The Big Indie Pitch is a regular event run by the makers of PocketGamer.biz.
It sees indie developers engage in a speed-dating-style pitching competition for fame and those sweet, sweet promotional packages.
The event gives indies five 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.
This time, we spoke to WRP Studios developer Urooj Iqbal who recently pitched Lost Twins 2 as a part of The Big Indie Pitch (Mobile Edition) at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #7 and walked away with the second-place prize.
PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a little about yourself and your indie studio - who is on the team, and what are their inspirations?
Urooj Iqbal: I’m Urooj and I handle marketing and PR for WRP Studios, which is an indie game studio located in Pakistan founded back in 2010. In the past 10 years, we published several attention-grabbing titles, however, our latest ego boost was surely a bucket list check. Our bullet hell action-packed game Explottens got selected among the first group of titles to go live on Apple Arcade.
Our team consists of eight or nine members and each individual brings their own unique personality attributes to the table.
Can you tell us about Lost Twins 2 that you pitched at the competition?
Lost Twins 2 is my personal favourite among the titles at our company. It is an incredibly cute puzzle adventure that will challenge, entertain and maybe even inspire you.
We're most encouraged to pursue genres that attract us on a personal level.Urooj Iqbal
The game is about the journey of twins Abi and Ben who have been sucked into an unknown land. They must move across platforms, engage in challenging puzzles, swap tiles to create a path for each other, overcome obstacles and reach the portal to find their way back home, while helping and interacting with friendly strangers along the way.
On this mysterious journey they find help from a Fenghuang bird, but who knows if the mystical Fenghuang is leading them home or steering them down a rabbit hole?
What do you think are the most unique and interesting aspects of Lost Twins 2 that players may never have seen before?
The game brings a unique combination of slide and match and an interactive 3D puzzle environment making a wonderful puzzle adventure game. Each level is carefully designed to keep that challenging element, and yet, they are easily solvable within a few attempts using simple logic. It’s an experience based on puzzle-solving and exploration.
The different zones feature amazing visuals for the users so they can take a step back, relax and have a look at the pleasant scenery, without having to worry about the time running out or the character dying.
Puzzle games are extraordinarily popular - especially on mobile devices. What made you choose this genre, and what do you think you bring to it that may not have been seen before?
Lost Twins 2 takes the game a step further with an added storyline, better graphics and new puzzles to solve. Also, among the puzzle genre in mobile, there have been enough titles that tapped into the actual essence of the genre.
With Lost Twins 2, we have tried to keep that simple casual nature and added a little twist with the interactive environments, so the user is solving puzzles and exploring these mystical lands. I would say that the game is not solely based on puzzle solving, as you also have room to explore and enjoy the surroundings.
How did you come to choose the platforms that you would develop Lost Twins 2 for?
Our prior experience with platforms is mainly inclined towards developing mobile games. After making Explottens for Apple Arcade, we had to broaden our expertise and adapt to working on Mac, Windows and Apple TV. This resulted in a favourable outcome, as it increased our share in the market.
In addition to this, we’re also planning on experimenting with consoles like PlayStation and Xbox in the future.
Looking at the studio a little more now, how hard is it to survive as an Indie developer?
It would greatly vary based on the resources available. Most of your games probably won’t earn you enough to last even a year. It’s hard to find and retain experienced talent and usually, there is a struggle to remain within the budget constraints.
It’s easy to get swayed by big ideas but you won’t have enough budget and resources to complete them...Urooj Iqbal
Finding suitable publishers and investment is a difficult task too. It’s definitely not easy but totally worth it.
Are there any tips and/or advice you would give to an independent developer out there who is just starting out?
Find something that you are skilled at. It’s easy to get swayed by big ideas but you won’t have enough budget and resources to complete them - especially if you have just started out. Choose something that you are passionate about and do your market research.
Most importantly, be open to customer feedback. Build, test, change and test again - and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
How did you find your experience pitching as a part of the Big Indie Pitch?
Big Indie pitch has been a great experience for us. It was very well organised and we got to meet with some wonderful people from some other indie studios and we certainly didn’t expect to win a prize with so many amazing games in the competition.
The digital version made it much easier for us to participate, which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. I hope to see more of the virtual/digital programs even after the pandemic situation. It could be a huge opportunity for small studios or people who are just starting out with limited budgets.
What do you feel you have gained from the experience, and what do you still hope to gain?
The judges provided us with valuable feedback that we hope to integrate into our game. We got to meet with some amazing people from different backgrounds as well.
Game development is a journey and I believe this was one of those steps. There's still a lot more to learn as we go into future endeavours.
What are your hopes for this game in the future, and do you have any plans for any future projects?
We hope it will be a success story. In the future, we plan to take the game to other platforms, alongside work on new zones and updates. For now, nothing can be said with certainty. Who knows we might bring a new puzzle platformer, or Explottens 2, or it could be Lost Twins 3. You didn't hear that from me though!
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, or even our new Digital pitches.