The Big Indie Pitch interviews: Grant & Bert on charming 2D adventure Abi

We speak to Grant & Bert, the winner of The Big Indie Pitch at ChinaJoy 2017

The Big Indie Pitch interviews: Grant & Bert on charming 2D adventure Abi

The Big Indie Pitch is a regular event run by the makers of 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 Grant & Bert's Max Wang, who submited Abi to the Big Indie Pitch at ChinaJoy 2017 and won. Tell us a little about yourself and your indie studio - who is in the team and what are their inspirations?

Max Wang: I’m Max Wang, and I’m the friendly producer at Grant & Bert Studios. We’ve got six members in total. I’m in charge of the background concept design and the robot design; Cheng Peng is the animator and the story writer; Bo Zeng is our programmer; Di Tan is the robot designer and the animator; Iris Wang is the game level designer; Peng Yin is the special effects artist. 

We are here together because we all believe that video games are a good platform to express our thoughts and share them with everyone on the planet. For our inspirations, we love Monument Valley, Inside, Machinarium, Journey, Night in the Woods and Limbo.

Tell us about your latest project that you pitched at the competition.

Abi is a 2D puzzle game. In this game, you will discover the reason why the humans in this world have mysteriously disappeared, doing so via the main characters Abi and DD. You will also help DD to find a important friend: a little white bird.

The game contains amazing artwork and animations, though it mostly focuses on story-telling. In the game, you will find lots of emotional interactions between robots, or even between some long lost human beings.

Robots from our game are the symbol of the past, the symbol of emotion and love. Humans, on the other hand, represent future and rationality. You will see the conflicts between the two races and they will make you think about the possibilities of our future. We love to create a topic and let people think.

The game is made in Unity and we use real-time light in it.

How hard is it to survive as an indie developer working in mobile?

Since there are more and more indie developers take part in creating mobile games, I would say the competition is huge. So yeah, quite simply, it’s becoming harder and harder every day.

How did you find the experience of pitching as a part of the Big Indie Pitch?

It was super exciting and helpful. It was great to tell other people about our game, try other developers’ game projects, and collect feedback. Both judges and other game developers have been very friendly.

What do you feel you have gained from the experience and what do you still hope to gain?

We’ve learned the players’ expectation for our game. We hope that we would get more information about what we can change or fix in order to make the game better.

What are your hopes for this game in the future, and do you have any plans for any future projects?

Firstly, we are going to complete Abi part two (the game will be released in two parts). Then we hope that we can create a 2D animated feature film based on the story. For future projects, perhaps a sandbox game is what we’ve got in mind at the moment.

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:

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.

Developer Evangelist & Big Indie Pitch Manager / Special Features Writer

Queen of all things Indie. Sophia is Steel Media’s Big Indie Pitch Manager and Developer Evangelist. She’s also a global speaker and lifelong gamer with a fanatical love of all things Nintendo and Japan. So much so that she’s written a thesis on one and lived in the other.