If you’re love photography and wildlife, and are looking for a mobile game that can truly immerse you in your fantasies, then you have to check out Snapimals. The first mobile offering from new development house BebopBee, Snapimals is a ridiculously charming simulation that combines wildlife photography with lite park building elements. We got in touch with the folks at BebopBee and they were kind enough to give us an interview.
Today we have with us Rajeev Nagpal, one of the co-founders at BebopBee, who tells us about his journey in game development, and trust me, it’s quite an incredible journey. Read on!
Gaming Central: Tell us a bit about yourself 🙂
Rajeev Nagpal: BebopBee was founded in Mar 2014 to bring emotional and intellectual experiences to our fellow passionate gamers. Underlying bold idea was that Indies can take on big companies, both in terms of building world-class games and in disrupting the traditional UA by focusing on quality and originality!
My co-Founders Gabriel Stock and Cristian Zanier and I, had worked together for 5 years in top-tier game companies like TinyCo, Digital Chocolate, Zynga and SGN and banded together to create a unique company with a mission to ‘Make Great Art’.
Gaming Central: When did you get started with playing games (and what was the first game that you remember)?
Rajeev Nagpal: My dad took me to an Arcade in early 80s in New Delhi, India to play Car-Racing. I’ve been hooked ever since! We are big Nintendo fan-boys and Mario Kart is one of our favorite games.
Gaming Central: How did you get started with developing games?
Rajeev Nagpal: We have had long experiences in building top free and grossing games together and wanted to build a game with a soul that had our unique signature. Our ambition of building a mass-market, billion dollar IP got us to pair-up, roadmap our ambitions and begin this unique journey.
Gaming Central: If you weren’t a game developer you would be a…?
Rajeev Nagpal: A peace negotiator in the Middle-East. It’s a bit unusual answer 🙂 – I’d love the challenge!!
Gaming Central: On how many games have you worked on so far?
Rajeev Nagpal: This is BebopBee’s first game. Prior to BebopBee, we’ve worked on several games like Family Guy, Tiny Monsters, Tiny Zoo, Zombie Lane, Millionaire City, YoVille etc.
Gaming Central: Which game development tools are you using?
Rajeev Nagpal: Unity, Parse, Asana, Maya
Gaming Central: What is your favorite platform to develop for? How do you choose which platform to make games on?
Rajeev Nagpal: Smartphone (iOS, Android, Amazon, WIndows)
Gaming Central: What are the specs of your PC/Mac?
Rajeev Nagpal: Not very impressive. We are bootstrapped 🙂
Gaming Central: How did you come up with the game’s concept?
Rajeev Nagpal: We were inspired by Pokemon Snap. We are Nintendo fanboys and love their games for their charm, delight and depth. Snapimals is a manifestation of our love of photography, love of animals and the special feeling one has when they are seated comfortably and are driven around for a showcase of pleasant things around them like environments or animals.
On a visit to Japan in 2013, I was fascinated by a Disney theme park ride that seated people in a cart and had them laser-tag ghosts that appeared from nooks-and-corners of a curvy trail. In the same visit, I had the lucky chance of visiting numerous Cat-Cafes, where people come to be comforted by the presence of cats. On my interviews with them, people reflected on the delightful feeling of being acknowledged by animals. We combined these elements and we believe we have done justice to those emotions.
Gaming Central: What inspires you outside of gaming?
Rajeev Nagpal: Entrepreneurship for its bias to action and audacity to believe that you can build something meaningful from scratch.
Gaming Central: What would your dream game be like?
Rajeev Nagpal: Snapimals with its delightful mechanic, charming art and nostalgic animations is a close enough candidate 🙂 And I only say that because our best is yet to come 🙂
Gaming Central: How was your game development journey so far?
Rajeev Nagpal: I’m thankful that you asked this question. This journey has been the most remarkable episode of my life so far. I feel privileged to be working with a wonderful, deeply passionate and talented team. We are a mostly bootstrapped company with some help from Friends & Family.
A big majority of my team is working off equity for over a year now, doing the best work of their lives, despite the all-encompassing financial hardships. Our burn rate is about $10K/month in SF Bay Area with a team of 10 people, working full-time – which is unheard of as far as I know. I’ve been the luckiest entrepreneur in that regard.
There are so many extraordinary things about this journey – it’s hard to articulate. We started this company in my home and had about 10 people in my living room while I had my first baby (yes, my wife is the most amazing woman I know). My co-founders and some employees lived with me in my apartment at different times, we sign each-other’s rental leases, loan cars, watch movies among other things, like fighting – haha – I love the absurdity of it all 🙂
There are always highs and lows, and joys and pains along the way, and we’ve had our share, and when I think of it all, I can’t help but feel humbled and overwhelmed. I love my team and want to eventually reward them generously for their unrelenting trust.
Gaming Central: Wow, that’s an incredible journey! Alright, on to the nest one. Gameplay, Narrative, or Graphics? Which is the most important according to you?
Rajeev Nagpal: All have their own place. Its the intersection of them all that matters, imo.
Gaming Central: How long have you been working on your latest game?
Rajeev Nagpal: 18 months
Gaming Central: How many folks are involved in the making of your game?
Rajeev Nagpal: A team of 10 passionate people.
Gaming Central: What all can go wrong during development? What are the problems you might face while developing game?
Rajeev Nagpal: Everything. and it does whether one likes it or not 🙂
Gaming Central: What lessons have you learned from developing your game?
Rajeev Nagpal: It’s a culmination of 1000s of decisions and that tradeoff between great art and timely execution is a daily thing
Gaming Central: Anything else you would like to add?
Rajeev Nagpal: We will win because our passion shows in our creative endeavor in bringing a fresh new mechanic and art style to our fellow passionate gamers.
Gaming Central: Thank you Rajeev and BebopBee for taking the time, it was really inspiring to hear from you folks. We are absolutely loving Snapimals, and can’t wait to see what you folks come out with next.
Guys, do check out Snapimals, it’s a really amazing game, made by passionate folks, and it really shows in their game. The game will launch worldwide on November 19th for Android and iOS. For more news, reviews and interviews, keep checking back at Gaming Central.