Bad Panda Games talk about claiming the 2nd place at BizzTech´s Online Indie Pitch
We each have our personal hero, that one character that inspired us to follow our current path. If you’re lucky, that person might still be alive. And if you’re lucky and live in the age of the internet, you can even get to meet that person and get to know their opinion about your work.
This is pretty much what happened to Bad Panda Games, the studio behind AnarKidz, second place in the “Online Indie Pitch”, mentored by Jane Whittaker (Blue Sock Studios) who is also a personal hero to Chris Ressler, the Creative Director: “I decided to be a game maker after having played Jane’s games.”
Bad Panda is not your traditional studio: Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Texas, they believe that you can make something amazing, same quality as any AAA title but without all the fuzz and bloated price tags.
Before AnarKidz —the game with which they won access to the Athena Technology developed by Blue Sock Studios— they released Space Wrangler, which is currently on Early Access on Steam.
AnarKidz is a nostalgia title. It features a Battle Royale system mixed with late 80’s game mechanics, a unique combination, and it’s played from the perspective of some teenagers that have to escape the claws of a terrible Nightwatch, the only adult character in the game.
The idea behind it was to capture the essence of those memories that those of us who grew up before the internet was a thing have, the idea of going out on the street for no particular reason but to raise some havoc like tp-ing your ex-girlfriend’s tree, that sort of healthy mayhem. Please be advised that Bad Panda is not in favor of vandalism.
Aligned with the philosophy of the studio, there is nothing inaccessible involved in the creation of AnarKidz. They’ve used Unity to put it together and a mix of Blender, Substance and Cinema 4D for the art.
However, the most important ingredient used in the making of this title was, in their own words “Hope and Never give up”, stressing the latter. Because they don’t operate the way a standard studio would, their entire team is completely invested in the project, and you can tell.
Maybe this is the quintessential ingredient that caught the well-trained eye of Jane, whose presence in the Online Indie Pitch was key in Bad Panda submitting their project, in spite of the fact that it was still in a pre-alpha state. It didn’t matter: the diamond was there, ready to be polished.
Of course, Jane would probably have had a harder time finding that diamond if it hadn’t been for BizzTech’s Online meetings. When talking to Chris Ressler and Brandon Myers, their CEO, they mentioned that this Event would’ve been a success anyway, even if they hadn’t won second best, thanks to the amount of contacts they made and the true honor of talking to “The Legend” Jane Whitaker.
“Just the fact that you can do it online, it makes sense with the way business is nowadays” and let’s face it, they’re probably right.