The Big Indie interviews: AGOG Entertainment sits down with us to talk all thing

The Big Indie Pitch is a daily occasion run by the makers of Pocket Gamer and PC Games Insider. It sees indie builders interact in a speed-dating-styled pitching competitors for fame and people candy, candy promotional packages.

The occasion provides indies 5 minutes to pitch their video games to a panel of press, publishers and business pundits. The judges then decide three winners and all people will get helpful suggestions.

The indie view

The Big Indie Pitch is getting greater and larger as we carry it to occasions all the world over. To provide you with an thought of what the occasion is like, who attends the occasions and the video games on present, we have sat down with a lot of previous PC Indie Pitch contestants to provide their views.

Today, we’re talking to AGOG Entertainment’s Robert Hubert, who submitted Brutal Grounds to The Big Indie Pitch (PC+Console Edition) at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 and walked away as the runner-up.

The Big Indie Pitch goes digital

Sophia Aubrey Drake: Tell us a little bit about your self and your indie studio – who’s on the workforce, and what are their inspirations?

Robert Hubert: AGOG Entertainment was launched in 2009 by my Sister, Kat and I based mostly out of our condo in Los Angeles California. We began the studio as a manner to train ourselves how to develop video games. Since then, we’ve launched 7 cell video games and brought half in a number of different dev tasks. Two years in the past, teamed up with Brian Howard who’s the lead developer on Brutal Grounds, Mike Geaney, and Trevor Malone who’re builders as properly. Kat does the sport artwork and map dev, I do the UI and SFX in addition to handle the enterprise finish of issues. About a 12 months in the past we had been joined by Rory Given who’s the composer engaged on the soundtrack and in-game dynamic audio. All of us are massive videogame nerds, with a variety of our inspiration coming from the old-fashioned shooters we used to play collectively like Quake, Unreal Tournament, and Doom, so you might even see a few of that in Brutal Grounds. More just lately, we’ve been impressed with the evolution of eSports and the encircling business and I believe that has positively steered a few of our focus in creating features of this recreation.

The workforce is positioned in three completely different international locations with three of us within the US, two in Canada, and one within the UK. So we take full benefit of instruments like Discord, Google Suite, and ClickUp for our communication and mission group. Fun truth: we all have day jobs. So all our dev work is finished in our spare time, numerous late nights and weekend hours spent on voice chat hashing out design particulars and playtesting.

Tell us about Brutal Grounds that you simply pitched on the competitors.

Absolutely. Brutal Grounds is a comically bloody aggressive top-down ball-rolling (sure I mentioned Ball-Rolling) enviornment shooter the place gamers equip a “meat-filled-marble” with numerous weapons & talents and take to the world to battle it out in video games of seize the flag, king of the hill, deathmatch, and extra.

The recreation presents a singular tackle the shooter style by adapting components of the trendy FPS and translating them right into a top-down enviornment shooter whereas additionally borrowing components of basic arcade combating video games to create a recent and fascinating play fashion.

Players use and abuse momentum, make the most of weapon recoil, talents, and different distinctive motion methods that permit for thrilling and visually participating fights to unfold.

Brutal Grounds centres round groups of 4 gamers for workforce video games, and eight gamers for solo video games. New gamers will discover the low talent flooring refreshing whereas aggressive gamers will get pleasure from a excessive talent ceiling for individuals who need to play competitively.

The recreation has been in growth for nearly two years and whereas we consider it as nonetheless in alpha, everybody retains telling us to “simply launch it already”, and to that, I say, “we are going to when it is prepared”.

Just just lately, nevertheless, we did launch one thing fairly thrilling, quantity one of many Brutal Grounds OST which is now obtainable on Spotify and YouTube.

The workforce couldn’t be extra happy with the album. Rory managed to carry out a sound for the sport that’s higher than we may have imagined.

What do you assume are essentially the most distinctive and attention-grabbing features of Brutal Grounds that avid gamers could by no means have seen earlier than.

I believe our translation of the FPS combating expertise right into a top-down recreation mixed with the dynamic momentum-based motion mechanics you get from the ball makes for a extremely enjoyable and distinctive playstyle. While the sport is ready in a top-down world, it nonetheless maintains quite a lot of the combating mechanics you’d count on of an FPS and truly provides a little bit of nuance to the best way gamers navigate and strategize performs within the enviornment.

Brutal Grounds is a top-down massively multiplayer enviornment battler with a give attention to eSports. To say it is a key market, one with a good bit of wider consideration could be an understatement. However, this makes it very aggressive. So, what made you select to goal this market, and what do you assume you carry to it that will not have been seen earlier than?

I don’t assume we fairly fall within the massively multiplayer enviornment style, or not less than that is not what we’re capturing for – whereas we do help upwards of 36 participant matches, Brutal Grounds is absolutely targeted across the dynamics of the 4v4 participant recreation. So, we most likely match higher someplace in between the Rocket Leagues and Overwatches on the market. Which we’re massively impressed by. We needed to place the sport someplace inside these team-based kinds of video games the place there was a big sufficient demand for a brand new type of aggressive expertise. First and foremost nevertheless we actually simply needed to create one thing all of us needed to play after which we narrowed that focus a bit to one thing we felt could be distinctive sufficient to garner the eye of gamers of video games in neighbouring genres.

Something attention-grabbing that Brutal Grounds brings to the desk except for the apparent “You play as a meat-filled-marble” thing is that there are not any heroes or courses, somewhat we’ve developed a balanced system the place gamers can combine and match a litany of main weapons, secondary weapons, and Abilities to create over 200 (and rising) distinctive load-outs and playstyles. The recreation focuses extra on the capabilities of every participant because the ball, somewhat than a personality and their inherent talents and this makes it really feel and play far more like an precise sport.

