This week’s Interesting Interview comes from Behold Studios. They are the company behind my favorite iOS RPG so far, Knights of Pen & Paper. After spending a majority of my holidays playing this game obsessively I set out to not only write a review gushing about how amazing the game is, but to also wrangle up an interview with the amazing studio behind it. If you haven’t already, please check out our review of Knights of Pen & Paper and then read more about the team behind it below. Please enjoy this interview and keep a lookout and support this developer.
Behold Studios Interview
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hello. My name is Ronaldo and I’m in charge of marketing and PR for Behold Studios. I’ve been on the team since Jan 2012, but the studio has been around since 2009. It was founded by our producer and programmer Saulo Camarotti.
What inspired the name Behold Studios?
It’s an obvious reference to the Beholder monster from D&D, but it’s also is a direct reference to the verb and about our work.
How many of you are there? Can you tell us how it all started? What brought all of you together?
Right now we are 6: 3 programmers, 2 artists and me. We are all from Brasília, capital of Brazil. The team was formed with time.
What do you look for in new team members?
Excellence in your area and 100% dedication. We are a family and we strive to grow together.
What inspired you to jump into the gaming industry?
Same as everyone in the area: we are gamers. We love this industry and we all wanted to be part of it.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into the gaming industry?
First of all, be a part of it. Study, learn, talk to people, go to conventions and make yourself known. Try to develop on your own, make your art portfolio or try to make some box-y games with free programs, etc.
How do you feel about the recent popularity and subsequent proliferation of game development schools?
That is great. It means we’ll have many more professionals in the future with many more games. Yay 🙂
Can you tell us a bit about your background in game design?
I graduated with a BA degree in Communications and a masters in game design. The rest of the team have their own areas of interest, like art or programming. Two of the programmers actually teach game design.
What were the inspirations for Knights of Pen and Paper?
We love pen & paper traditional games and wanted to recreate the experience of playing on a table digitally.
How long did it take to make Knights of Pen and Paper?
About 7~8 months.
What is the most challenging part of making a new game?
Making the right decisions. You have so many things to decide and every little detail can break your game if poorly decided.
You have a ton of great humor in game, why have you chosen to keep the game so light hearted?
Because that is real! Like I said, we are recreating the pen & paper experience and all of our adventures are like that.
How does it feel when people you know are playing your games?
It’s great, especially when you haven’t asked them to do so. It just shows that you did a great job.
Can you explain your process of making a game?
Have the idea -> discuss about it -> start creating -> ???? -> Profit.
What programs do you use to make your games?
Right now our main developing tool is Unity 3D. Artists use Photoshop and 3DMax.
How hard is it to submit a game for approval in the iOS app store?
Submitting is easy, the hard part is actually waiting for them to approve. This might take more time than was planned.
How do you feel about the iOS app store? Pros/cons, challenges?
It’s great. Easy to put your game there and a fair share of the revenue.
What improvements do you think can be made to improve the app store?
Like I said, the time of approval on new games/patches. Also, the possibility to include video and the ability to talk to reviewers.
How worried are you about other developers cloning your work?
Can you explain your approach to in-app purchases?
We are gamers too, so we don’t like “pay-to-win” games. Our approach is: anything you can buy with dollars can be bought with game coins. The in-app purchases are only there to fast-forward some players who are not familiar with the grindy Japanese RPG style.
What apps do you enjoy playing?
I’ve been playing Punch Quest a lot. Everyone here loves Jetpack Joyride and Kingdom Rush also.
What else does the staff play/ do for fun when not making a game?
Board Games! Galaxy Tricker, Mansion of Madness, Twilight Emperium, etc 🙂
What App companies do you look to as an example?
Mika Mobile, Kairosoft.
How do you see the world of App development evolving?
Faster than light. Really. This is something that is evolving faster than anyone could imagine.
At what point did you feel a game is ready to be put up on the app store?
Once it’s finished, of course! Jokes aside, you gotta create your deadlines. There is ALWAYS something nice to add to your game, so it’s a hard decision to stop and say “Hey, you know what? This is a pretty f. good game already and it may actually be damn ready to sell.”
What is your dream type of game to make someday?
Our dream is to keep making games that we would love to play. This list would go forever.
What is your favorite snack when making a game?
Popcorn is kinda popular in the studio, but also corn flakes and fruits (apples and bananas especially).
What are your favorite RPGs?
Final fantasies, Chrono Trigger and Cross, Tales of series.
Do you still enjoy playing Pen and Paper RPGs?
Sure, we all still play it a lot.
Dungeons and Dragons or Warhammer?
Can you tell us a little more about what else we can be expecting for Knights of Pen and Paper Updates?
PC version, localization for other languages and many other whole campaigns. You can expect anything, this is an open world for creations.
Anything else you would like to share with us?
Keep on playing! New campaigns will come soon. Also, follow our page on twitter and Facebook! See ya guys 🙂