PISCES, the first game by Milwaukee indie studio Sirenum LLC, sets out to be “indie like no other”. Drawing inspiration from showpiece experiences like Team Ico’s Shadow of the Colossus, PISCES is a game about emotional connections, as well as fighting monsters.Let’s see what is it about.

There is no game trailer avaolable yet.However,game is based on Unreal4 engine now,after previously being developed on Unity engine.

Part two will dive deeper into PISCES itself. Today, we’ll meet the indie developers working to bring PISCES to players.

Years in the making, the team behind PISCES prove the place of passion in making video games and that there’s still room for creativity on Kickstarter.

“I went to school for product design, which is all about designing cars, planes, and toasters, all mundane things like that,” says Dan Rutkowski, artist and designer at Sirenum. “I went there just to try and get an idea of concept art and that sort of thing. I’ve held down several other design positions, and this has just been an indie development situation for years now, where I’ve been trying, slowly, to learn more about Unity and then eventually Unreal.original_174850_ymeyq3zjm_hmh28grc_gp0vij

“It’s always been a huge passion of mine, the whole development side of things, I enjoy playing games as well, but for me, the development has always been really cool.”

With such a small team, along with day jobs to juggle, Sirenum take on a variety of roles to get the job done, but remain committed to delivering the quality they feel their vision deserves. “I’ve worked with the rest of the team at design firms, on exhibit design and booths at trade shows,” says Rutkowski. “That’s what I do during the day most of the time. They’re just huge gamers as well, and definitely into game development.”

He continues: “Their names are Michaell and Maya Bakalars. There’s a couple more people too. Pam Nanet, she’s the voice of PISCES, and somebody’s helping to write it. So it’s just a rag-tag band of people trying to make something cool.”

Small scale development has its plus points, but comes with its share of hardships as well. “The benefit of a very small team is that you don’t get the nasty issue of design by committee, where there’s too many cooks in the kitchen all throwing ideas in,” Rutkowski says. “But when you’ve got a small team, you can come to consensuses and you can be a bit more experimental too. We can prototype an idea very quickly because we can all agree to spend the time very quickly.original_174850_h8btrqJaJaWqKwUkmO8jKaq0z

“It’s easier to get excited about something too. You can jazz two people up a lot more than maybe four or five people to get them on board with your insane idea. I think that’s led to a lot of what we’re trying to do with PISCES, which is different to most of the other games out there. We’re a lot less concerned with making it an action packed sequence, it’s a bit more of an experiment into artificial intelligence, or rather emotional intelligence, trying to gauge what the player is thinking or feeling towards the character and then having her respond,” he adds.original_174850_s3v7ynkem__yyy4jjdtngphmd

“The clear difficulty is that things get done at a very slow pace. I can model and texture pretty quickly, and certainly sketch and that sort of thing, but that’s just a general commentary on everyone that’s trying to make a video game. It’s better that you don’t know the complexity of it before you get into it because you’d never go and actually finish what you started. It’d scare you off if you knew how much there was to do, which is why it’s taken years.”

Undeterred by the workload, Dan and the rest of Sirenum LLC make the most of their individual skillsets, but for a team of designers, some of the technical aspects of development can be difficult. “It’s something we’ve got together and tried to hash out for a long time now, which is actually part of the reason for wanting to do a KickStarter,” says Rutkowski. “We all come from a design background, a couple of us have a bit more of a background in some coding, not that you need to do a ton of coding now, because [of] some of the scripters out there like Unreal’s Blueprint system. We all have day jobs, but one day it’ll be something cool. That’s the idea with the KickStarter, we want to get it moving forward quicker than it has been, which is difficult when we’re all artists and we may need something a bit more technical here or there.”



Game is being funded through Kickstarter campaign and follow us on Facebook & Twitter for more news to come about this project.174850_vw3uletojam3vrg9uv0mcuwrw


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