31st Union

Chasing the Horizon with Oscar Ferrero

Est. Read Time3 minutes, 59 seconds
We are excited to bring you an interview with Oscar Ferrero, Senior Development Director and leader of our incredible 31st Union team in Valencia, Spain.

At 31st Union, our cornerstone value “Chase the Horizon” guides us as we explore new ideas, push boundaries, and pursue innovation. This is not simply a studio value for us; it’s a way of life. This month we are excited to bring you an interview with Oscar Ferrero, Senior Development Director and leader of our incredible 31U team in Valencia, Spain. Oscar discusses his background, his inspirations, and his hopes for the future of gaming. With an exceptional 20-year career and a profound passion for video game development, Oscar’s journey — from 3D artist to heading a 200+ personal outsourcing team, and now an integral part of 31st Union’s Leadership Team— exemplifies his commitment to creativity and innovation.

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What inspired you to go into video game development?

I believe there were two moments in my life that defined my passion and career in the industry.

When I was 12 years old, my parents bought a Sony MSX2 computer, and I spent countless hours learning with it. During the late '80s, I used to watch a TV program called Metropolis, where they showcased the latest shorts made in 3D. I was captivated by those clips and attempted to replicate some of them using my MSX2.

Fast forward to when I was 24 years old. In the late '90s, I moved to London and met Jose Luis Queral. It was then that I realized video game development could become a way of life for me. Jose taught me everything I needed to know to become a 3D artist, and I've been dedicated to this industry ever since.

What surprised you about video game development?

Game development is a complex and lengthy process that involves a huge number of creative people with diverse skills. It is a multidisciplinary industry where everyone involved shares the same goal. Being part of that process is an enchanting experience.

In the end, when the game is finished, it continues to surprise me how the efforts of hundreds of minds working together can shape a truly unique and interactive experience. This often leads to profound feelings and remarkable memories for the people who play it.

How have video games influenced your life?

Throughout my life, I've been deeply involved in various aspects of gaming. As a child, I would create games in my mind and play them while walking to school every day. Later, I spent a considerable amount of time at the studio we used to run, sometimes even more than I spent with my own kids. This is why I used to jokingly mention that I had three kids: two with my wife and another with Jose Luis Queral. Video games have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and even now, I spend amazing evenings playing with my family. Those moments are unforgettable. Games have not only influenced my life, but now my kids also dream of becoming part of the industry and creating amazing games.

Are there any current trends in gaming that you find exciting or inspiring?

Coming from the art side of video games, I've observed over the years how the industry strives to overcome the uncanny valley. I would love to witness the industry's maturation, moving beyond it and focusing on unique, truly innovative, and experimental styles instead of continually pursuing ultimate realism. Traditional painting evolved in a similar way through the centuries.

What is unique about the 31st Union Valencia team compared to other experiences you’ve had in your career?

The human side of it and the strong team bonding at the studio create a family-like atmosphere. The inclusive environment where everyone is welcome fosters a sense of belonging, especially in a studio where you can find people from all over Europe. The good vibe here motivates you to come to work every day with enthusiasm.

I’ve always felt that everyone at the studio is eager to share their knowledge and to help their peers. This is something truly invaluable and unique, and I have never seen anything like it anywhere else.

Which of our studio values most resonates with you?

I believe that Welcome All resonates as one of our core principles. It signifies inclusivity and openness. At 31st Union, we encourage and embrace everyone to be themselves, ensuring they always feel respected and valued. Fostering an environment of equality and kindness is key to creating a successful team that can achieve amazing goals.

How could the video game industry create a more inclusive environment for developers?

To create a more inclusive environment for developers, the video game industry should focus on diverse hiring practices, provide diversity training, promote inclusive leadership, maintain a safe and respectful workplace, support employee resource groups, offer flexible work policies, establish mentorship programs, ensure transparent career progression, and probably actively engage with the gaming community to understand their needs. Here at 31st Union we take all these initiatives very seriously and constantly work toward implementing them.

What is your favorite video game? What do you love about it?

Wipeout 2097 or Wipeout XL (as it was called in North America). My love for it stems from its combination of high-speed racing, futuristic aesthetics, and a great soundtrack. Playing a fast-paced 3D racing game in 1997 was mind blowing.

Tell us something about yourself that many people do not know about you.

I am still pursuing my dream of learning how to DJ, spending my spare time playing with vinyl records at home. 😉

Also, something not everyone knows about me is that despite being born in Madrid, I have Peruvian heritage flowing through my veins, as my mother hailed from Callao, Perú.