Interview

The Big Indie Interviews: TriangleSquare on its award-winning roguelite RTS Spirit Oath

The Big Indie Interviews: TriangleSquare on its award-winning roguelite RTS Spirit Oath

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 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 Yoav, Alon, and David from TriangleSquare, who submitted Spirit Oath to The Big Indie Pitch at White Nights Berlin 19 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?

TriangleSquare: In short - TriangleSquare is a space for people passionate about complete games.
It was almost one year ago when we got together, Yoav, a former games developer, Alon, an "Intel" developer and games master and David, a Milan-raised UX designer and artist.

All with the shared dream of dispatching the grey atmosphere of mundane daily work-life and creating a new environment for games to grow, TriangleSquare is not just a games company, it's an alternative workspace, a project based on values of friendship, co-operation, democracy and fun.

The TriangleSquare team

It wasn't too long until we found more people sharing these aspirations of lifestyle and creation, Yonatan (Yoni), a junior developer, and Zevik, a music composer (Destiny 2), joined our space and took the project to new heights, contributing in both spirit and skill.

Beyond our belief in democracy, we ask everyone to give an opinion and provide the space to hear it, we feel that each person working on the game has their own subtle understanding of the game and can raise good points regarding it.

Of course, we aren't shed from the world and TriangleSquare is a business, but it's one that profits all its members and does not aspire to earn more then it aspires to create. We want to compose worlds, stories, to entertain our audience and give them new universes to escape to every now and then, new horizons, new rules, new games.

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

Spirit Oath is an intense RTS with rougelite elements inspired by card and boards games, wrapped in mystery, in story and unique aesthetics. Build the land around your core to summon and command Spirits to protect it and fend off enemy hordes.

When Negev awakes captured inside of an ancient totem, unable to move or protect herself, it is her only hope to use the forbidden spell, to summon the ancient pure spirits, and use them as an army to counter the evil spirits.

Working on "Spirit Oath" We decided to look for inspiration outside of the video games world. Together we played and discussed board games, and when playing Carcassonne we thought some elements could be ported into a fun video game, while others had to be changed, replaced, or dropped completely.

Two months in we had our first playtest, after which we knew we had something interesting in our hands.

Over the following months we experimented with different mechanics, different art styles and game pace. We came up with different interesting stories and chose the one which fit our gameplay the most.

How hard is it to survive as an indie developer?

Well, no point sugar coating the truth - it's hard, stressful and it's demanding. But, it's extremely satisfying.

Simply put, funds don't just fall out of the sky on indie studios and in today's market making a good, fun game is not enough.

You have to push yourself forward and put yourself out there. Go to conferences, promote yourself, and seize opportunities, like the Big Indie Pitch. It can't be done as a hobby, it takes optimism, determination and perseverance. Luckily, we all have each other.

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

It was incredible! Having the opportunity to present your game, your baby, to sharks from the industry and get honest feedback has been great. We found the speed-pitching as a straight up adrenaline-induced fun! It was also very encouraging for us to accurately refine the pitch and making us feel secure about our game. The host was nice too.

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

Well, needless to say, we got coverage. That's a huge deal for an indie studio which is trying to get its name out there. But that's not all, we left the BIP with dozen of business cards of people who genuinely wanted to see more of our game being not only a huge motivation thrust but also increased our confidence and our faith in the product and in ourselves as a studio.

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

This might come off as cliche but we want many to see many players living through the adventure we made for them. We want this game to be a cornerstone for a community for many more different adventures to come.

We have many plans for features and improvements for Spirit Oath itself. While working we had many dilemmas between many good options, and if the game succeeds perhaps we'll do a sequel and explore other paths with these mechanics.

Other than that, we have several interesting ideas up our sleeves, and when time permits we'll surely pull them out and give 'em a go!

Look us up on social media to stay up to date!


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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