Train2Game News Student working with indie studio

Train2Game Student Tabi Polson (Fitsy) is working with an indie studio on its first game: Rocket Rumble
Studio Small Jelly is a new London based studio which is working on Rocket Rumble. The independent studio is using Train2Game student Tabi Poulson to provide insight into the current market and research the potential audience for the game.

Rocket Rumble is a multi-player turn based card game set on rocket propelled ships. It’s a game with a hard-core mechanic at its heart which caters for the casual audience. Players can drop in and play games for minutes at a time but still get there hard-core gaming fix. The artwork was created to be accessible while also being on trend. 

A great deal of passion has gone into the game. During testing the team often find themselves’ enjoying the game rather than testing its limits. The Small Jelly team are passionate games makers and hope the success of the game will let them create titles long into the future. The team plan to get Rocket Rumble into Beta at the end of the year.

The Small Jelly team spoke of Tabi’s contribution and how important it is as an Indie to have support. Resourcing as an indie is a challenge, but by working together they have overcome these challenges. Keeping control of the product and working with a great team has been the reward.

Train2Game students can help going into the future by joining the Beta and reaching out to the team to support. 

An a full interview with the studio founders is below

What’s your history in the games industry and job history?

Ben: I started my career in the games industry in Vancouver Canada about 10 years ago. I’ve worked on everything from PC RTS to educational games for kids.

Vicky: I spent about half my career as AI programmer for PC and console, then later moved to mobile where I’ve mostly had lead roles.

Where does the name come from?

Small Jelly is really just our surnames Vicky Smalley and Ben Geliher. Vicky’s is easy to see but mine comes from a mispronunciation of my name that kinda stuck as the nickname ‘Jellyhair’.

What are you currently working on?

We’re making our first game, Rocket Rumble. It’s a multiplayer CCG set in space. It’s a bit like Hearthstone meets FTL.

How did you come up with the concept?

Both of us are gamers and have been all our lives. We’re at that point in life where we don’t have as much time to play games as we used to but we still want the same thrill of playing hardcore games. 

Most casual games just aren’t exciting to play for gamers and hardcore games tend to need much more time commitment. We wanted to create games that scratched both itches – thrilling to play but easy to pick up and play in a 10 minute session.

The art is outstanding; can you tell us more about how it came together?

It’s mainly the work of our outstanding Art Director Graham Denny! I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for space games and they’ve been having resurgence recently but we knew we wanted to do space in a way that was fun and more accessible than the gunmetal greys and blacks you tend to get. When Graham came on board he got it straight away. 

It’s a unique idea; would you say there’s a lot of passion in this game?

There’s a ton of passion in this game; you can’t work in the games industry without it. It helps that we all actually find the game really fun. Sometimes that can cause problems though. When we’re supposed to be testing a new build people are actually just trying to beat each other rather than properly test it.

What’s next for the game in its lifecycle?

We are still in development at the moment but we’re working towards a closed beta at the end of the year. It’s a multiplayer game so we want to get people playing it as soon as possible so we can learn what to do.

What have been the challenges in being an indie?

A lot of the business side of things is difficult. Bigger companies have a lot of specialist departments to sort out every little thing but as an indie you kinda just have to jump in and do it yourself. Everyone’s been great chipping in where they can to bridge the gaps.

What are the rewards?

Working on a game where you are in control is highly motivating. The team is also a big plus. Working with people that are not only amazingly talented but also great fun to work with. 

How has Fitsy been helping out?

Fitsy has been amazing in helping us with market research and she’s going to help us going forward figuring out what players want from the game as we develop it. 

What are your ambitions for the game?

Our hope is that it is successful enough that we can keep making games. We’re in this because we love what we do for a living and we hope we can create a business that can keep us doing what we love.

How can Train2Game students help you out?

Follow us on Twitter, read our dev blog at smalljelly.com and get involved with the game. As I mentioned, we want to release as early as we can and build a community who can help us make the game better as we build it so if any of your readers are interested in the closed beta then they should get in touch at hello@smalljelly.com.

Website: Smalljelly.com

Twitter @smalljellygames

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