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Famous last words 2020: Shadi Torbey

2020 brought us a global pandemic and, along with it, social distancing, masks, financial uncertainty and postponed delivery dates. For our end-of-the-year special we decided to turn to some of our favourite solo and soloable game designers and ask them to share their own experiences, feelings, plans and hopes both for the year we leave behind and the year to come. Every day until December 31 we will publish one of these short interviews (we have no patience for long ones). Our guest today is Shadi Torbey. Designer of Onirim, Sylvion and Aerion, among others. He was kind enough to answer our 3+1 questions.

1. Nobody likes being forced to stay at home, but did the quarantine actually help you concentrate on your design work? Or did it instead feel restraining and cause designer's block? Did you miss any face-to-face meetings or conventions?

I really missed my weekly gaming gatherings with my friends, but I didn’t suffer from creative block, nor did I have the feeling I had extra time - maybe because I’m used to preparing most of my concerts and operas from home. Obviously there were no concerts nor opera performances during that time, but I still had stuff to prepare and used the extra hours to spend more time with my family.


2. Marie Kondo shows up in your dream in the form of a yokai. She is throwing away your entire board game collection and only lets you keep one game: the one that 'sparks the most joy'. Which one is it?

That would be a very evil yokai! And maybe if she shows up in a dream of mine, it rather be to organize my collection of games and allow me to have… more space! Joke aside, I really could not answer. Maybe I’ll take a chance and keep an unplayed game, hoping it’ll 'spark a lot of joy'.


3. We are a news website, so we will obviously ask you to share your plans for 2021. Anything us solo gamers can look forward to?

I’m planning to release the next chapter of the Oniverse series next year (but with all the delays due to the outbreak it may be pushed towards the end of ’21 or even ’22).


Bonus question: Among the operas you have sung, do you have a favourite? And do you have any suggestion for a my-first-opera to listen to as a rock-oriented person?

It would be difficult to choose only one opera. I can give you the composer I enjoy the most singing: Mozart, with parts like Leporello (Don Giovanni), Figaro (Marriage of Figaro), Osmin (Abduction from the Seraglio)…

I personally ‘fell’ into the opera world with Mozart - but I could also suggest Rossini (Barber of Seville or Turc in Italy) or Verdi (Macbeth or Rigoletto) as good gateways into this universe.

Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie (2017) - Leporello: Shadi Torbey

Thank you very much for participating, Shadi! All the best wishes for 2021.

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