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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Nodding Head Games founder Ian Maude, Shruti Ghosh, Avichal Singh

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Nodding Head Games is currently one of the most popular topics in the Indian gaming community since it is developing what is the first completely made in India game. Raji: An Ancient Epic is an action adventure indie-game set in ancient India, developed by Nodding Head Games. Ian Maude, Shruti Ghosh and Avichal Singh, the founders of the company spoke about their story behind Raji and future plans in this interaction for BGR Talks.

The interaction started off with Ian who was asked about the key takeaways for him from the past and he spoke about the passion and the requirements that come out of that experience. This was followed up by Shruti who worked at Electronic Arts before she co-founded Nodding Head Games. She explained that Raji was already on the minds of the founders even before they officially got started and put India on the game dev map.

The conversation moved to Avichal, and he was asked how his experience in Farmville and Empires and Allies with Raji. He explains how the experience in a large team opened up his horizons. The conversation then moved to the game Raji and what exactly brought them together for the project. Shruti explained the whole arc of the story of them coming together. And Avichal explained how Rajasthan played a huge role in the game.

Avichal happened to mention the inspirations behind the game which were Bastion, Journey, and even God of War, Ico, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and Dark Souls and even explained how some elements from the Prince of Persia series also creeped in.

The conversation then moved to a somber topic which was the Kickstarter project which the team had started for funding the game. This didn’t quite their way and the campaign just ended up making £66,000. Ian and the team explained how they faced tough times with Shruti having to sell off her house to keep the team and the project running. They were finally rescued by a grant from Epic Games for Unreal Engine.

Following this Avichal explained the story of how the game was being built for Unity and in 2D but they moved to Unreal Engine and made it 3D. The discussion then moved to the characters of Raji and how the team always wanted to tell the story of two siblings. Ian discusses about the conceptualization of the characters as well as the world.

Following this Avichal was inquired about some of the bosses that in the game, and he shared that the team tried to make every fight unique and quite challenging as well. Some Nintendo Switch players have already mentioned how difficult it is beating some of the bosses.

The founders were next asked why their initial plan for launching the game for Microsoft Windows. But the game has now launched as an early exclusive on Nintendo Switch with the other versions coming on October 15. And they answered that the opportunity for a first time Indie Game developer from Nintendo to feature on an Indie game platform. This was big and could not just pass up this opportunity.

In terms of future projects, the team is just looking to take a break and then support Raji An Ancient Epic. And they happened to mention about the game shows in India like Nasscom and new studios are always great to see.

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