Anthony "Tony" Magestro--or known on the field of battle as Metzge--is an avid writer, gamer, and entrepreneur. When he's not writing, gaming, or entrepreneuring, he enjoys cooking, trippy movies, and trying to be awesome to varying degrees of success. Feel free to check out his LinkedIn page, especially if you need freelance help with content writing or digital marketing. Or just like to network, that's fine too.
Earlier this month we wrote a preview on Battle Brothers, an indie game from good ol’ Germany that’s picking up momentum in a virtual blitzkrieg sweeping Steam. Terrible metaphors aside, as a German major and a lover of video games, I find it an injustice that we don’t hear more about the goings-on of the German gaming industry. After all, with cool games like this, the Anno series, and other indie creations like Halfway, and The Curious Expedition, they deserve more attention than what they get. At least, in my humble opinion.
Now, as you can imagine, developing games is hard work, especially when your team is less than the amount of fingers you can count on one hand (at least, in most people’s cases). In the meantime, Jan Taaks, Overhype‘s head of “PR, marketing, social media, business and all that paperwork” directed us to an interview conducted by gamecity:Hamburg earlier this year.
Since the original article is in German, we figured we would help satisify the curious English-speaking mind by translating the “Kennen Sie Schon…?” [“Do You Already Know…?”] interview to… well… English. Yer welcome.
Do You Already Know… Overhype Studios?
Who are you all and what are you currently working on?
We are Overhype Studios, an independent game developer based in Hamburg. We are currently working with three people on our first game Battle Brothers, a turn-based fantasy strategy game. The project has already been Greenlit on Steam and will be available on Early Access in March.
What led to the founding of Overhype Studios?
It all started as a hobby project and it still partially is. The original motivation was to make a game that we’ve been waiting for a long time, but that hasn’t been done by anyone else. So we took it into our own hands and watched how far we’ve come. The further we got, the more professional we’ve become until, in the end, we made it on Steam. Initially, hardly any of us thought that we would get that far.
Where and what have you all worked on previously?
Battle Brothers is our first project together. Two of us have professional backgrounds in game development and have already worked on many projects of varying sizes. For all of us, however, our current project is certainly the greatest challenge of our careers so far.
What makes Overhype Studios unique?
We have a completely different approach than many studios today. We derive our motivation from the game we’re making, not from financial incentives. It’s a bit like before, when most game developers were avid players themselves and then joined the business aspect in the background. Of course, we did targeted group analyses and collected feedback on our project. Ultimately, our results confirm that the project’s direction can’t really change. We’re convinced that you can make a really good game if you just give it your all, 100%. Once you begin to lose sight of this vision in favor of “supposedly” better financial and sales opportunities, you’ll fail, making exactly the same mistake hundreds of other companies are making: because 101% [effort] doesn’t make sense to them.
What advice would you give to other starting developers in the games industry?
Don’t think about making money first! If you follow your passion and do what you really love and in what you believe, that is when you’ll have success. Only when you’re really convinced of your idea can you convince others. Even more importantly: it will be hard, harder than you think. Most projects fail after many setbacks, eventually [losing steam]. You just have to persevere and stay focused, no matter how difficult it is. These moments will come, which you can believe us on. 😉
Why did you choose Hamburg as a start-up location?
We have long been living in Hamburg and stayed here for our families, friends, and jobs; plus, Hamburg is asserting itself as a “media metropolis” in Germany; the proximity to major game companies like Innogames, Bigpoint, and Good Games can also be a local advantage; [and] finally, there are still initiatives like gamecity:Hamburg who are actively committed to the networking of the large and small [companies] in the industry.
What is currently at the top of your wish list (investors, employees, office, etc.)?
We wish for a successful start on Early Access so that we all can work on the project full-time. The next logical step is to then an office or, instead, employment in a local agency. In our opinion there are already some good options in Hamburg such as the new InnoHub in the City South [gamecity:Port].
What important trends do you see in the games industry?
The extreme focus on multiplayer, mobile, and browser games, and the trend toward “casual” games that rely on microtransactions, will harm the development of the industry significantly. [And then] we have the target group of hardcore gamers, who are usually older and want to see more sophisticated and insightful games, left completely neglected, along with (usually) other indie developers. Even from a financial perspective, a lot of potential is wasted here by the major developers and publishers.
Where do you see yourselves in a year?
Hopefully in our own office with a defined number of employees here in Hamburg. And, of course, the development of “Battle Brothers 2.”
Source: gamecity:Hamburg (German)
The original full article (in German) can be found at the link above.
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