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Women of Lady Shotgun didn't want to be 'one cog in the machine'

Women of Lady Shotgun didn't want to be 'one cog in the machine' Exclusive

March 21, 2012 | By Mike Rose

March 21, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Smartphone/Tablet, Exclusive, Business/Marketing

Leaving high-profile jobs at big-name game developers to start your own indie studio is definitely one of this industry's in-things right now. This week saw news of another team put together by former Eidos and Sony developers, who are hoping to launch an iOS game later this year.

Lady Shotgun Games is Anna Marsh and Sarah van Rompaey, both former Tomb Raider designers, along with a number of freelancers.

Marsh explained to Gamasutra that the duo decided to work on their own smaller project after wanting to be more than "one cog in the machine."

"Big projects and big companies obviously have lots of people involved and lots of hoops to jump through to get a game to release," she told us. "It's great to be able to do something that little bit more organically, more freely, where we can put together a game that we simply think is a just lots of fun to play without trying to please all of the people all of the time."

She added, "There's never been a better time to do something as an indie - it's possible to develop a great game for mobile on a realistic budget, so we're embracing the moment!"

As the name would suggest, Lady Shotgun is a female-dominated studio with only a couple of male freelancers, bending the usual perception of a male-dominated industry. Marsh explains that this happened naturally, rather than being a forced move.

However, she did note, "I think one of the main things that has made us so female-orientated is our totally flexible work ethic. Both myself and Sarah found ourselves taking a career break to look after our children at around the same time and discussing about how a 'different kind of developer' could work, one where everyone could work the flexible hours they chose."

"We felt that the necessity to have a whole team in a physical office location working long hours was usually bourne of an insufficient pre-production period and overly tight scheduling," she continued.

"Shortly after that I met lead artist Gabriella [Pavan] whilst we were both living in Morocco and working freelance - our kids went to the same creche - and so it was from there Lady Shotgun really started to crystalise -- the idea that this could really work with a group of experienced freelance developers who all knew how to manage their own time, work as a remote team and take responsibility for their own work."

As for the other freelancers, Marsh met everyone else during other various freelance projects, and approached them after finding their talents to be suitable for the project at hand.

The studio's first game is a casual action title -- one that takes inspiration from games that the team has worked on in the past, but "doesn't immediately resemble any of those games," said Marsh.

"I find I get a bit more game design knowledge from every product I work on which is what makes this job so exciting," she continued. "To look at the game you wouldn't say, oh, there's a team who have worked on Tomb Raider... its much faster and more casual friendly then the console titles I've worked on."

"But it has depth in the right places, and that's what I think makes any great game great - that there's just the right amount of depth in the right places - be that the game design, story or whatever - to make it appealing to its audience."

She added, "We're binding it together with a great tongue in cheek narrative that makes me laugh every time I read it -- I adore that you can get away with humour in casual titles. And I can say that we all have a bit of a penchant for 80's cheesy movies""

The as-of-yet unannounced game will be a universal iOS app, with the aim to expand it to other platforms following its initial launch later this year.

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