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Zachary Soares & Luciana Nascimento | Co-Founders Bunnyhug

Zachary Soares & Luciana Nascimento | Co-Founders Bunnyhug

Take one artistic Brazilian, add a creative French-Canadian, locate them in Gateshead with a seven-strong team based all over the world, and you have one unique and exciting indie games studio. Such is Bunnyhug, the debut imprint of artistic director Lu Nascimento and creative director Zach Soares, who launched their first game, Moonglow Bay, in 2021. Both have had extensive experience working in the games industry before deciding to make their own distinct mark via their own company.

In their own words:

Zach: “I have a degree in urban planning, so completely unrelated to games. I originally did voxel art and have always been relatively creative, but my intro into games was late compared to many. I freelanced and built an identity with my art. I started working on a lot of different projects, including with such games companies as Hipster Whale.”

Lu: “When I was a kid, I didn’t know that you could actually make games. I thought they just popped out of nowhere. I went to a technical high school and when I was trying to choose courses I saw games and thought that was a good fit. After I graduated, I went to study animation in film, just to supplement my knowledge and improve my art. I started freelancing for games and I realised that was what I truly loved. I moved to Montreal for a bit [where she met Zach] and then I got a job in London with Chucklefish... After that, we got funded by Coatsink to launch our own studio and decided to move up north to be closer to them.”

Zach: “We made art for games in the evenings, just for fun. That’s really how it all started. She would do concepts and I would make 3D models of them. We were making fake games, because we didn’t know how to program... [Coatsink] really liked our art and said they’d be happy to fund us. It’s extremely rare for that to happen and we’re very grateful for the opportunity... Bunnyhug is our first studio and there’s been a lot to learn.”

Lu: “We’re still learning how to manage a studio, manage people and projects... We want to learn from people who have gone through that and improve... In five years, we want to have released the game we have in production now and be working on other games. It feels like we’re in a sweet spot right now.”

Zachary and Luciana’s Breakthrough credit is the game Moonglow Bay

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