It's not that there are too many indie games; it's that there aren't enough hours in a day to play all of them. The Joystiq Indie Pitch curates the best indies to play now and watch out for in the future.
What's your game called and what's it about?
Our game is called Jamsouls. We took inspiration from the famous tale of Pandora's Box to create crazy battles between naughty evil creatures in a vivid and colourful arena!
How have sales and visibility been on XBLIG? Is $1 a good price point for Jamsouls?
XBLIG has poor visibility compared to other games featured on the Xbox Marketplace. We feel that the platform is dying slowly, and that Microsoft is not really interested in this indie scene anymore, which is a shame.
We chose the price of $1 because we wanted the game to have maximum exposure. The price of 80 points is very reasonable for anyone wanting to try the game out.
What inspired you to make Jamsouls?
We wanted to create something that was similar to multiplayer arcade classics such as Bomberman and Joust. Games that are simple but have addictive mechanics that provide a great multiplayer experience, which make you want to play over and over with your friends.
We also stumbled upon an awesome game called Jump 'n Bump, where you stomp cute rabbits to make them explode. We found the idea quite funny and we started thinking about applying our own twist to this style of gameplay.
Initially all the characters in Jamsouls were made out of sweets like Jelly Babies but in the end we decided that jam sounded better – that's why we invented thIs story with Pandora's box being a jam pot.
Do you ever wish you had more people on your development team, or is two the magic number for Chromatic Dream?
We've tried to work with other people in the past in order to add more content to Jamsouls but it was very hard to find someone who has the will and passion to work on a long-term project without being paid. Maybe it will be easier if we get some sort of budget for our next game.
What's the coolest aspect of Jamsouls?
In my personal opinion it would be the instant fun factor. You can give a group of friends Jamsouls and within a few seconds they will be having lots of fun. The diversity of game modes we have included provide variety and ensure they continue playing for the rest of the evening.
For my teammate it would probably be more the diversity of the power-ups and the character design: Each character has a strong personality, therefore you can instantly recognize them and you're not surprised when Vice tries to sneak around or when War is rushing everyone on his own.
Why develop independently, rather than work for an established company?
Well, I actually do both. I work for a game company during the day, which is thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding. It also puts food on the plate.
During our spare time we like to explore our own ideas and bring them to life in fun and unique ways. Chromatic Dream was formed to give an identity to our team.
Jamsouls was developed entirely in our free time. We initially wanted to create a small game to participate in Microsoft's Dream Build Play challenge, and after the contest we decided to continue working on Jamsouls to polish it into a fun experience.
When is that PC version going to come out, and are you considering Steam Greenlight?
The PC version is nearing the end of production. We have a few small remaining tasks such as checking compatibility with a range of controllers.
We already have a Steam Greenlight page, so if you would like to see Jamsouls on Steam, go vote for it!
Do you see yourself as part of a larger indie movement?
Chromatic Dream is quite young, with Jamsouls being the first title released. It may take a bit of time before we can establish ourselves as major players in the larger indie movement, although our experience in making Jamsouls has fostered some great relationships with other indie developers.
Sell Jamsouls in one sentence:
A multiplayer battle platformer featuring original characters, crazy battles, colourful arenas, a variety of game modes and a bunch of amazing power-ups that will keep you and your friends addicted for hours on end!
We're currently working on the PC version of Jamsouls, although we have ideas brewing for our next project. It's going to be very different and even more ambitious than Jamsouls in many ways.Jamsouls is out now on XBLIG for 80 MS Points ($1) and is up for a bid on Steam Greenlight. We know you're tempted to peek inside Pandora's Box, and for $1, it might just be worth it.