QYJO’s upcoming game ‘Gamedev Beatdown’ takes us behind the scenes of game development

“The greatest thing about the game of basketball to me is the passion and the love I have for it.” -Michael Jordan

Passion powers hard work, determination, and creativity, leading to greater accomplishments. That’s the story of almost every passionate individual including QYJO founder Tejas Shirodkar who recently released the teaser of their upcoming game Gamedev Beatdown. Shirodkar started his studio after quitting his job at EA of over six years as a technical director, accompanied by Vineeth Haridasan who was an extraordinaire artist at EA for over five years and officially started operations from September 2018. “Both of us have about a decade of experience working in the industry and felt it was about time we worked on riskier and meatier games that we enjoyed playing ourselves. Our primary skills are in tech and art so we work with other collaborators for certain other areas of the game and had a designer working with us almost for six months full time until very recently. Essentially, we have a small core of competence and adapt our workflow with the needs of the game,” said Shirodkar in a candid conversation with Animation Xpress. The studio recently launched the teaser of the upcoming game Gamedev Beatdown which is a single player narrative brawler hybrid. The game entails the collective experience of developers in the game industry, giving the players a window into what game development is really like behind the scenes. The game will be available on Steam, iOS and Android. He also aims to launch in Nintendo switch as the studio is supporting controller and different forms of input to make it easier to get onto different platforms. He said, “We do have controller support in the game so basically it depends on how well we do since we are using unity and have performance in mind we should be able to have the game running on consoles too.” However, he believes there are a lot of challenges faced by Indian game developers to launch their game on Nintendo switch.“ Without releasing on other platforms we won’t know if we’ll be able to get onto switch or not since they don’t directly send developers’ kits to developers in India. You have to go via some 3rd party publishers out of India and we want to consider that after releasing early access on steam,” he added. Thinking of which the storyline of the game is quite unique as Shirodkar expressed “In Gamedev Beatdown you get to fight for your decisions and in the winner takes it all fashion, the winning team decides what decision gets implemented. As you find success and grow bigger you move onto larger and exotic studio locations which have their own stories on how the games you make get affected. The final objective is to survive and grow large enough to make games that you always dreamed off but at the same time the people in your studio are growing along with the studio so it becomes harder to win all arguments and make things go your way.” The meta of the game involves the player picking games to develop and launch which in turn scores them points and money. As one grows, one can work on more complex but more lucrative games. Each game has certain milestones that they have to hit in order to get that game into the launch-state. Each milestone throws at the player a situation where different teams have a different opinion of what decision to take, a player picks on their own side and if the other teams don’t agree with one’s choice then the player has to duke it out to decide as to whose decision gets implemented. “The decisions affect the game stats like graphics, mechanic and stability and also things like people quitting their jobs in some cases or teams getting swag that improve their morale and performance. There are a lot of other systems and nuances for people who enjoy simulation elements in their games to discover and to keep them engaged to maximize their productivity and be more successful,” said he. It is been about nine months that they started working on the upcoming game, design-wise. It will take them another couple of months more before they launch the game. “We started in September 2018 on Gamedev Beatdown, before which we were experimenting for about six to seven months with a much more ambitious RPG idea that might end up being our next game but was too big for our first game if we’re to do justice to that idea” he added. Gamedev Beatdown is their first game and as such “we first make several concepts for the characters, finalize the line art and then colour them in. We do use 2d skeletal animation systems as well so a part of the final process does sometimes involve rigging the characters too,” explained he. The game might launch late August till September time frame or they might aim for early access. “We are hoping for the best but we are keeping our expectations low and would be happy if we get enough success that allows us to continue to making games that excite us and are not primarily geared towards making people spend as much money as possible,” he further added. With the game, the studio is targeting a very niche audience, primarily game developers or those who have enjoyed game development scenes. Apart from those people in general interested in game development might enjoy the game as well according to him. Passion has been the fuel that has driven Shirodhkar to quit his regular job and shift towards the journey of an independent game developer. We wish all the success for the upcoming game Gamedev Beatdown.