Interview

The Big Indie Pitch interviews: Wee Door talks striking OIL at The Big Indie Pitch

The Big Indie Pitch interviews: Wee Door talks striking OIL at The Big Indie Pitch

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 Simon Messer from Wee Door, who submited OIL to The Big Indie Pitch at Abertay University in Dundee 2017 and walked away with the prize for third place. However, that's not all, as they then came back for our flagship bumper edition Very Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects London 2018 and in doing so went one better by coming second.

PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a little about yourself and your indie studio. Who is in the team and what are their inspirations?

Simon Messer: Wee Door is comprised of Simon Messer and Josh Hale. Our inspirations as a company are teams such as Ustwo, Thatgamecompany and Built by Snowman; among others. These companies all produce incredible premium products with a focus on the user experience, which is something we also aspire to do.

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

Oil is a game about digging for oil in early 1900s America. It is a digital board game that is being developed for mobile and TV platforms.

The game is an interpretation of 'Battleships' in the setting of the movie 'There Will Be Blood'. The major difference is that OIL takes place on a single shared play space, resulting in players strategically competing for shared resources.

OIL has a low-poly isometric visual style focusing on minimal design with aesthetically pleasing interactions and animations.

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

We’re both extremely passionate about what we do which makes us motivated to work hard on OIL around other aspects of our lives. We both have jobs outside of the games industry which help fund the development time required for OIL, as well as both being full time students in the final year of university.

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

It was a great learning experience pitching at the Big Indie Pitch. The format was very fresh, novel and encouraged a great discussion with the judges. We got great real-time feedback and advice and it was really interesting having our pitch adapt throughout the session to respond to questions in advance.

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

We learnt a lot about the value of being able to concisely communicate the key points about the game that we’re making. We gained some great feedback and learnt how to better convey our game to others within the industry.

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

We are expecting to release OIL on mobile and TV platforms in the first half of 2018. We’re really excited to get it in people’s hands now we’ve been building it for a while and are looking forward to hearing even more feedback from players.

We’d love to take OIL into different times and places thematically and are very interested in continuing the development of OIL past its initial release.


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

A 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. Currently she's on a quest to catch every last Pokemon.

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