The Big Indie Pitch is a regular event run by the makers of Pocket Gamer and PC Games Insider. It sees indie developers engage in a speed-dating-styled pitching competition for fame and those sweet, sweet promotional packages.
The event gives indies five 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 Big Indie Pitch contestants to offer their views.
Today, we're speaking to Elin Holst from Unarmed Visitors, who submitted Where You Folks Die Of Cold to The Digital Big Indie Pitch (PC+Console Edition) #11 sponsored by our season sponsors Kwalee, and walked away as the runner-up.
Sophia Aubrey Drake: Tell us a little about yourself and your indie studio - who is on the team, and what are their inspirations?
Elin Holst: The studio is made up of Elin Holst, our artist with a background in comics and a love for character design, and Joseph Cherry, our sound designer and unity dev who loves all things narrative and always appreciates a good story.
Weirdly we met flippin’ burgers in Malmö central station and it didn’t take long for Joseph to find out that Elin had the same taste in games and stuff. After some bothering Elin eventually agreed to work on a demo and we’re very blessed to have great support and funding for art projects here in southern Sweden.
Tell us about Where You Folks Die Of Cold that you pitched at the competition.
Where you folks die of cold is what you’d get if you took a Rubix cube, a snow globe and a music box smashed it all together and told a story with it. Essentially it's a murder mystery in a snow globe.
What do you think are the most unique and interesting aspects of Where You Folks Die Of Cold that gamers may never have seen before.
The puzzle-solving mechanic is quite unique. In a way, you're turning clues over in your head while literally turning the snowglobe parts.
Where You Folks Die Of Cold is a narrative-driven puzzle adventure set within little snow globes, which the judges thought was so incredibly unique. What made you choose to make this kind of game though, and what do you think this game does that players may not have seen before?
We choose this kind of game partly because we love a good story but also the necessity of our particular skill set. We wanted to make something where the art and audio could really sing. I think this combo of casual puzzler and detective games is very effective at bringing players into a world and letting them explore.
How did you come to choose the platforms that you would develop Where You Folks Die Of Cold for?
While we hope to be able to port our game to mobile or other platforms like Nintendo switch in the future we decided to start out with PC so we don’t have to worry about screen sizes and specific console requirements. (Though many people seem to think this would feel good on mobile).
Looking at the studio a little more now. How hard is it to survive as an Indie developer? Are there any tips and advice you would give to an independent developer out there who are just starting out?
We would love to have the answer to this ourselves actually. But some of the things we’ve learned so far are:
- Go out and meet people right away. Even if you have nothing to show right now.
- Find yourself an (as they say in Swedish) ‘bollplank’. Someone who gets you that you can try ideas out on. Don’t make games in a vacuum.
- Thirdly we would like to stress how very lucky we have been for getting so much support, and that you should reach out to whatever resources or mentors you can find.
How did you find your experience pitching as a part of the Big Indie Pitch?
I, Elin, who did the event had a really good time with it. It was something we had been encouraged to do by one of our mentors who had done the same before. I thought it’d be good practice for future pitches and a fun experience getting to meet new people. We were definitely both shocked and humbled when we got second place.
What do you feel you have gained from the experience, and what do you still hope to gain?
We are learning things every step of the way. There really is nothing that teaches you how to make a video game, like making a video game. From pitching, we have learned a lot about what makes others excited about the game and that keeps us excited.
What are your hopes for this game in the future, and do you have any plans for any future projects?
I mean ideally, we finish it, it speaks to people and it will allow us to make more things. Joseph is already plotting a multiplayer field recording game.
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, or even our new Digital pitches.