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We sit down with JollyLabs | Pocket Gamer.biz

The Big Indie Pitch is a regular event by the makers of PocketGamer.biz.

Indie developers are entering into a speed dating style pitching competition for fame and these cute, sweet promotional packages.

The event gives indies five minutes to present their games to a jury of press, publishers and industry experts. The jury then selects three winners and each receives valuable feedback.

The indie view

The big indie pitch just keeps getting bigger as we bring it to events all over the world.

To give you an idea of ​​what the event is like, who is attending the events and the games being featured, we sat down with a number of previous BIP attendees to share their views.

The Big Hypercasual Pitch debuts in digital form.

This time around, we spoke to Yogesh Chhawasaria from JollyLabs, who recently featured Dance Army as part of the very first Big Hypercasual Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital # 8 and won third place.

PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your indie studio – who is on the team and what are their inspirations?

Yogesh Chhawasaria: I’m Yogesh Chhawasaria from JollyLabs – a Mumbai-based game development studio. We are a small team of three people mainly working on mobile F2P games.

Can you tell us something about Dance Army that you introduced at the competition?

Dance Army is a hyper-casual game in which you’ll put on the shoes of a dance trainer. Players can choose which dance moves to play next, then identify which of the students is out of level and kick them off the team / class.

The animations and dances as well as the dialogues between the trainer and the students add a varied and new element to the game.

What do you think are the most unique and interesting aspects of Dance Army that players may not have seen before?

It’s about a dance trainer and his students so they can see figures doing small dance steps in different styles.

Also, we think the coach-student interactions are refreshing as most hyper-casual games have emojis when responding to NPC elements.

Obviously, this pitch focused on hypercasual experiences. What made you choose this genre and what do you think you’ve never seen before?

Hypercasual games can be quickly prototyped and validated. There is also a very strong publisher pool that is happy to work with you and test new game concepts through their publishing pipeline.

We like to experiment with new mechanics, puzzle designs and explore different ways to interact with the game elements. In fact, in one of our experimental work-in-progress games, you won’t even see anything on the screen until the level is over.

How did you come to choose the platforms you would develop Dance Army for?

We have a long history of developing mobile platforms and we already have the in-house development, QA, deployment and release process for these types of games.

Hypercasual works best for mobile platforms, so our focus is on iOS and Android Play Stores. The intention was also to work with publishers who would test for KPI thresholds in these stores.

Now, if you take a closer look at the studio, how hard is it to survive as an indie developer?

For a long time you have to balance the income from consulting projects / other sources and use it for your game development. We tried to raise project funding for our in-depth puzzle, but we couldn’t find buyers for it.

One of our realizations was to become a little more aware of what we can extract and bundle from our game projects. Since this is possible, we can sell these as independent assets on Unity AssetStore or Stock Graphics asset sites, which brings in some passive income while we continue to work on future games.

Are there any tips and / or advice you would give to an independent developer who is just starting out?

When I play other games from the App / Play Store, I spend some time thinking about things like:

  • How would I have designed the same game?
  • What design decisions would I make?
  • Which art style would I have used?
  • How would the pace of the game change?
  • Would I rather have swiped than typed?

Once you know what type of game you want to create, you can compare it to a finished game as it will highlight the contrasts and differences.

Then it is a matter of introspection why this difference exists. Is it a preference or a personal style, is it a fear of complexity, is it due to resource constraints, is it impatience, is it because your target audience is different from the target audience of the game, or is it a lack of specific ones Skills.

This will shed light on the range of available choices you can make and where your comfort level falls on that spectrum.

How was your experience of pitching as part of the Big Indie Pitch?

It was actually pretty great. Thanks to Sophia Aubrey Drake for making every aspect of the pitching event very crystal clear and well organized. I had the impression that I would only pitch once. But I had to pitch four times before four judges’ sentences, which helped me.

The first pitch is always nervous and unsafe. Based on the course of the first pitch, I then adjusted the pitch a little and directed the previous judge’s questions to the next judge beforehand. So when I was on the fourth set of judging, I was very polished.

Image credit: JollyLabs

What have you gained from the experience and what are you still hoping for?

It was a great experience pitching our game and getting valuable feedback from the judges. It gave us an idea of ​​the first important things publishers and judges look for when evaluating a game.

What do you hope for in the future from this game and do you have any plans for future projects?

We would like to work with a publisher to further develop and expand this game. We are also starting another seven-month game project (Project-MYGAD).

We believe that players have a very strong craving for a certain type of game that is currently not being met and this new project intends to fill that vacuum with its USP and freshness.


Want to showcase your exciting new game? We host large indie pitch events all year round, so keep an eye out for an event near you or even our new digital pitches on our events page.

For all of our upcoming pitches, including terms and conditions, please visit our Upcoming Events page on BigIndiePitch.com.

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