Interview

The Big Indie Interviews: Kwa Qua tells us all about their experimental game all about surrealistic drawings

The Big Indie Interviews: Kwa Qua tells us all about their experimental game all about surrealistic drawings

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 Doron Hirsch from Kwa Qua, who submited Mish Mash to The Big Indie Pitch at The Big Indie Fest 2018 and walked away as the champion.

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

Doron Hirsch: Kwa Qua Games was founded in the end of 2017. It’s dedicated to designing playful platforms that focus on triggering imagination and creativity. We seek to take user-generated content to uncharted territories, giving our players a place to create collaborative and unique art together. The studio is based in Netherlands and Germany and is part of the Dutch Game Garden incubation program.

We are a team of three that all share a love for games and making music:

Doron Hirsch is in charge of concept development, UI + UX and marketing. His background is in interactive installations and performances. Over the years his work shifted towards digital platforms that allow for constant exploration of new possibilities and a higher level of public engagement. He enjoys playing Lego with his daughter, reading science fiction novels and is part of a traditional Javanese Gamelan ensemble where he plays Balungan and Gong.

Leon Arndt is responsible for handling front-end development in the game. He implements designs and handles game flow. Leon has a background in game design and game development. In his free time he plays piano and he volunteers each year to help others in organisations such as IBG, Etudes et Chantiers, Caritas, and Oxfam.

Zoran Petrovic handles all the back-end development. He makes sure all the online gameplay runs smoothly and players data stored safely. His background is in computer science and network solutions. Besides devising elegant algorithms he likes programing synthesizers and compose electronic music.

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

Mish Mash is an experimental game for creating collaborative surrealistic drawings. It is inspired by the game Cadavre Exquis (Exquisite Corpse) invented by surrealist artists in the 1920s. The game brings people together to celebrate diversity and individuality by giving each player a place to contribute their piece to a collective drawing. As more people join the game the drawing gets bigger and more surprising connections are created.

How hard is it to survive as an indie developer?

It’s quite difficult. We all have day jobs which enable us to pursue this project seriously. As both fronts involve working with screens, we sometimes need some time away from them. We would love to be able to devote full time to making games, but there are also advantages for such a long working process as it gives time for ideas to sink in and makes our decision-making more calculated.

How was your experience pitching as a part of the Big Indie Pitch?

It's quite an exhilarating trip and challenge to try keeping your pitch fresh so many times in a row within such a short time-frame. In retrospective it’s very interesting to analyse how your pitch gets refined from one time to the next. It’s like playing the same level in a game over and over while being able to change how the level is structured each time you play. Naturally the more you play, your tactic improves on how much time to give for each segment or which parts to skip altogether. I would definitely recommend doing the Big Indie Pitch for practicing getting your idea across as clear and quickly as possible.

What do you feel you have gained from these experiences and what do you still hope to gain?

The judges all come from different backgrounds and fields of expertise which present you with a variety of great questions and insights. We are learning a lot about managing our game in terms of both vision and product and finding a balance between the two. We are constantly seeking out the best way to find a sustainable path to connect people all over the world through the art they create together inside of Mish Mash.

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

We will continue to show off the game at conventions all over the world. We also want to host events where players can draw together and create collective drawings on-location. Right now Kwa Qua Games is primarily focused on Mish Mash but we are always prototyping new ideas and seeing what sticks. We are continuously searching for the best distribution channels and partners for our games.


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:

More coming soon so make sure to regularly check our upcoming events page here and over on BigIndiePitch.com

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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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