The independent game development scene today is more diverse and vivid than ever, with thousands of studios around the globe working hard every day to bring their visions to life. And with a variety of new publishing avenues such as Steam Early Access, Crowdfunding or various mobile app stores – not to mention AAA game engines being more accessible than ever before – there are fantastic opportunities for smaller developers to find an audience for their creations.
But with all these new opportunities comes a new set of unique challenges that teams have to overcome on their path to success. To learn more about the difficulties that today’s indie developers face, we spoke to the people behind three of the most promising upcoming CRYENGINE games.
First, we met with Alexander Bergendahl, one of the founders of Poppermost Productions. Located in snowy Stockholm, Sweden, his company is hard at work on SNOW, a free-to-play open-world winter sport sum. After months in Steam Early Access, they recently entered Open Beta on PC, with an upcoming PlayStation 4 version also on the books. Foregoing the popular crowdfunding route, the team turned to family and friends to provide crucial initial funding.
Next, we went to sunny Nice on the French Riviera to have a chat with Wolcen Studios about their action-rpg Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem. Founder Daniel Dolui explained how a “lunch break” project born out of his love of the Diablo series of role-playing games turned into one of the most successful Kickstarter projects from France thanks to a stunning-looking prototype.
The final leg of our European whirlwind tour took us to picturesque Prague, where Warhorse Studios holds court. Founded by a team of AAA veterans like Daniel Vávra, the team is building an ambitious realistic open-world RPG, retelling the tumultuous history of their native Bohemia. After years of futile attempts to find a publisher, a last second Kickstarter helped prove to investors that the gaming community would love to see this game happen.
Three teams from three countries, each overcoming unique challenges and trials to see their ambitions come to fruition: These are their ‘Indie Dev Stories’.