How did you come to select the platforms that you’d develop Brutal Grounds for?

We focused PC as our preliminary launch platform for its accessibility and openness. PC offered the least obstacles from idea to launch out of all the opposite conventional platforms. That’s not to say we don’t have our sights set on these platforms as properly and we imagine the sport could be a fantastic match as a twin-stick-shooter on consoles, however proper now, with out a writer, PC is the place it’s at.

Looking on the studio a little bit extra now. How arduous is it to survive as an Indie developer?

Let’s simply say that proper now, whereas we’re bootstrapping all the things ourselves, if we did not have our day jobs (that’s appropriate, all the work on this recreation has been carried out in our spare time), there would not be a recreation.

Under the definition of indie developer, you can find indie groups with AAA business veterans with hundreds of thousands in funding working full time on a title grouped proper alongside groups like ours, with a handful of associates grinding away of their spare time on a mission with zero finances and all the things in between. That mentioned, we like being grouped with these of us as a result of nice video games can come from wherever, and so can unhealthy video games. Without prior business connections and funding, you simply have to work more durable and forge a path that leads to connections and funding. Over the course of creating Brutal Grounds, we’ve met numerous indie devs identical to us, and they’re a number of the hardest working scrappy teams of individuals you’ll ever meet. And that is as a result of, at our stage, all the things we do comes from a spot of ardour. We know we’re up in opposition to giants, so we’ve to hold grinding and studying and constructing till we make it. But yeah, proper now it’s robust on the market. Competition retains piling up – positively numerous lengthy nights and weekends.

Are there any suggestions and recommendation you’d give to impartial builders on the market who’re simply beginning out?

There are numerous causes to make a recreation, so there’s nobody bit of recommendation for why or how to develop a recreation. Just make the sport you need to play, however set your self up for achievement. Find individuals who have succeeded and be taught all the things you may from them. Make a listing of the connections you need to make and attain out to new folks frequently, by no means cease connecting. Think about your endgame first. What is it that you really want to obtain with your recreation? Build that into your recreation from day one. Build your group now, it’s by no means too early to begin participating with your future gamers. Make certain what you might be creating is constructed to scale, that means, do not code your self right into a nook, plan for achievement, and take into consideration what you would possibly want down the highway and it can save you your self a variety of work whenever you get there. Building a recreation generally is a very lengthy and generally bumpy highway, hold at it.

How did you discover your expertise pitching as part of the Big Indie Pitch?

The Big Indie Pitch was superb. We didn’t fairly know what to count on being our first time on the occasion and having it all digital. So, I spent a superb period of time to be certain our pitch may work for something however the format of the occasion ended up being excellent for a digital present and was exceptionally properly organized and went off with out a hitch. It was superb to get to pitch to so many alternative judges who all come from completely different areas of experience and to get to hear their suggestions in real-time in addition to their official suggestions put up pitch. It was enjoyable to hang around and chat with the opposite indie devs between pitches as properly. I totally loved the occasion.

What do you are feeling you have got gained from the expertise, and what do you continue to hope to acquire?

It was inspiring, academic, and productive. On a private stage, I positively realized lots about myself and what it is like pitching to a various group of judges that I’ll take with me to each future occasion. It was a little bit of a crash course in how to pitch a recreation. I’ve all the time been the kind to attend in-person occasions and thrive on chatting up a crowd and exhibiting off the sport in an open discussion board, so the change in format actually made me conscious of what I wanted to work on for some of these occasions and the way we will enhance the best way we demo the sport. On knowledgeable stage, not solely did we make a number of nice connections, we ended up with a lot of follow-ups from publishers and different teams who had been concerned about studying extra about our recreation and probably partnering with us. In the times and weeks following PGC, we most likely had over a dozen thrilling calls. Not all of them changed into a partnership however they all created lasting contacts with superb folks and teams. We are nonetheless in talks with a number of the judges from the occasion and look ahead to working with them when Brutal Grounds is prepared.

What are your hopes for this recreation sooner or later, and do you have got any plans for any future tasks?

We are presently searching for funding or a writer for Brutal Grounds. We have a reasonably aggressive roadmap we’re working in the direction of earlier than the sport is on the stage we wish it to be earlier than we will launch it; getting funding or a writer would permit us to higher place ourselves for launch and to knock out a lot of stretch targets. A big a part of Brutal Grounds is geared in the direction of the aggressive/eSports nature of the sport, and so we’re spending a big period of time creating out the platform required for each gamers and spectators to have the very best expertise potential. Our dream come true for Brutal Grounds could be for it to break into the world of eSports and see some pro-level groups going head to head.

Another space we’re placing tons of labor into is in making the sport completely moddable, from the devoted server construct to the map editor, and the mod system. The objective right here is to design the sport as a platform that may allow gamers to proceed to construct and create new content material and recreation modes lengthy after it’s launched. We need it to survive and thrive, and we’re backing that up with a variety of arduous work creating the instruments crucial for the group to take issues to the following stage.

And lastly, if any of the above sounds enjoyable to you and also you need to participate within the route of Brutal Grounds, or possibly simply roll round and shoot your pals within the ball, please be part of our discord and we’ll provide you with free steam keys.

Want to exhibit your thrilling new recreation? We host Big Indie Pitch occasions all year long, so ensure to hold an eye fixed out on our occasions web page for an occasion close to you, and even our new Digital pitches.

All our upcoming pitches together with how to enter may be discovered over on our upcoming events page on

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