The Story of No Ewe Productions
The Story of No Ewe Productions
Find it on GameJolt
Isle of Ewe
You play as a Shepherd whose mischievous flock has wandered too far into the dangerous world that surrounds your family’s farm. You must venture out and bring them back home safely. You recover your flock by stacking them on top of your head and can use them as tools to solve puzzles, defeat giant golems and traverse the beautiful game world.
No Ewe Productions
🇦🇺 Based in Brisbane, Australia
📅 Founded February 25th, First day of semester 1 at university
🏆 7 Founders
💵 Monthly Revenue = Our game is not currently monetized, however there may be plans for commercialisation in the future.
Who are you and what game did you create?
No Ewe Productions consists of 7 people, Harry, Miles, Samuel, Helayna, Zac, Will and Shell. We are all third year students studying Bachelor of Games and Interactive Environments. We all specialize in different disciplines such as design, programming art and animation. Our team consists of 3 artists, 2 programmers and 2 game designers. We have just released our first game, Isle of Ewe.
We have a very open workflow. All assets, bugs and QA were tracked using a Google spreadsheet that was viewable and tracked by everyone in the team. We have a Google drive that contains our work for the project, organised into folders. Anyone in the group is able to add and edit any documents within the drive. All communication is done through Discord. Our Discord chat is categories into different channels for each different topic (i.e. we have a separate channel for organisation, game design, programming, models and art).
On average, we spent about 12 hours a week into making this game. There are no other employees working for us. This is our first game as a team. There are no future plans for us in terms of projects yet.
Walk us through the process of creating the game.
The entire production timeline for this game was 8 months through the 2 semesters of university. The design phase of this game was rather extensive, which took approximately the majority of the first semester (3 months). As a group, we stumbled across very different ideas. Isle of Ewe was originally going to be an open-world adventure game, where players control the four elements (earth, wind, fire, air) instead of using sheep. Because the main character has always been a Shepherd, we changed the abilities to fit into this context.
The entire second semester was focused solely on production, playtesting and QA of the game. Towards the end of the semester, the development process picked up during the production phase. This is the phase where a lot of changes have occurred in the game. This was due to fixes being made to the game after playtesting and QA. We found that players often did not do the things we intended them to do, thus, a lot of changes had to be implemented to deliver the gameplay experience we wanted the audience to receive.
All members of the team has experience in creating various different types of games. We chose Unity as our game engine, which was the software that was familiar to everyone.
How did you launch?
Where we got the word out about our new game: we tried our best to make an impression on the internet across various different websites and game forums. We emailed game journalists and reviewers. We built our own website, which is a hub for all the information and artworks about the game. We also have an official YouTube channel, which we have used to upload various game trailers at different development stages.
We launched our game on October 23rd on Gamejolt, IndieDB and Itch.io. First we started off by emailing a large number of various game journalists, reviewers and publishers with our press kit. After our release, we tried to post about it across various different indie gaming forums as much as we could. We are on various social media platforms (primarily Twitter and Facebook). We have also been updating our official YouTube channel with various versions of the trailers at different development stages.
Our website is built using WordPress, which was created by our animator and is monitored by everyone in the group.
What are some of the most effective ways that you attract people to your game?
We believe having a strong presence on social media is important for promoting indie games like ours. Posting to various forums such as r/indie gaming, Unity forums (a forum of the game engine that you used to build your game). We released our game on three different platforms to reach a wide range of audiences. We do not have a crowdfunding campaign at the moment. We also have a website of the game and a social media account (Facebook and Twitter) that we use to post constant updates about our progress and artwork etc.
What are your sources of inspiration?
Originally when the game was very early in concepting we had compared the open world of exploring to Journey. But overtime we started to think of the gameplay more towards LoZ Breath of the Wild, as it was an easy point of reference when we were discussing ideas as a team. We wanted to achieve a similar sense of adventure with hints of puzzling elements and various challenges. In addition, the animator took a ton of inspirations from the game A Hat in Time. Using that game to inspire the animations, characters, environment and overall feel.
As we are all individual creators, we take inspiration very personally, allowing each of us to help add a special flavour of content towards Isle of Ewe. (Personally I follow hundreds of Animators on Twitter and LinkIn and use their work to inspire me -Samuel) We love keeping up to date with other indie games that are introduced on the Playstation channel, on various forums r/indie gaming and Gamejolt, itch.io etc.
What’s been the biggest business challenge you’ve overcome?
We are very fortunate to have most of our costs were covered by our university, giving us access to special tools such as Maya. Although we have still personally funded parts of this project for example, paying for music licencing, assets that we couldn’t make ourselves (the waterfalls) and marketing assets (such as banners for our showcase). Although since we are working with the student version of Maya it does leave us troubles for monetization, as we do not have proper licensing over the models/animations we produce. Our aim is to release the game on Steam, we are currently discussing about enquiring for funding from the university foundry to support the Maya licensing fees.
Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs or game creators?
Don’t be shy to reference work, ask questions and take inspiration.
Communication is a key role for a group of 7, as people need to have clear roles/tasks. Without this people will start to lose interest and slow down.
Aim for the moon, if you have a good concept, take that idea, and try your hardest to make it the best thing possible. This is something our group followed throughout production and would say it benefited us greatly.
Don’t be sad when things don’t make it into the final product, especially with a deadline. You can only work on the game for so long, so try your best to wrap up features, mechanics and ideas, otherwise you’ll be disappointing yourself.
Our original ideas was horrible, but at the time we thought it was fine until we got outside opinions and we had to change our concepts fast.
How are things today and what are your plans for the future?
As of right now our short term plans are to continue to patch and fix remaining issues with the game, that players have discovered and noted in comments. Once this is done we aim on releasing Isle of Ewe on Steam.
Beyond that our plans are to split up and work elsewhere. This game was a great opportunity for us to practice our skills and give us some strong portfolio pieces, so we’ll be taking that into the industry.
Where can we learn more?
Here you can find all our personal contact details and any further information relating to our game. Since we are splitting up after this many of us will be looking for jobs over the summer holiday, while others will be continuing their studies at university. We plan on using this project to find jobs in the industry and using our knowledge and skills gained from Isle of Ewe to make an impact in the digital world.