Ever heard of Gattai Games? They’re one of Singapore’s indie game studios, located on our little island. They’ve also recently released Stifled, a multi-award winning, sound-based stealth thriller. The game is currently available on PC via Steam, Mac as well as PlayStation. We’ve interviewed Justin Ng, the managing director of Gattai Games, to find out what the journey of being an indie developer in Singapore is like. Seems like a really tough road sia!
We’ve left the response unedited and in its original form.
Tell us about the start of Gattai Games, how did it all start ah?
Gattai Games was founded in 2014 by a group of 5 Digipen Graduates.
What was the mission of Gattai Games when it was first established?
We started a studio so we could develop something we could call our own. As compared to working at an AAA, where you’re often a cog in a big machine.
Got what kind of sacrifices you make being an Indie game developer?
Oh man. The list could go on. Financial Stability, Time (you never really stop working) and a “Career”.
Your parents got support you being an Indie game developer, considering the tough environment of the game development industry?
Yep, they were. The team and I are really lucky and privileged to be in the position we’re in! Here’s hoping we did our parents proud!
Singaporean government provided what kind of support in setting up Gattai Games ah?
We got a free space at PIXEL (Formerly GSC) and grants that help offset the cost of marketing trips.
How do Singaporeans tend to respond to hearing that Gattai Games is an Indie game studio?
“Wah, 5 people made this?!”
Also, sorta relevant, a friend of my sent me this recently. https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/eat-drink-man-woman-16/why-made-singapore-games-so-bad-5853859.html (Editor: The content in the link seems to have been removed.)
What do you think of the Indie game development scene in Singapore?
Passion driven but production costs are too expensive, (i.e. mostly don’t make money).
What was the size of the Gattai Game team when the company was first established?
Started with 5, was 6 at a point.
What is the current size of the Gattai Game team?
Back to 5 now!
What did it take for the company to grow from its starting size to its current size today?
We didn’t grow the team per se. But I think we achieved a lot as a studio through by putting ourselves out there by marketing internationally.
Having attended many game events, what is the difference that you see between Indie game developers in other countries versus those in Singapore?
I’d say it would be the amount of confidence we have in our own games. Singaporeans are generally quite shy and humble which can be disadvantages when pitching/selling your game.
What was the development journey like moving from Lurking to Stifled?
It was.. interesting. We thought we knew we had it in the bag. But expanding the game’s scope proved to be a bigger challenge than we expected.
What are the future plans for Gattai Games after Stifled?
We released Muffled Warfare (www.muffledwarfare.com) into early access recently and are in the midst of developing another 2 titles while adding more content to Muffled Warfare!
Got any tips for Singaporeans who want to be an Indie game developer?
Do something you’re comfortable with, so you can get it out the door as soon as possible. Also, be proud of your work and market the crap out of it.