Meet The Devs Wegenbartho: “mostly inspired by the older Paper Mario games”

Today we are interviewing Wegenbartho, a young German Indie game developer from Bavaria. He describes himself as someone who is often having wild ideas. His goal is that people will become hyped one day for an upcoming game by simply reading his name on it. That day has not come yet. Still, he is very passionate about his work, inspired by classic games like Super Paper Mario.

There are thousands of indie game developers out there and therefore it is easy to miss out on a lot of them. Indie Game Reporter makes a change. In Meet The Devs we interview a new game developer every Monday and Friday. With this series of articles you can learn about interesting indie developers, creative new videogames and stories on how developers worldwide try to entertain all sorts of indie gamers.

Many developers inspire Wegenbartho

Which of your game developer achievements made you most proud of yourself?
“One happened recently. A very talented artist called Yami played my game and made a cool artwork about a specific scene in my game. And then there’s a professional translator with whom I’m working together who told me she really loved two of my characters and complimented my story. It made me realize how my game and its story can actually touch the heart of the player, which is a very challenging thing to do.”

What kind of games and which well-known persons inspired you to become a game developer?
“I’m not sure if I can list all of them. The important thing is to keep playing and finding new games. Luckily a series of articles like Meet The Devs can help with that.

But to name a few, I think Ryukishi07. I love his writing capabilities to create emotional rollercoasters in his When They Cry series inspired me the most. I’m not only getting inspired by indie game developers. Of course, there’s Super Paper Mario which had a superb story for a simple Mario game. Also want to shout out to the fangame LISA The Pointless which utilizes its combat system in a very cool and unique way.”

What is the hardest part of being an indie game developer and how do you try to tackle that problem?
“There are several hurdles which may be a problem at first. For example, I often hear about people that they want to game developer, but don’t know how to do it. Like all things which need practice. You need to simply find a way to start. I did with RPG Maker and made many crappy games. That way I learned about creating combat systems and how the balancing of the combat elements work.

Also, a good pre-dev starting point is to try out modding, I used Warcraft III’s World editor and changed XML files in Age of Mythology and Star Wars Empire At War as an example.

The other is surviving financially until the first game. Most indie devs work parttime somewhere and aim to find a Publisher who helps with funding. Germany has some great funded support but I’m not eligible because my game is too far advanced and Coppelius raised my game’s rating too high. So in the end I had to learn to use the financial reserves which are available and ratio them.”

Wegenbartho got inspired by Paper Mario

What are you currently working on that gamers should play?
“My current project is called The Donnerwald Experiment. It’s an anime fantasy RPG which was mostly inspired by the older Paper Mario games. Right now it’s in Early Access with the second chapter (out of five) being released soon. You can find The Donnerwald Experiment on Steam.

The plot revolves around a young inventor who has been cursed during a nightmare. Her only chance for survival is to create powerful gadgets and to defeat the Dream Demon who’s responsible for this dilemma.”

Why should people try your game?
“If you like a story rich RPG where choices matter, coupled with loveable characters, entertaining combat system and a plot that drifts down into the abyss then this is something for you. Though I need to tell that behind the colorful screenshots and atmosphere there are hiding some gruesome topics and surprises for the main character. Love, fear, and self-fulfillment are common thematics.

Overall TDE aims to target those players who grew up with the Paper Mario series and are now adults who can take some slightly more mature thematics. You can find the game on steam.”

Why do you love Paper Mario so much?
If we talk about the first three games, it’s: the combination of combat mechanics, it’s customizeable progression system with badges and the way they use “specialized” Mario characters. Think about characters like Admiral Bobbery, Colorado and the whole cast of SPM.

You can really feel the love that was put into those games. Also, a very important feature is the way the subvert expectations in The Thousand-Year Door and Super Paper Mario, be it Twilight Town or Sammer’s Kingdom. I’m not going too much into detail for those who still haven’t played it. Play those games!”

Are there other Indie game developers that deserve a shout out?
“I want to take the opportunity to make a big shoutout to the big Indie Paper RPG group which I’m part of, even if my game lacks the paper aspect. Especially the great developers behind projects like PaperSky and ScrapStory, which I consider as friends.”

If you want to read more about developers, you will find more articles in Meet The Devs. Every Monday and Friday we will publish a new article in this series. That way you can meet new developers!

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