2020 is proving to be one of the most unpredictable years the industry has ever seen. Big conferences including GDC have been postponed, people are unable to travel quite as freely, and business is unstable. As such, we felt it was important to continue to highlight all of the amazing indie talent in any way we can.
So, enter the first-ever digital Big Indie Pitches, which took place as a part of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #1.
Taking place over four days. With more than 1100 attendees across 60 countries joining us, Pocket Gamer Connects Digital saw over 160 speakers impart their expertise across 7 tracks, alongside more than 260 digital meetings take plabe. As always, we also hosted a range of roundtables and fringe events such as The Big Indie Pitch too.
All in all, this meant that we were still able to bring together 18 of the most exciting mobile developers from all over the world in order to showcase their latest works to some of our most established judges, and of course, our sponsors Plug In Digital, and our season sponsors G-Star.
Of course, this made it another extremely competitive pitch, with more than one tough decision having to be made in the course of the judging and voting. However, as always there can only be one winner, and that developer was Holy Cow Productions for their title Bot Rods. A high adrenaline racing game with bots set in a futuristic world.
For those not in the know though, The Big Indie Pitch is a regular event run by the makers of PocketGamer.biz. It gives indie developers the chance to pitch their games to industry experts and journalists in a speed-dating-style format. Teams get the opportunity to get valuable feedback on their games, as well as win great prizes such as promotional packages and, more importantly, the coveted Big Indie Pitch bat.
Of course, Bot Rods, as you already know, was the winner, but we always award prizes for the top three. So read on to not only find out more about Bot Rods but also our runners up and honourable mention.
1st Place - Bot Rods by Holy Cow Productions
A joint production between Holy Cow Productions, Hobo Interactive and The Cirqus, Bot Rods is a game set in a futuristic and highly stylised universe. One filled with cute characters and the equally adorable "Bot" vehicles that you must race in order to work out who the fastest in the galaxy is. Featuring a range of characters alongside tricks, skills and a range of crazy weaponry, Bot Rods not only emulates the greats of the Kart Racing genre but even looks to take this one step further.
You see, unlike well-established arcade racing games, Bot Rods utilises quadrupeds which run rather than drive across the gorgeous race tracks. This, in turn, adds not only a high-level dexterity to the gameplay but also a lot of creativity to the design and presentation. Finally, players can look forward to not only a single-player mode, but importantly a focus on offline couch multiplayer too. Standing out in one of the highest quality genres really is tough, but for Kart racing fans, Bot Rods is more than worth paying attention to.
2nd Place - You Suck At Parking by Happy Volcano
You Suck At Parking comes to us by way of Happy Volcano, a name that those who pay attention to the pitch will be more than aware of. That's because not only have they won the PC+Console edition of our pitch before, but they also came third in our first-ever year-end Big Indie Awards. On both occasions, they pitched their deeply moving story-focused title The Almost Gone.
However, this time they arrived with a very different title, and one that proves that this studio really can turn anything they touch to gold. So what exactly are You Suck At Parking? Well, in many ways it's exactly what it says, namely a fun and highly crazy mix between a parking simulator and minigolf. Players must navigate the game's physics system in order to race across the track before attempting to park their vehicle at the end of the stage. Of course, though, it's never as simple as it looks, with the game filled with obstacles, challenges, and puzzles, not to mention the physics system which will require players to learn how to park all over again.
3rd Place - Grimmstar by AstroNaughty Games
Finished the trio of finalists is AstroNaughty Games' Grimmstar. Grimmstar is an action-filled space battler that blends management and RPG game mechanics and then wraps that up in a story that is full of twists and turns that any RPG fan would be proud of.
The core gameplay challenges players with having to explore a variety of different solar systems all with the hope of saving what remains of the human race from the Grimmstar, a planet-eating ship, alongside its daunting fleet of forces. Not only does the game look gorgeous, but thanks to the multiple open sandbox solar systems, the game has more than enough content to keep players engaged for hours upon hours. Well as long as they aren't devoured in the meantime.
Want to show off your exciting new game? We host Big Indie Pitch events throughout the year, so be sure to keep an eye on our events page for an event near you.
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.
Upcoming BIPs include:
- June 9th - The Big Indie Pitch (PC+Console Edition) at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #2
- June 10th - The Big Indie Pitch (Mobile Edition) at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #2
- Plus More To Be Announced Soon