Profile – Bumblebee Studios

Bumblebee studios

Next up to be profiles are the Stockholm based Italian duo that go under the moniker – Bumblebee Studios.

Bumblebee is a small independent studios based in Stockholm. The core team consists of Ferruccio Cinquemani and Simone Odoardi, two Italians who have been living in Sweden for quite a long time. We met when we were working for the same company and, some years later, we decided to start making games together. Apart from the two of us, we tend to bring in different collaborators depending on the project we work on. We like to involve people, especially artists, coming from other fields than videogames.

What was the inspiration for the first game – Derat Inc.and how would you describe the development process?

Our intention with Derat Inc. was to explore some new ideas and to try and create something simple but original. We are aware of the common mistake of making a first game that is too complicated or too big, so we tried to keep it small and focus on creating an original concept. Visually speaking, Derat Inc. winks at the old Ghostbuster game, or the old Sim City. Mechanically, the idea of extremely simple mechanics with a strategic depth came from games such as Monsters Ate my Condo or from Cave shooters (Dodonpachi, Mushihimesama etc.).

What are the challenges of working in a small team, especially one geographically challenged like Bumblebee?

Not having an office can be a challenge. Even though the core team lives in the same town, we do not work in the same room as often as we would like. When it comes to collaborators, we often have to rely on the usual set of online tools, from project management software to Gmail, Skype, Dropbox. It’s a less than ideal setup, but it can work pretty fine if the collaborators are well motivated. The biggest challenge has to do with time, rather than space: we are still not able to work full time on Bumblebee, so this means lots of evening and weekend work.

Finally who is/are the developers in Sweden that inspire and have inspired you and why?

For different reasons, we love pretty much every Swedish developer: there is a truly remarkable vitality and a wide variety of studios and talented individuals in this country. But if we had to choose one studio, we’d say Simogo is a good inspiration for us: they think outside the box and they are extremely talented in using their chosen platform in the best and most original way, both from an artistic and gameplay point of view. They rock!

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