Indie games, just survival, opportunities come to come.
On the 1st of the opening of the BIC (Busan Indie Connect Festival), CEO Min-Geun Cho, CEO of Catsweiss Studio, gave a lecture on the theme of ‘Indie Game Survivor of a representative of DJ’. Cho Min-geun is currently working as an AOMG sub-DJ and continues to develop the game with the representative of the Catsweiss Studio. Let’s listen to Cho Min-geun’s story. /Dismise game reporter Kim Seung-ju
Lecture: Jang Won-sun
Affiliation / position: Catsweiss Studio / CEO
Introduction of the presenter
He has been working as a DJ since 2014, and has established the Catsweiss Studio in 2018 to continue the game development.
Indie game development survivor from DJ’s representative
DJs are gorgeous on the outside, but most are non-regular freelancers. Cho Min-geun decided to develop the game by seeing the story of a successful friend who did his business and seeing the success of
Representative Cho Min-geun fiercely thought about how to learn the game and what kind of game to make. In the end, he decided to develop a game that can make a game that can take advantage of his career and strengths, to make a game that can discriminate with other competitors, and to learn DJing. He confirmed that he had a lot of games to learn musical instruments like guitar, but there was no game to learn DJing.
Therefore, he needed a game developer who knew DJing, and he hired two school juniors.
He could not start a business. It was necessary to select support projects to secure development funds. He made a prototype for this and conducted market research in Hongdae, Gangnam, and Nowon, and was selected for the support project and received a fund of 20 million won. It wasn’t a lot of money to run a company, and most of the office supplies had to be used as used for saving, but they could have a more comfortable development environment than before.
Development was not smooth. Soon after, the team member who was in charge of the graphics enlisted, and the subsidy was bottomed out. There are three ways to raise the project cost: support projects, loans and investments. However, the support project could not be awarded, and the game was a prototype stage because it was invested. The only way left was the loan. I had a lot of trouble, but eventually I decided to borrow.
After expanding the development cost, he made a career developer and art. As it was a music game, I also needed a music license. However, most domestic sound sources were expensive and the contract procedure was complicated. As a result of the hydrogen door, I knew that there was a license company that could use a license at a good price abroad, and I contacted overseas game companies to learn more about it.
The reply did not come back. Since I couldn’t give up, I organized all the songs in the game and sent an e-mail to an individual artist through Google Ring about the license. There were five reply and were able to be introduced to a company with a license they wanted to one person. Representative Cho Min-geun signed a license with the company and listened to more than 10,000 songs that were first selected in the list to select songs to be used for the game.
When the development cost and license were solved, the commercial departments such as winning the rankings at the Google Indie Festival began to appear. However, it did not lead to launch. The development period continued to increase.
The problem was planning. Although development and graphic jobs had a career, I realized that Cho Min-geun, who was in charge of planning, was having difficulty because he had no experience. In addition, the skilled game design personnel were added. It took three months to hire.
Cat the DJ was released in July 2021. The company conducted marketing through the agency and promoted SNS using a network. There was also an increase in MAU when marketing was executed.
However, despite the effort, Cat the DJ became a failed project. Because it did not make a profit. CEO Min-geun Cho was ambiguous to catch both DJing and rhythm games, and cited the genre limitations of bad UX, lack of content, and not attractive shops (BM) and rhythm games.
When the game developed for two years and six months failed, a big crisis came. Even if I solved the problem, I was worried that I could overcome the limitations of rhythm games. There was also a discussion about the new project, but the team that had been together for three years was disintegrated. As the first time I founded the studio, only two people, including Cho Min-geun, remained.
Fortunately, the prototype of the new project, Catsland Festival, remained. The Catsland Festival was selected for the Korea Creative Content Agency’s support project and recruited manpower including planning, development and graphics again.
The Catsland Festival is a negative simulation game with the concept of DJ Festival. In order not to replay past mistakes, they chose a genre of marketability, and analyzed more than 20 similar genre games to make differentiated points. In order to reduce the development period, the revision of the project was minimized and the test builds were quickly released to collect various data. It is being developed to allow final release within six months.
Representative Cho Min-geun explained, What I have survived for four years, I have a chance to survive anyway. I didn’t know anything, but when I boldly bumped it, I could get a chance. Representative Cho Min-geun said that he had failed one failure, but he would continue to continue the indie game survivor without giving up.