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 Gian Dbeis from Tiny Corp, who submited Tiny Tomb to The Big Indie Pitch at GIC in Poznan 2017 and walked away with the prize for second place.
PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a little about yourself and your indie studio. Who is in the team and what are their inspirations?
Gian Dbeis: We want to casualise the rogue-like genre, evoke the nostalgia and mystery of 8-bit games like Zelda, Metroid and Knight Lore, and introduce it to an audience that is not familiar with these types of titles on the mobile market.
Gian and Miki started building Tiny Tomb about a year ago and after showing the game at a few events we got a lot of interest from all kinds of people. When we got back home in Copenhagen we decided to join forces with Max and Remy to make this project a reality. Together we have formed Tiny Corp and are based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Tell us about your latest project that you pitched at the competition.
Our latest project is Tiny Tomb, it’s a mobile adventure game where you play a cast of heroes each with their own quests and tombs to explore. Everyday there is a new hero to be played, so players have 24 hours to complete that hero's journey.
The project started on the side as a prototype. We both had an idea for a tiny tile based roguelike that could work on a phone, but had the depth of a PC game. Gian had been wanting to elevate voxels and push that medium further for a while, so we thought it could be great to do it within this game.
So we dropped our jobs and worked on the game for almost a year, till it reached a solid prototype stage that was ready take into production. Now we have expanded the team and have been setting up the business to make sure everything is ready for the coming months.
How hard is it to survive as an Indie developer working in mobile?
Being sustainable from making games in the portable space is tough. It is a really saturated market, where the top grossing games take up most of the spotlight and keep growing. Getting featured is important, but becomes less and less valuable now that games as a service have become so dominant.
It’s harder to get players to pay for mobile games these days, mainly because there are a lot of good free games out there and most players don't want to spend more than $2 on a mobile game.
On the other hand, the portable space’s userbase is huge and diverse. The accessible touch controls lends itself to new and unique experiences to users who might not be used to playing games on PC or console.
It is a space with a lot of potential, which can be profitable if you are smart, partner with the right people and have a clear business strategy.
How did you find the your experience pitching as a part of the Big Indie Pitch?
It was our first time visiting Poland, so that was new. It was a lot of fun actually. Pitching made us a little nervous as it was our first time pitching the game but It was great, and turned out better than expected. We met a lot of cool developers and also networked with many people who we are still talking to today.
What do you feel you have gained from the experience and what do you still hope to gain?
We learnt how important it is to create an engaging pitch for your game, making the pitch fun and feel like a little story will get your audience much more into it.
The Big Indie pitch opened up a few opportunities which helped us connect with publishers that are interested in the game. This was a huge step up from where we were in that point of the production and one of the main reasons for joining the Big Indie Pitch.
What are your hopes for this game in the future and do you have any plans for any future projects?
For Tiny Tomb, we want to create a mobile game with a lot of depth and classical dungeon crawling elements. We want the game to be easily scalable so we can add a lot of cool new features and content.
For now Tiny Tomb is our main focus. We regularly jam and work on little prototypes, so maybe one of them could turn into a full production after this project.
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:
- Mar 20th 2018 - The Big Indie Pitch at GDC 2018
- May 14th to 15th 2018 - The Very Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2018
- Jun 12th to 14th 2018 - The Big Indie Pitch in LA 2018
- Jul 10th to 11th 2018 - The Big Indie Pitch at Develop:Brighton 2018
- Aug 3rd to 4th 2018 - The Big Indie Pitch at ChinaJoy 2018
- Aug 22nd to 23rd 2018 - The Big Indie Pitch at Gamescom 2018
- Sep 11th to 12th 2018 - The Very Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2018