August 24th, 2012 | By Charles Ferrendelli
Many indie game developers know the struggle it takes to not only financially create a game, but market it as well. With our access to information increasing rapidly, The video game industry as a whole has only recently started recognizing independent game developers. One economy that is increasingly growing is Brazil, but with high piracy rates, lack of forms of distribution, and funding non-existant, is it possible for the industry to thrive in the country? After all, Xbox Live only became available in Brazil two years ago. So what if your an independent game developer and live in the area that was once called the “country of the future”? João Neto and Marcelo Max of Deploy Games are two independent game developers chasing a dream in a country that is often ignored by our industry.
João Neto has been developing games for several years and has used tools such as RPG Maker, Game Maker, and Unity. During this time João learned about animation and pixel art as he began borrowing sprites from other games and editing them accordingly.
In August 2011 João decided to focus on the Android platform due to its growth and how accessible it is to make both free and paid games. It was at this time João and Marcelo made their first game Janken, or better known here in the states as rock-paper-scissors. Most people don’t know that rock-paper-scissors, or more appropriately Janken, was a game traced back all the way to the time of the Chinese Han Dynasty. Marcelo and João kept the origin of Janken prominent with asian-esque temples and imagery in the background. Marcelo designed the hands that were used in the game in what was their first project together. Since then, they have worked alongside each other. Janken was a simple game overall, so they decided to publish it for free.
About two months later they had the idea of making Little Max, The Gold Hunter, which eventually turned into Max The Gold Hunter. With this title being much more ambitious, João sought funding. When they first started the project back in October 2011 they tried to start an 8-Bit Funding campaign, but were ultimately met without a response as the site was going through a transitional period. João turned to contacting several companies in his hometown of Brazil in hopes of funding the project in exchange for sponsorship. Sadly, Neto was once again denied. Despite being turned down, João and Marcelo have continued to follow their dream.
João and Marcelo worked on Max The Gold Hunter, a puzzle solving dungeon crawler, during the time they didn’t have to attend to their day job. Currently João is a software architect and Marcelo a web designer. When they’re not busy making a living they get together, grab some pizza, sketch up ideas, and make games. João developed the tools and coded Max The Gold Hunter while Marcelo helped design the levels. During their time developing, João and Marcelo have since come up with ideas for their future projects from Tom Balla Adventures, which has a Mayan temple theme, all the way to Another Horizon, which takes place out out in the mysterious universe.
João Neto and Marcelo Max’s story is a great one that I think should inspire many current and future independent game developers out there. No matter what position you’re in, if you have a passion for designing games, all it takes is time and effort to eventually get recognized.