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NewGen discuss learning from the past and creating a new kind of social deduction experience

NewGen discuss learning from the past and creating a new kind of social deduction experience

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 Seif Ben from NewGen, who submitted West Hunt to The Digital Big Indie Pitch (PC+Console Edition) #13, and walked away as the joint second place runner-up.

The Big Indie Pitch goes Digital

Sophia Aubrey Drake: Tell us a little about yourself and your indie studio - who is on the team, and what are their inspirations?

Seif Ben: My name is Seif and my background is as a software engineer, I started learning game development in 2010, and have experience making a variety of different kinds of games including browser, mobile, console, and of course PC games.

I founded NewGen Studio in 2016, and since then with my team, we have experienced different challenges working on different games including both those for clients and our own games. Through this variety of projects, we reached a level where we felt nothing is impossible, especially after making Clash: Mutants Vs Pirates (a PC MOBA game) which was a huge challenge for us.

Our inspirations are wide and different, we don’t have any specific taste for specific game genres, and find all games enjoyable and a form of inspiration for us. We love to see small indie studios rising and making successful titles, and as a Tunisian Studio, we feel we are so close to achieving that goal.

Tell us about West Hunt that you pitched at the competition.

West Hunt is a social deduction game that's like no other social deduction game.

What do you think are the most unique and interesting aspects of West Hunt that gamers may never have seen before.

First of all, in West Hunt we tried to avoid all the mistakes we made in our previous games, so we put a lot of time into designing the game's mechanics. In every game, there are rules on how to play, like how in real life football is different from say, basketball. In West Hunt, we made a nice playable loop cycle with our own rules to come up with something very unique and different.

West Hunt is an online social deduction game set in the Old West in which two players enter a battle of wits and intelligence. What made you choose to create this type of game, and what do you think you bring to it that may not have been seen before?

Before making West Hunt we were creating a huge MOBA project that took us 4 years to release the beta, so we felt that if we concentrate our experience on something smaller we could make something very exciting to play, and do it in a shorter time.

In addition, due to the social nature of the game, we feel that the mood, gameplay, stress and adrenaline that comes from playing West Hunt is all real, and this sets it apart.

How did you come to choose the platforms that you would develop West Hunt for?

We thought about going on Steam first because it’s safer than any other platform (for social deduction). We have plans after the full release to port the game to Switch at first then mobile after that.

Looking at the studio a little more now. How hard is it to survive as an Indie developer? 

You have no idea how hard it is, especially when you are based in North Africa. However, I guess when you are surrounded with the right people/team and you keep persevering, even if there is a 1% chance of success we will not just simply quit.

Are there any tips and advice you would give to an independent developer out there who are just starting out?

Yes, focus on 1 idea/project and don’t get distracted by too many ideas. Additionally I feel there are 3 key profiles you need in the team:

  • A developer
  • An artist
  • A business person

At some point, you need all of these roles within your team. Beyond this, early marketing/promotion of your game will help, and within this don’t hide your work in progress, share it, get feedback and let people know that you are doing something.

How did you find your experience pitching as a part of the Big Indie Pitch?

This is my 3rd Pitch at the Big Indie Pitch and it was very good, I learned many lessons from the previous pitches. For example, show them the game first, and then answer the questions. I also learnt that making presentations and talking about your game within 5 minutes really is not the easiest thing to do.

What do you feel you have gained from the experience, and what do you still hope to gain?

The first thing we gained is that we now have more confidence. We also got nice detailed feedback which included some important points that we plan to work on.

Moving forward, we still want to be part of events such as these, and shine as much as we can.

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

We received some publishing/investment offers during the past few months, and we have great hopes that the game can become a hit on Steam. We are estimating to release our Early Access in late March/April.

Meanwhile, we have 2 more newborn baby games that would be ready to pitch very soon, and we have a plan to release Clash: Mutants Vs Pirates after the early access.


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.

All our upcoming pitches including how to enter can be found over on our upcoming events page on BigIndiePitch.com.

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Developer Evangelist & Big Indie Pitch Manager / Special Features Writer

Queen of all things Indie. Sophia is Steel Media’s Big Indie Pitch Manager and Developer Evangelist. She’s also a global speaker and 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.

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