As one of the smaller gaming websites, when an opportunity to interview a game developer, be it a triple A or an indie dev, you take that opportunity and run with it. Wit that in mind, I had a chance to interview Forced Showdown developer BetaDwarf and not only asked about the game, but also about how they got started:
- What was spark that gathered the dev team together in the first place?
Steffen-To create our own company since there were no jobs available and our dream was to make games for a living.
- Whose idea was it to move into an unused room in a university? How did you all manage not to get caught moving into the room in the first place?
Steffen-I think it was my idea, we kind of needed a place to be and then we were looking around for options. Then we found that room and moved more and more stuff in, until we realized we could stay for good and basically move out of our apartments. That saved us a lot of money for rent and we could focus way more on the game instead of site jobs.
I think because the University campus was so big and split between 3 huge independent faculties, each individual faculty must have thought that we were part of one of the other faculties or something. Additionally it seemed like there was just not need for our particular classroom for that semester, which was insanely lucky for us, but ended with us getting thrown out when the next semester started, and they apparently needed it…:(
- How did the university find out that you all where there?
Steffen-After a christmas holiday when the new semester started, a teacher simply walked in expecting a cleaned room to prepare for a class. She got quite the surprise and left quickly after a glimpse of many young men sitting in their underpants coding. An hour later two janitors became pretty angry when they realized we had been sleeping there for a long time, and so we were told to move our stuff asap and vacate the area for good… And so we quickly found a house to move into far away instead and basically left our university degrees unfinished…
- What is the indie game scene like in Denmark?
Steffen-It’s pretty good, lots of small companies, however we don’t have that many success examples yet. The most famous one is probably Limbo from Playdead. But we get by and we were very lucky with our game FORCED. It’s hard to start out with a success normally…
- After finally getting Forced off the ground, how hard was it to jump onto the next project. Forced Showdown?
Steffen-Kind of easy I guess. We had already initial plans for FORCED SHOWDOWN, so we knew how to start. But we had a lot of FORCED multiplayer problems that we needed to do post-launch support for, crippling the start of Showdown a bit.
- Do you have any words of wisdom for up and coming indie game developers, especially for those who are from your area of the world (Denmark/Northern Europe)?
Steffen-Hmm try to scope your game as best possible, and ensure it’s realistic. Try to consider the pitch of it early on and see if it makes people interested. Apply for all competitions and stuff that can help you out such as Intel Level-up.
And now questions about the game
- What was the inspiration for Forced Showdown? What gave you the idea to mix together a top down shooter, a roguelike and collectible card/deck builder?
Steffen-The idea was to make a rogue-like with more control in the setup phase, and so the card idea came. That way you had a lot customization in the setup phase to make a plan for how to complete the game, it’s a bit like you make a strategy in a Tower Defense before you start out. Cards are also a great way to keep the balance, like a big inventory, instead of constantly increasing your character’s stats, which also requires the whole game to increase its stats as well. So cards allow for easier updates with new content without making tricky balance challenges.
- Did any elements of your first game, Forced, make it into Forced Showdown?
Steffen-Yes, controls, lore, some enemies and characters and so on.
- What was the hardest part of getting Forced Showdown off the ground?
Steffen-Making small matches and cards work in a rogue-like format. Stuff had to be reset from battle to battle, to make it meaningful, that took quite some time to iterate on.
- How did your partnership with Twitch come about?
Steffen-We also worked with them on FORCED, so we have had a long a good relationship. We love to experiment with Twitch and how to make the experiences more social. I think we will do even more of that in the future.
- Will we see any additions/DLC to Forced Showdown in the future?
Steffen-Indeed, already working on it, and I think next week will include quite an awesome and big free addition to the game already a few weeks after launch. It’s something that allows you to increase the difficulty in new ways but also allows for bigger rewards. I’d say it’s an interesting way to add difficulty customization to the game. If you think campaign 2 is too hard, but campaign 1 is too easy, then go back and make it hard for more rewards until you’re ready for campaign 2 again.
But that’s just one of the things we’re working on, we have already planned quite a bunch of coming updates to keep things interesting. 🙂
Forced Showdown is out right now on Steam for only $19.99.