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Behold Studios discusses the future of indie game development

by William Schwartz

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We spoke to Saulo Camarotti, the CEO and Founder of Behold Studios, developer of the popular title [Knights of Pen & Paper] about their game as well as the next generation of indie game platforms.

On the surface, Father Time has been generous to our industry. Spaceships have shifted shape from triangular cannons to the gorgeous Normandy; monsters have gone from pixelated floating-eyes to massive dungeon dwelling beasts, and character models have gone from Lara Croft in 1996, to Lara Croft in 2013. As technology advanced, the internal mechanics followed their beautiful counterparts and video-games slowly became more structurally elaborate. Larger worlds to explore, more complicated designs that were once impossible to achieve, and thrilling cinematic experiences that often blur the line between games and film.

Amidst the technological surges – and despite the necessary betterment of the industry – the wondrous simplicity that once graced our favorite titles vanished in a cloud of polygons and dwindling ambition. But deep in the darkest depths of an industrial wreckage, surrounded by hideous piles of partially-burnt copies of Ninja Gaiden 3, an assemblage of pale-skinned and acne-riddled mouthbreathers, and thousands of empty Mountain Dew bottles sits Behold Studios, a small Brazilian company that understands the core values and fun-factor swiftly disappearing from games today. Saulo Camarotti, the CEO and Founder of the growing company discusses the creative drive behind the title; “Knights of Pen & Paper was created when we were thinking on how to make an RPG game with just the core concept of the RPG.”

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“We realized that the main core-concept of an RPG is to sleep, travel and battle. These three attributes are what we find on a traditional table-top RPG”, explained Camarotti. “We all love RPGs and Managers games, like the ones from Kairosoft, and we’re very fond of indie games. They’re so inspiring that sometimes we stop in the middle of a playing session to work on a new game.” While many inspirations are visible in the addicting Knights of Pen & Paper, Camarotti has his heart set on the classics. “We really like Dungeon and Dragons, but we’ve played a lot more, like GURPS, Vampire, 3D&T, Descent, and some others.”

Many indie developers have brought innovative concepts and classic gameplay back to consoles and mobile platforms as of recent, and Behold Studios is no different – if anything, a main contributor. Discussing the leap from mobile gaming to dedicated gaming platforms, “I think we’ll see more games that simultaneously go to both platforms, and probably some multiplayer interaction between them. Like Watch Dogs showed in their trailer launch” said Camarotti. “We really want to put our new games on consoles. So, we hope that Sony and Microsoft opens to Brazilians, not like Nintendo that closed the indie doors on us.”

The future of the indie developer is stronger than ever with Sony happily adopting the concept of independent distribution and Microsoft’s recent turn-around, leaving more options for the little-guy to find success with.

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“We want to make better games, but without losing our control and independence. We want to make games that we believe in and we would also want to play. Our team has grown a little bit, and we’re creating a big family around here. I’m certain that with more joy we will create better games for everyone!” Behold Studios is working on a new title as well, “It’s a meta-game just like Knights of Pen & Paper, but with much much more depth and with a lot more customization options. In the game you manage and control a sentai TV studio, by sentai we mean something like Power Rangers and Flashman.”

With 20 days remaining for their Chroma Squad Kickstarter, there are plenty of opportunities to grab some of the awesome pledge incentives. Interested readers can also find the Chroma Squad Steam Greenlight page and have some fun with their project video here.

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