Perceptive Podcast — The formation of Beta Dwarf

This week on the Perceptive Podcast, I sat down with Steffen Grønning, the CEO behind Beta Dwarf to talk about how his studio was started and the development of their first game — Forced.

Beta Dwarf

Starting off we talked about how Steffen originally started Beta Dwarf and got students from their classes to help create the initial prototype of Forced. This led to them hiding out in their school living and working on the game until they were found out and I can’t decide if this beats Robot Loves Kitty’s story of living in a tree house while developing their game.

We then talked more about Forced and how much the game changed between their original idea and what the game eventually became. This brought up the topic of talking more about the problems that came up with trying to develop a game to compete on Facebook’s market of casual games and what led to them making the switch in design. And talking about casual games also gave us a chance to talk more about the problems with the mobile market and devaluing of titles.

Talking about the design of Forced, I brought up the topic about the singleplayer complaints and how Steffen was aware of the fact that the game was designed primarily around a multiplayer play.

That discussion transitioned into talking about the challenges of setting up your game studio and talking about Steffen and Beta Dwarf’s approach of organizing their company similar to Valve. For those that don’t know, Valve has a flat architecture meaning that everyone can work on any parts of the game and there aren’t really “bosses” in the sense of having leads. This was a great chance to talk more about this type of organizational style and a great listen for students who may be curious about it.

From there we moved on to our final point of talking about their sequel to Forced which is going in a completely different direction combining competitive gameplay with CCG and rogue-like design and I think will be even more up my alley than the first game.