The Big Indie Pitch is a regular event run by the makers of PocketGamer.biz. It sees indie developers engage in a speed-dating-styled pitching competition for fame and those sweet, sweet promotional packages.
The event gives indies four minutes to pitch their games to a panel of press, publishers and industry pundits. The judges then pick three winners and everybody gets valuable feedback.
The indie view
The Big Indie Pitch is getting bigger and bigger as we bring it to events all across the world. To give you an idea of what the event is like, who attends the events and the games on show, we've sat down with a number of past BIP contestants to offer their views.
Today, we're speaking to Peter from Raysol Games, who submited Dungeon Balls to the Big Indie Pitch at ChinaJoy 2017 and came second.
PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a little about yourself and your indie studio - who is in the team, and what are their inspirations?
Peter: I’m Peter from Taiwan. I used to be a programmer in a gaming company, but I switched lanes and became a designer later on because of my passion for designing games.
After working in a gaming company for seven years, I decided to start my own business and design the game of my dreams. I founded the gaming company Raysol Games in 2016
The origin of the company name is that it sounds like "rare soul", pronounced quickly; it means that we hope every team member can have a rare soul, bringing in unique ideas to help create work like no other.
Tell us about your latest project that you pitched at the competition.
We created Dungeon Balls because we wanted to make a smartphone game that caters to Japanese players.
When we were searching for suitable themes, we found the locally well-known traditional physical game of pachinko. Then we came up with the idea of combining the feeling of winning prizes with killing monsters through simple replacement.
In addition, we drew beautiful manga style comics specifically for the game’s storyline, hoping that our players can understand more about the story and the personality of the characters.
For example, why did the three sisters, the protagonists, enter the dungeon? It was because Ruby accidentally burned down their house, so the three sisters needed to enter the dungeon to earn money to rebuild their home.
How hard is it to survive as an Indie developer working in mobile?
For an indie team, getting recommendations from platforms like Google and Apple is the most important thing, because indie teams severely lack marketing resources.
They need platform recommendations to players to have chances at exposure. But sometimes even if they get platform recommendations, the product still fails to gain enough support from players.
I have met many indie developing teams in Taiwan over the past two years, and nearly half of them disbanded after a year because they didn't have enough revenue.
My company also ran into serious financial issues after the first six months and the only thing I could do in those desperate circumstances was to let my employees go and keep on developing new products on my own.
How did you find the experience of pitching as a part of the Big Indie Pitch?
Actually I had experience of making several pitches before the Big Indie Pitch. It is essential to be fully prepared with the speech, but what’s more important is that I practiced my speech many times, and there were several things I found particularly important.
For example, the introductory stage must fully convey the fun of the core gameplay; it has to present the features of the game, such as the building system, the interactive decorations and the beautiful in-game comic, all within a short period of time.
I think these are the key factors that helped me stand out among many excellent products.
What do you feel you have gained from the experience, and what do you still hope to gain?
This was my first time introducing a game in Chinese and English in front of judges from different countries. I did feel a little nervous during the pitch, which made me talk faster and faster. I hope I can overcome this problem in the future.
What are your hopes for this game in the future, and do you have any plans for any future projects?
I hope that we can continue drawing the comic for the storyline of Dungeon Balls, because I've prepared a lot for the story.
Regarding future projects, I am preparing a new title. It will be a beautiful painting game with great music. I hope everyone will like it.
Want to show off your exciting new game? We host Big Indie Pitch events throughout the year, so be sure to keep an eye out on our events page for an event near you.
Upcoming BIPs include:
- The Big Indie Pitch @ Jordan Games Summit 2017 (November 11th 2017)
- The Big Indie Pitch @ G-STAR 2017 (November 16th - 18th 2017)
- The Big Indie Pitch in Dundee 2017 sponsored by Amazon Appstore (November 30th 2017)
- The Big Indie Pitch at The Games Hub, Essex 2017 (December 14th 2017)
- The Very Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects London 2018 (22nd - 23rd January 2017)
But there's more! For the first time ever this year we'll be hosting The Big Indie Awards 2017 in association with indieSky. Having just hosted the remote judges voiting, you can look out for our countdown of the very best of The Big Indie Pitch 2017 right here very soon.