SGA: When was Brave Giant precisely founded?
Boris Đurović: Brave Giant was founded in December of 2012, when my brother Bojan and I decided to join the forces of our knowledge and head towards realization of a shared dream, and that is to make games.
SGA: How many of you were there back then? What were some of your first projects?
Boris: In the beginning, besides the two of us, there was one programmer, one 3D modeler and one painter in a small office of about 20 square meters. Our first project was Demon Hunter: Chronicles from beyond. It was a HOPA game inspired by the horror movie ”From beyond”.
SGA: What did the gaming scene in Serbia look like back then?
Boris: A lot different than it looks today. PC gaming was predominant, and we all had Eipix and Mad Head Games as our role models. We wanted to get an exclusive contract with Big Fish, which was a big publisher of HOPA games back then. Even though we never got it, since then we’ve made 23 HOPA games and worked on a number of casual games as outsources. Most of the games are published on all relevant platforms, including Sony PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo switch, iOS and Play Store.
SGA: Why did you decide to shift to mobile projects? What was the biggest challenge during that transition?
Boris: It’s quite simple – PC market of casual games started slowly, but surely, to die out under the swarm of mobile casual games. Why would anyone play casual games on PC when there are plenty of such games to play on mobile devices – for free? Premium mobile games were significantly cheaper than premium PC games, therefore most of the casual gamers moved from PC to mobile phones and tablets. Market for mobile devices differs much from the PC market, the gamers’ preferences in the sense of graphics and the gameplay as well, not to mention the commercials and the monetization itself. That is one of the challenges we still face today, but handle them better and more successfully as years go by.
SGA: How did the team manage in the new roles? How many of you are there today?
Boris: There were a lot of challenges, but most of them kept their positions, we made new departments and a certain number of employees got prequalified. There are 35 of us in the team today and we are still growing.
SGA: What positions are hardest to fill in?
Boris: It’s mostly programmers, but more and more it’s the marketing and publishing specialists, as well as experienced 2D artists. We are looking for reinforcements right now, for 2D artists as well as for a position in the publishing team. I have to mention – we are currently looking for experienced people who have numerous projects behind them and a lot of knowledge.
SGA: What do you think is crucial for a long lasting game studio?
Boris: I think it’s the right choice of people who you work with, persistence and love towards what you do. In every job you do there are a lot of rises and falls but when you love what you do and when you have quality people who you trust whilst giving everything you have, the success will surely come.
SGA: What are your plans for the future?
Boris: Complete transition to the mobile market for casual games which we would publish with a publisher, or independently. Furthermore, to optimize the production process, whilst not forgetting to enjoy what we’re doing.
SGA: Do you make time to work on your personal projects, just for yourself?
Boris: Yes, you are right, my love are board games. Personally, I got in the business of computer games as a game designer of board games. I published a few of them, but then came along Brave Giant and during the last 10 years I haven’t had the time to dedicate myself to them again, even though I regularly play them with my friends, at least once a week. However, I found some time last year and thought of two more board games. Vojvodina and The Kings of Serbia. Vojvodina is already published as a successful Kickstarter project. The Kings of Serbia are on Kickstarter at the moment. It’s a competitive game for 2 – 4 players with motives of medieval Serbian tradition. It is about a very interesting combination of deck building and worker placements. If you like and are interested in Serbian history and love board games you can support us on Kickstarter.