The newest edition of my Indie Corner Spotlight interview series features Kieran from Manchester-based Indie Dev team, Tri-Heart Interactive. The team are working hard to get their upcoming game, The Otterman Empire, ready for release in early 2020. Team member Kieran discusses what inspired him to become a games developer and he talks in detail about the process of making a game.
How long have you been a developer?
How many years has your team been developing games?
Who, or what, inspired you to become a games developer?
Video games are the most interactive medium and have the most passionate and dedicated communities in the world and we wanted to be a part of that. Growing up, our fondest memories were the friendships we made playing our favourite games together and we wanted to create products that offered those experiences, those moments of interaction between people again. In a world of digital interaction, we wanted to offer people the ability to connect again, in the same room.
What was the inspiration for your team’s name?
Interactive came from the sense of interaction we wanted to create through our products and our events. Tri- came from the term used for a triangular polygon in 3D modelling and the heart, I think came from the logo I designed.
Describe a usual day in the life of an Indie Dev team.
I don’t think a typical day exists in our office! Every day is a new challenge. From our events to our game development, there are always new things thrown our way. The benefit of being a relatively new developer and also having a small team is that you wear so many hats! One day I am marketing our events, another is spent working through certification and another on finances and cash flow.
Can you describe the process/timeline of developing a game?
We usually start we pre-production and concept development, for The Otterman Empire, we spent the first 6 months doing this. Being our first major title meant that we had to keep developing the art style time and time again until we found one that stuck! Next would be production time and community development. We wanted to start building a foundation for our community to make sure people were interested in the product we were creating. The last stretch is actually launching the game, which is when most of the work is done. Localisation, Certification, ratings, the launch of the game includes so many different aspects.
How do you juggle all of the aspects of games development?
Juggling all the different aspects of development can be tough and as a team, we are always working on the best ways to manage our workflow. The most important part of development is communication. A successful team is built on the ability to communicate openly and work together to find a solution.
What is your ambition as an Indie Developer?
We are building a dedicated community that we can work alongside to create our games, it allows us to really deliver products that are tried and tested.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into the games industry?
Do it! Have patience, start small and remember that it isn’t a solo journey. Don’t be selfish with your intentions, if you can help someone else succeed, you’ll learn so much yourself that you can take with you.
Where do you see gaming heading in the next decade?
Just like music before it, we will be moving towards a business model that favors streaming services . With it will bring a big shift in our industry and the ones that stay at the forefront of change will be the ones that will still be here in ten years. It started with Digital sales and there are still companies investing heavily in physical, showing that much of the big hitters are slow to move with the times, that’s not to say there’s no value in physical, special additions are showing there is still a desire for a physical item. Our opportunity as independent developers is that we can pivot without worrying about making the next quarter more profitable for shareholders and we need to make sure we adjust our mentality to grasp the coming changes.
You can add their game, The Otterman Empire, to your Steam wishlist here.
I’d like to thank Kieran for giving up his precious time to take part in the Indie Corner Spotlight Interview. If you, or your team, would like to feature, please get in touch.