Interview

Indie Spotlight: Why Mousetrap Games CEO Edward Mężyk believes indies have no boundaries

Indie Spotlight: Why Mousetrap Games CEO Edward Mężyk believes indies have no boundaries

With discoverability in the mobile gaming market becoming harder and harder, we've decided to shine the spotlight on the amazing and interesting indie developers out there.

So welcome to the Indie Spotlight, where each week a developer tells us about their life and work, and the challenges facing indie developers in the modern mobile market.

This week, we spoke with Mousetrap Games CEO Edward Mężyk, a two-time winner of The Big Indie Pitch and developer of Rocat Jumpurr.

PocketGamer.biz: How did you get started as an indie games developer?

Edward Mężyk: We started as a spin-off of a non-gaming company, but the success of our games on the local market pushed us towards independence.

Looking for finance is always a challenge as until you are a big company
Edward Mężyk

What is a typical day in your life as an indie?

If you think about the whole business and you throw out things in the back office, then we are doing a few things constantly:

  • Analysing (markets, top lists, trends, UA data, UX data, monetisation data)
  • Creating ideas based on our analytics (new games, new solutions for existing games, new ideas how to monetise better, how to do UA better)
  • Arts and code development
  • Test, test, test (manually, automatically, internally within the company, outside the company, everywhere)

More so, we are iterating through all of these things as much as possible.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far as an indie?

Looking for finance is always a challenge as until you are a big company, we have to prove that we have ideas, energy, and experience for making profitable titles.

How do you define 'success'?

Two factors:

  • Ratings and retention KPIs equals user happiness - if ratings and KPIs are high, we are happy that those who downloaded our products are having fun. That means we are doing a good job and that means great fun for users.
  • Commercialisation - it's important to monetise well as then we can make the games more fun. Without money, it's hard to focus on making a game fun for everyone.

What is your opinion of the mobile games market for indies right now?

The market is full of beautiful and extremely enjoyable games. I think that without brave indie studios, mobile gaming would be boring as indies are the ones searching for innovative mechanics and have no limits – in terms of creativity.

Mousetrap Games became a two-time winner of The Big Indie Pitch at PGC London 2020

Of course, only a few will survive as it has to be profitable. But it's absolutely necessary to encourage indie game developers to fight for good unique titles that help to move games forward.

Could you tell us about Rocat Jumpurr and why the game felt right for mobile?

Rocat Jumpurr was created as a mobile title, so we created it with a focused mind on small devices. We wanted to combine the simplicity of the mechanic with the hypercasual category (which is super popular on mobile) with much more core gameplay that will attract for much longer while delighting the eyes and mind. The game is designed for short sessions full of emotions and explosions.

How are you as a studio coping under the current Covid-19 pandemic?

I think that without brave indie studios, mobile gaming would be boring
Edward Mężyk

We are doing great as we have extremely good relations inside. We are like a family, so going to remote work was only an acceleration for us, as now we are spending less time commuting and more on developing games.

We've been very lucky as no one from our close environment was touched by Covid-19 and we're hoping that the pandemic will end soon. We're now aiming to put out as many titles on the market as possible.

What are your current plans for the future?

We are working on several projects, so we want to finish as many of them as we can. This year we want to release a logic game, an RPG that will be like a breath of fresh air in the genre – especially when it comes to mechanics and general approach.

We also have a visual novel due to launch at the end of 2020, as well as a couple of hypercasual titles.

If you had an unlimited budget, what game would you most like to make?

That is a super hard question as we have so many super cool ideas. It would probably be a multi-version of games from different categories bonded with one master game on top of them all.

What advice would you give other developers on 'making it' as an indie?

Utilise your creativity as much as you can. Don’t give yourself any boundaries, as having no boundaries is the strongest part of being an indie. The only rule you have to obey is to keep it on a relatively small budget due to the difficulty with creating a big title as an indie developer.

Staff Writer

Matthew Forde is the staff writer for PocketGamer.biz and also a member of the Pocket Gamer Podcast. You can find him on Twitter @Forde999 talking about Smash Bros. and everything pop culture related - particularly superheroes.

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