This group of guys aren’t just a bunch of developers huddled in a dark room, (although looking back on it, you could practically print some 8×12’s in the joint – more to do with Dutch weather than a love to bathe in monitor glow I think). Over in Utrecht, I met up with two of the co-founders of Ronimo Games, Jasper Koning and Fabian Akker who sat down and had a chat about their new Nintendo WiiWare game, Swords and Soldiers. Inspired by the ending to Super Moine and the Flash game, Age of War, Swords and Soldiers is kind of like a mutant cross breed between Worms and Civilization. It takes flat style illustration and couples it with strategy as well as the love for senseless, repetitive violence. You make them better. Faster. Stronger.
Not only is this game coming while the company is practically still in diapers (they just graduated last year from HKU), but they’re Dutch, and trying to do comedy all in a $10 game. I personally would have attached some string to a ball and called it a day, but everyone has their thing.
They’ve made the most out of what their education and country has to offer. According to Jasper, they were able to secure some subsidies for their company (albeit not a whole lot, but enough to keep them and their game independent). In fact, when they first started they quickly grew out of building that housed collective artists but were able to get the digs they are currently using for their company alone with the help of the government. Talent definitely has its rewards.
Just because they get a little help doesn’t mean that they have to answer to anyone. Swords and Soldiers is the result of a collaborative effort between everyone at Ronimo whether it was a designer, a programmer, an animator, or that weird guy in the corner (they’re all in corners – HA!). They even got some local high school students to test out the game with high marks from those who like strategy games. I give the boys high marks for being funny and creative. I mean, how long have I been saying there should be a game about barbecue sauce?