Profile – Seriously Interactive

Seriously Interactive

Seriously Interactive is a handful of devoted game developers based in Kista, Stockholm. The core team consists of passionate developers looking to make the leap from part time hobbyists to full time publishers. This is their profile.

Seriously Interactive is a side project for all involved, meaning we usually meet once or twice a week to work on our games.
The team currently consists of Anna Jenelius (founder and game designer), Petter Bergman (3D artist), Sebastian Alonzo (2D artist), Hampus Granberg (2D artist), Markus Hellström (Programmer) and Dennis von Bargen (Sound artist).

For the future, we also have plans on publishing other small indie developers’ titles – helping for example game students reaching out to a bigger crowd.

Chart your entry into the industry and the formation of the studio?
The story begins in 2012, when Anna had an idea for a basic board game-like tablet game. After a period of trying and failing to assemble a team of people who were willing to take on the project in their spare time, she finally found what is more or less the team you see today.

The game she wanted to make, Capitals, is now slowly but steadily taking shape. In addition to this, we are working on an interesting project with a chef/writer, and we also have plans for our next title, currently called Generica.

What are the challenges of creating and marketing a game as a relatively small outfit?
The biggest challenge for us is the fact that it takes a lot of time to get anywhere when you only work a few times a week. In order to keep everyone interested and motivated over such a long period of time, we all need to make sure that we always have the same goal and that everyone feels that we are going in the right direction. We have lost a few people during the development due to lack of time to spare, unfortunately, but so far we have refused to let that dampen our spirits.

Both Generica and Capitals are word based games. When did you realize you wanted to focus on literary based games?
Capitals is really more of a digital board game, but Generica is indeed word based. It will be more of a short interactive story rather than anything else. The inspiration comes from titles such as Dear Esther and Gone Home, where the narrative and the setting is what drives the player forward.

It’s hard to say when we decided that it is the direction we want to go on next. We take inspiration from many different sources and just happened to fall for this genre this time. It will be interesting to see how well it works to tell this particular story in this way.

Any plans to expand into other genres and if so are there any genres that you gravitate towards?
It’s not certain – not even probable – that the following title after Generica will be another board game-like or word based game. The beautiful thing about games is that there is so much to learn and discover simply by trying to make something new. We’re really not here to make another game like all the ones you are used to – we’re here to see what can be done within the frames of what we call games and do it in our own fashion. We’ll just have to see what inspires us the most next time it’s time to begin a new project!

What revenue generating structure have you got in place to remain sustainable?
Since we have not released anything yet, we have generated no income so far. For Capitals, however, we are looking at free-to-play with cosmetic DLC packs to generate money. The game will have such a high replayability that hopefully the players will be willing to spend some money on new content along the way. We’re also looking at different kinds of partnerships, as with for example the chef/writer mentioned above.

As long as we do this as a side project we don’t really have the pressure to generate an income, but of course it would be splendid if we found a way to do it.

How would you describe the indie scene in Sweden and the Nordic region? Is there a collaborative spirit?
We have so far not been in contact with that many other developers, but generally indies seem very open, inviting and friendly.

What areas of the scene could be further developed?
That’s really hard to tell, but to mention one thing it would be great to see some kind of incubator program for new companies in Stockholm to get people started. There is something like that in Skövde and possibly others connected to the universities around Sweden, but it would be cool to see an initiative that helps out new companies on a larger scale.

Who are the developers you look to for inspiration in Sweden and the Nordic region?
It’s hard not to mention Markus “Notch” Persson when it comes to sources of inspiration, even though Mojang hardly qualifies as indie any more. Other than that, Might and Delight’s Shelter is a really inspiring game when it comes to tell a story though gameplay rather than spoken or written narrative.

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