Indie,  Indie Dev,  Interview,  Kickstarter,  News

Osarion & Mountaineer

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Back in September 2018, I had the opportunity to play a beta version of a game called Unsung Warriors from Dutch Indie Dev Duo, Ramon and Mikel. You can read my preview of this game right here,

When I spoke to the developers about their ambitions for the game, they told me that they wanted to launch a Kickstarter Campaign. I’m thrilled to announce that the Kickstarter Campaign is now LIVE! Read on to find out how they went about developing their game and their aims for the future.

How long have you been a developer?

Ramon: 4 years.
Mikel: 11 years.

How many years has your team been developing games?

About 1 and a half years.

Who, or what, inspired you to become a games developer?

Ramon: The fun in playing games, and the fact that I can use my passion for mathematics to design video games.

Mikel: I was born in the ’80s, and I grew up playing games on a Commodore 64 and later on the Nintendo. I wanted to know more about the inner working of games. It always fascinated me how lifeless lines of code and pixels can turn into an adventure. After playing a lot of games, you start thinking: what if… and wouldn’t it be cool if… the next natural step is to start creating your own games.

What was the inspiration for your team’s name?

We both wanted to stick to our brands, so that’s why we kept them separate. Hence the name Osarion & Mountaineer.

Mikel: I’ve always had a fascination with myths and legends. The name Osarion came from a short story related to Pandora’s box. A Greek myth about a box which contained the evils of the world. I very much like the mystery behind such stories, and I would like to incorporate the same atmosphere in the games that I create.

Ramon: People might guess that Mountaineer comes from my hobby bouldering. But actually, I thought of the name with a flatmate about ten years ago. We were going to random pages in the dictionary trying to find suitable company names and Mountaineer was the first one we saw. He’s not involved in this project though.

Describe a usual day in the life of an indie development team.

Mikel: One day I’m drawing enemies and animating them, the next day I’m coding, doing audio design and marketing. Its a lot of work but it’s fun, and the cherry on top is all the reactions you get from the people who have played your game. (Ramon and I both like to watch videos on YouTube of people playing our game).

Ramon: I still have a day job (as an analyst at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol), so I’m limited to a few hours a week of development. We created a lot by trial and error, meaning we spent much time on prototyping.

Can you describe the process/timeline of developing a game?

Mikel: The initial idea is where it starts. Then you need to test it to figure out if it is fun. It might surprise you how many times you THINK something is fun when in reality it is NOT. This is an iterative process. A mistake I often see is that high-level decisions are made without testing them first. In Unsung Warriors we prototyped a lot of ideas before they went into the game. We are currently at a point where we are confident about the systems, and now it is time to expand on that fundament with more content.

Ramon: As I do everything in my free time, I’m intrinsically motivated not to spend my time on things I don’t believe in. As long as I feel “yes! I want to implement this feature!” I feel like I’m on the right path.

How do you juggle all of the aspects of games development?

Mikel: I believe indie developers need a natural curiosity about many disciplines. But with many things to keep you occupied, the critical issue is to have focus and to know how your current work fits into the bigger picture. It’s easy to lose time by becoming distracted, and the increasing number of social media can also make this difficult.

Ramon: You get better at googling things you don’t know about (legal stuff, marketing etc.)

What is your ambition as an indie developer?

Ramon: Finish Unsung Warriors! After seeing al the YouTube videos of people having fun with the Prologue, I hope our crowdfunding campaign succeeds so they can eventually play the full game!

Mikel: For me, it is simply the freedom to continue to develop games that I would personally like to play and at the same time being able to pay the rent each month. The industry is an honest judge, so if our games are any good, I believe this goal is doable.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into the games industry?

Ramon: Be at least good at one thing. Either something technical or something art related. Make sure you know how to finish things, although there’s no need to learn that in the games industry, I learned that in my day job.

Mikel: I agree with Ramon. Focus on one discipline first…Then get good at it and later you can branch out if you’d like. Don’t count on just your education experience, instead put in a lot of free time to perfect your skill. The internet is a good benchmark and mirror. You can see at what level the others are at in your particular field. It’s almost like a game. Increase your level to the point where people are beginning to notice.

Where do you see gaming heading in the next decade?

Ramon: I recently tried AR glasses, and I was pretty enthusiastic about that, but I think classical genres like 2D platformers are here to stay. And I sincerely hope more of them will support couch co-op.

Mikel: Looking at the current direction, I see more and more AAA games deploying mobile game strategies in their games. I don’t like this trend. It’s fine with mobile games because they are ‘Free To Play’ and have to recuperate their development costs somehow, but this is not the case with most AAA titles. Nevertheless, I think the number of free to play games in the AAA market will increase in the upcoming years.

I want to say a massive thank you to Mikel and Ramon for giving their valuable time to take part in the Indie Corner Spotlight interview. If you would like your team to be featured, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

You can support Mikel and Ramon by backing them on their Kickstarter Campaign on the following link,

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