diagnosed with an attention disorder. In what way, if any, do you think GDevelop's way of doing things help you in making games vs. other game engines?

Definitely yes. The condition and action system, the event groups, the built in behaviors and extensions... it’s not like GDevelop was a tool to make games, it’s like it’s a friend saying: "Hey, you can do it, look how easy it is!".

Would you recommend GDevelop to people who are neurodivergent?

Couldn’t recommend it more. It’s clean, easy to organize and identify things by just dragging and dropping the events. I have been diagnosed with severe ADHD, so it’s easy and awful to lose my focus and get lost among the things I have to do as my days go by (like replying this email, that somehow took me 6 days, sorry).

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So GDevelop for me is quite therapeutic, as my brain is constantly getting full of ideas, I’m usually impatient to have to learn coding in order to make that idea come to life. In GDevelop I can simply open the app anywhere in my laptop or even on my phone and start iterating stuff. It’s… calming... Peaceful.

What is next for you?

Well, that’s a thing I’m very excited about. Somehow I received in my company a very odd man that is allegedly the Owner of Mars. It’s a very crazy and true history about how he managed to register the property of Mars back in the 2000s.

That’s a looong story that I feel we are going to talk about later. For now, he wants me to make a game about going to mars and complete a series of microgames to collect resources, improve a base, upgrade tools and so on…

I’m basically developing a cute and funny and tiny terraforming mars simulator where we are going to have a place for companies to put their buildings there, promoting them at the same time they offer good gameplay value for the players. I’ll probably make a devlog about it soon.


Thank you so much tp Ittalo! You can follow him on social media to know more about his projects.

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