In the build up to Playtopia and Make Games Africa conference, GIA will feature interviews with some of the industry speakers at the event. First up is Andrew Parsons from Devolver Digital.

Andrew Parsons is the head of production at Indie publishing label Devolver Digital. Since his introduction to the industry in 2005, he has worked in multiple disciplines in both publishing and development that run the gamut from brand management to level design.

GIA: Devolver Digital (DD) already has relatively strong ties to the continent following the relative success of Broforce, are there any ambitions to explore and support the other nascent regions across the continent?

DD: We don’t really have any set view on where our games should or could come from- and we’re always open to hearing new stories! The most common thing to happen to us is that we’ll get a recommendation from existing devs or friends about an interesting title, rather than a region. We go where the games are.

Broforce developed by South African Free Lives

GIA: As a publisher what suggestion would you give to any studio or game looking to catch DD’s eye?

DD: Well, I don’t think that I can speak for other publishers- I think we all have our own little niches and things that we like to see. For me personally,  I often look for a representative demo that shows mechanics, flow and game loop as a first stop. After that, the game has to have some unique aspect that would put it above the many, many awesome games out there- that could be in art style, mechanics, audio design or narrative, for example. Mostly, I look for games that have, and this is going to sound super corny, but “soul”. It’s a really hard thing to define but I think what I mean is that the creator’s personality is clearly visible in the work. Once you’ve got that, it’s a start.

GIA: Would Devolver Digital be open to establishing a close relationship with gaming hubs in the sub-saharan region?

DD: We’d never say never! And I like to think that we have a track record for checking out the huge diversity of scenes that the industry provides. I think as long as our existing partners think that something is worthwhile then we will always consider it- they’re the taste-makers after all!

Playtopia and Make Games Africa will take place at the Castle in Cape Town between December 5 to December 7. For further details as well as how to get your ticket, visit the Playtopia website.