Indiefferent is a small independent game development team from Croatia made up of Hrvoje Maros and Andrej Kovacevic, crafting original and immersive experiences.
Both Andrej and Hrvoje have been game addicts since the first interactive screen has been introduced to them. They had the privilege to grow up in the best phase of video game evolution, experiencing a lot of great titles that they still remember and cherish. So it was really just a matter of time before they would attempt their own take on the indie game scene. With Andrej holding a professional degree in Project Management and hand on programming experience and Hrvoje having a BA in Audio Production along with a lifetime of drawing amazing art, they made the perfect game dev duo. Winning their first local Game Jam gave them the confidence to embrace the challenge of a big IP - Bear With Me.
“To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often.” Winston Churchill
After we had a small playable version that looked more like a vertical slice then like a demo, the difference being that it showed the features and mechanics rather than the story, we wanted to get some feedback on it. So we sent it out to a few friends and game enthusiasts, not really knowing if they would like it at all, but I guess that´s normal when you hand over something you made from scratch to be evaluated. I remember reading somewhere that a game developer said how every time before release he has an identity crisis, “Will they like it? I know we could have done more! What if they will hate it?!” and so on.The feedback we got was actually better than I expected, there were a lot of great comments and compliments. The testers mostly liked the graphic design and style direction, and since they did not comment music and gameplay very much we thought that it did not get in their way too much while playing, which was also really good, something we hoped for and worked toward.
One thing that popped out more than less as a comment was the look of our heroine Amber. Her graphics and animations looked a little unfinished to the testers. Hrvoje, our graphic designer, instantly agreed on the comments. He told me that since he first finished her he was not really happy and wanted to do some more work on her. And although it was really hard for me to part with our sweet little character, we agreed and Hrvoje started working on her again.We kept the initial 8 direction movement, but Hrvoje added more detail to her and more animation sprites in every direction. The first version had only 3 animation sprites for any direction which made her movement a little chunky. For the improved version Hrvoje picked out none less than Guybrush Threepwood as a work frame. For now we settled on 7 sprites per direction (which is more than 200% improvement).
I felt really bad after importing the new animation sprites Hrvoje made. It felt like I was putting “old” Amber away, locking her up. I don´t feel this way when we improve object sprites, like clocks or balls, but Amber was already a little quirky “alive” character and I had to send her to “You´re not it!” camp. For a couple of days I did not like the new and improved Amber, I wasn´t even able to see the improvements. But as time went by, and I tested and tweaked her movement, she also became more and more “alive”. These little characters are becoming like my own, maybe they don´t really grow up, but they also change and improve and have a mind of their own. Enough now of my sentimental irrelevant jibber-jabber. I proudly give you the new and improved Amber.
There is another great story behind how & why we made a playable vertical slice of the game, it has something to do with trade shows and deadlines, but I´ll leave that for another post.
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Exordium Games is a newly formed indie studio doing their best to deliver great experiences to players no matter how and when they play.
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