IndieHangover was recently at PAX West from September 1st through the 4th. We’ve got a lot of indie games and developers to spotlight over the next week or two, so make sure to stay tuned!
About a month ago, I reviewed a turn-based RPG called Galaxy of Pen & Paper and was absolutely enthralled. When I saw that Behold Studios, the makers of the Pen & Paper franchise, were going to be at PAX West, I jumped at the opportunity to stop by their booth.
Knights of Pen & Paper was the first installment of the Pen & Paper franchise, which digitized the tabletop RPGs of your childhood for mobile and PC. The game brought great success for the Brazil-based studio, allowing them to build on the franchise and create a new game with an expanded universe.
Galaxy of Pen & Paper brings the classic pen and paper RPG experience to your PC or mobile device, but with a fun space setting and a funky soundtrack. The game is very accessible to all levels of gamers. As the dungeon master, the player is allowed to choose the difficulty of their battles by opting fight as many or as few enemies as they’d like.
Aside from enjoyable gameplay, the game does a great job of weaving funny quips and joke into the dialogue. While you can get through the game without really following the dialogue, seeing characters trade sarcastic remarks and make witty observations always makes things more fun.
At PAX West, we got a chance to talk to Saulo Camarotti, the founder of Behold Studios and lead programmer on the team, to learn a little bit more about the development of Galaxy of Pen & Paper.
IndieHangover: “So can you tell me a little bit about Behold?”
Saulo: “Behold was founded in 2009, it’s a small indie studio from Brazil. We started working as a work-for-hire company, but since 2012 we started working on our own IPs. That’s when we created Knights of Pen & Paper. It was a huge success, it made more than three million dollars. It’s a paid game [meaning it had in-app purchases], so it was a very successful game for us. Now we have more than 50 nominations and prizes internationally, so the Pen & Paper franchise brought our small studio into the world.”
IH: “You’re here now promoting Galaxy of Pen & Paper, can you tell me a little bit about the game?”
S: “Galaxy is a sequel to Knights of Pen & Paper, but we say that it’s Knights of Pen & Paper on asteroids because it’s a bigger game and it’s a sci-fi game. We started a game from scratch, but from the same core concept as the previous game, so Galaxy isn’t just a reskinned version of the previous game. We have tons of new features based on the sci-fi theme. When you think of sci-fi you think of space exploration, different planets, races… There are a lot of things that make this new game different from Knights of Pen & Paper.
It was also an opportunity for us to fix a lot of things that we didn’t think we did very well with the first one. Knights of Pen & Paper was done in six months, it was a very small project for us. This new one took us two and a half years with almost three times the team size. It’s a much more dense and complex game. It’s more developed.”
IH: “When I first saw the game, I thought it would just be cute and fun. There’s actually a lot more strategy to it than I thought there would be.”
S: “One of the core concepts is that it’s a self-challenging game. As the dungeon master, you need to create the challenge for you to overcome. This is very good for casual players when they don’t want to create a very hard challenge. They can just play, enjoy the story, and have fun. But if you have a very hardcore player who wants a very dense RPG, you can do that as well.”
IH: “So how is PAX West going for you?”
S: “It’s good, we usually come as a team, but I’m here by myself right now. Four days is a lot, but the volunteers are really helpful.
We released Galaxy of Pen & Paper a month ago. It did really well on mobile, I think around 10 times better than it did on PC. But we think the PC version is very good, it looks good on a big screen. I think PC is my favorite platform for the game.”