The Big Indie Pitch interviews: Studio Sinkhole talk pitching and playing golf in space

We speak to Studio Sinkhole, who took away the third place prize at the Big Indie Pitch at G-Star 2017

The Big Indie Pitch interviews: Studio Sinkhole talk pitching and playing golf in space

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 Lee Moonhwan from Studio Sinkhole, who submited Gwarp to The Big Indie Pitch at G-Star 2017 and walked away with the prize for third place. Tell us a little about yourself and your indie studio. Who is in the team and what are their inspirations?

Lee Moonhwan: We are a small team developing games in Seoul, Korea. We have three members on our team and we’ve been working together since we met in the university.

We think we all have different experiences that we want when we are playing games and we’ve never seen games that fulfill all those needs. Elements like these that are lakcing in existing games are the reason we keep planning new games and making them.

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

Our first mobile game, Gwarp was released on September 15th 2017 as a free-to-play game. Gwarp, a portmanteau of the words golf and warp, is a space adventure game about an imaginary space sport we created where golf and battles are combined.

It's been released on Google Play for Android phones and was introduced in the Busan Indie Connect Festival and G-Star 2017 in Korea.

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

Just like many of the indie developers in Korea, finding a space that we can work in was one of the biggest concerns of ours.

We started working in a small rooftop office on a factory in Seoul. In the early stages, three laptop computers felt like enough for making games. However, since we started to make merchandise for marketing and game festivals, the office seemed to get smaller every day.

Luckily, after Gwarp we got an opportunity to work in an awesome new office with an investor who gave our game a favorable evaluation. Now that we#ve solved the problem of where to work, our aim is to reach the stage where we are financially stable, which is our next priority behind making awesome games that we love.

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

The Big Indie Pitch at G-star was our first pitching experience and it was great. Preparing a four-minute-long explanation for those who have never seen our game before was a great opportunity to have an objective perspective on the characteristics of our game.

Judges’ comments were sharp, and especially comments of those from other countries were precious to us since it was hard to get feedback from the overseas market as a small dev team.

They helped us find out what to change in our game and to inform our development direction in the future. Oh, and it was really fun to watch people using the rubber chicken at the end of each turn.

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

We gained confidence. Since it was our first game after we formed, it had not been introduced to lots of people yet, and because of that reason, we gained confidence on what we were doing through the positive feedback from the judges who are working in the games industry.

From this time forward, we want to have the confidence that we can maintain our living doing what we love to do consistently. We think it could be possible not only through financial gain, but also through the increased attention and good responses we are receiving from people.

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

We wish to have more users enjoy our game. Furthermore, we want to tell more of the stories based on the world we created for Gwarp through the games we are currently developing and planning to make in the future.

We've already released a space cooking simulation game ‘Astro Chef’ for Android phones that got favourable responses in Korea. We are currently working on a spaceship-driving casual title for mobile and are planning an absorbing PC game with greater volume based on card battling.

Check out Gwarp on Google Play.

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:

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.