Interview

The Big Indie Pitch interviews: Team Ocmo on redefining hardcore platformers for mobile devices

The Big Indie Pitch interviews: Team Ocmo on redefining hardcore platformers for mobile devices

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 Olli Raila from Team Ocmo, who submited Ocmo to The Very Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2017 and walked away as Champion.

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

Olli Raila: Team Ocmo is a Finnish three-man indie games studio. The Team consists of Jouni Ipatti (programmer/lead game designer), Olli Raila (artist/game designer) and Antero Järvi (CEO).

As PC/console gamers, we’ve always valued depth of gameplay, tough action challenges and longevity above all else.

Since we haven’t found a game on mobile that truly displays all these attributes, we decided to make one ourselves. We sought to create a Dark Souls-level challenge that fits the short gaming sessions typical for mobile play, striving for a gaming experience where there is always room to improve your skills.

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

Ocmo is a skill and physics-based ninja rope platformer where you swing with tentacles through the levels, using momentum to your advantage. You play as a monster that can run, jump and latch onto surfaces.

Our goal was to redesign hardcore platformers to suit touch screen controls. Ocmo is difficult but always fair. You can feel the hardcore mentality of Super Meat Boy as you die repeatedly, restart instantly and finally release tension by feasting on the sweet bunny at the end of each level.

There are 80 increasingly dangerous levels in the game, including secrets and boss fights.

The game mechanics have so much depth that you keep on finding new ways to use the movement system as you move through the game. Speedrunning the game has endless nuances and opportunities.

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

The mobile market is saturated with an insane amount of games making it difficult for anyone to get visibility. Free-to-play games push a lot of money in marketing which leads to higher costs for everyone.

It is very hard for a small premium indie games company to compete with that. Even after getting very positive reviews and winning various prizes our sales have correlated strongly with App Store featuring.

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

It was a really good experience. Getting such positive feedback always feels great. As a developer it would be nice to see all the other pitches too but I quess that would be difficult to organise.

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

The judges made some good remarks and pitching the game repeatedly gave a lot of confidence for future pitching.

The event was a good place to network with other game developers and gaining media coverage from steelmedia is of course very nice.

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

We hope that not too many players throw their iPads out of the window while trying to finish a level. It would be really nice to see a community of speedrunners form around Ocmo.

We have lots of projects that we would like to take further but in our current situation we try to focus on porting it on Steam.


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:

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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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