Indie game development collective, League of Geeks, today revealed its debut title – Armello – as well as the unorthodox structure behind the development.
Slated for release on tablets in 2013, Armello is a natively-digital multiplayer card and board game set in a fairy-tale animal kingdom. With the King of Armello corrupted and insane, four animal clans compete in a race to claim the crown.
In a break from the traditional indie development model of small groups of developers and low-budget productions, the collective currently has around 15 developers involved, many of whom have numerous years of experience developing on console and PC. The team has also attracted the talents of world-renowned composers and performers and leading lights of the Australian animation industry.
All members of the collective are working for a percentage of the profits in lieu of any upfront payment, made possible due to a strong leadership team and a robust legal framework put in place before development began.
“It sounds crazy but we actually spent the first six months building the right legal and organisational structure,” commented League of Geeks’ Director, Blake Mizzi. “We wanted to do something really ambitious without taking on conventional investment and restricting our freedom. It was critical to get the setup watertight so developers would have confidence in it and it wouldn’t all fall apart if there were any disputes or someone left.”
Director Trent Kusters added “Since then, we’ve been able to attract an amazingly talented group of people who have been inspired by the vision for both the game and what we’re hoping will be a new model for enabling indie developers to tackle more ambitious projects. We want to be very open along the way and plan on providing our model to any other indie developers out there that want to follow our approach.”
Aiming to push the boundaries of digital board games, Armello will be completely 3D, with beautifully animated visuals, an expansive meta-game and vast amounts of content. Boasting AAA production values, it will be free to play, with an economy model based on core free-to-play games such as League of Legends.
Eighteen months since LoG’s inception, and twelve months into development, the collective has already won some early support, receiving funding from both Screen Australia and Film Victoria to expand the scope of the project and cover some of its non-development costs.