Welcome to another Into Games Twitter Q&A which we host lunchtime every Thursday with industry professionals. Last Thursday we had the amazing opportunity to interview Alexander Pieper (Technical Director) and Oliver Ulrich (Producer) from Studio Fizbin to talk about their game Say No! More.
In this interview we discuss their experience creating the game and the games industry scene in Germany.
First off, would you both like to explain your roles working on Say No! More?
[Alex]As the technical director my main task was to make sure that all the technical pipelines supported the main vision of the game.
[Oliver] As the producer on the project i handled time and budget planning and also ensured meetings happened at the right time in the right way.
For both of you, working at Studio Fizbin seemed to be your first experience in the games industry. What was it like to join the industry in this way?
[Oliver] It was a huge learning experience. At Studio Fizbin we have a team coming from many different backgrounds. Ensuring communication works well for everyone was most exciting to me.
[Alex] My first steps into the industry was founding Studio Fizbin, so I never had the experience of working at another company and for me it was the best way to join the industry!
Say No! More is a really fascinating game that’s not only entertaining but really reflects a problem in life with wanting to say yes at the cost of our own stress. Why do you feel this game is important?
[Alex] Pretty often i found myself in a situation where i said yes to something that i regretted later. Like agreeing to a party for which i don't have the energy to go to or solving someones problem which i can't. And i think it's important to be reminded to "Say NO! more".
[Oliver] I think the game's subject affects everyone's life in one way or another. For me its most important message is that it encourages the player to stand up for themselves. Saying "No" can be very helpful and healthy a lot of times.
It seems like Say No! More hearkens back to obscure Japanese titles like Muscle March. Did you have much experience with these types of games before working on Say No! More?
[Both] Muscle March and even a lot of other Japanese games were actually a great inspiration for the team. We're really proud to be compared to these games. However, our previous titles were 2D and @SayNoMore was the perfect way to make our first steps into 3D.
So much of the time we hear about games development in the same core areas of the world. How do you find the games industry in Germany?
Although our local industry already started in the eighties i think we still have a long way to go development wise. There are a lot of good studios but funding wise there's still a lot to do so said studios can thrive and compete on a global market. On the plus side: right now there's progress happening and we'll have to see how the new funding works out for our studios.
For Oliver - Producing on indie games seems like a really intense experience. What advice do you have for anyone who is considering acting as a producer on an indie title?
"Intense" sounds very fitting to me. My advice would be to be patient. As a producer you don't see your success immediately. But if you stay on track your work will eventually pay off.
For Alexander - What advice would you give someone considering becoming a technical director?
[Alex] Focus on training your communication skills. It's important to properly understand the needs of your team and also that the team understands the effects of your work on the project.
What was your favorite moment working on a game like Say No! More?
[Oliver] The team had incredible creative energy. To channel all the ideas we had a workshop at the beginning of the project. There was this huge table with notes all over it. We all shared a feeling of great excitement about what's to come.
Do you find you Say No More?
[Oliver]Actually yes! As a producer you have to make decisions all the time. In those situations I often think about Say No! More. If "No" is the best answer to a question I feel more confident saying it now.
[Alex] Actually yes. Although i don't say NO all the time i often find myself thinking about it more than i did before we started working on @SayNoMore_Game.
Thank you so much again to Alexander and Oliver for coming in to talk about their experience working in indie games. Check back this Thursday for our next Twitter Q&A!