DUNGEON CRAWLERS RPG

Josh Chudnovsky | Founder | Drowning Monkeys Games

Drowning Monkeys is a Georgia-based game studio behind the hit rpg Dungeon Crawlers. Note–Drowning Monkeys is a Johnson & Moo client.

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Jovan Johnson: How do you feel having recently finished your first game?
Drowning Monkeys: Feeling pretty numb. As if I’ve been taking away in it. It’s like a fighter who just finished a fight. Now it’s up to the judge.

Jovan: What were your expectations when you started on Dungeon Crawlers?
Josh: In the beginning we had completely different expectations than we have now. We thought the game would be simple and take 4-6 months to complete. The game took a life of its own. With that our expectations grew. We ended up taking more financial risk. We spent 14 months instead of 6. Trippled the budget. People’s jobs are on the line.

Jovan: Budget is often an issue with indie developers? How big of an issue was expanding your budget?
Josh: We always had a certain amount of money but didn’t want to use it. Once we saw [the game] was going somewhere special, we made a conscious choice to expand our budget and timeline.

Jovan: What’s special about Dungeon Crawlers?
Josh: The story, art style and game play are unique. Inspiration was drawn from obvious sources. We’ve taken a traditional story and tried to [transform] it to a new way to playing.

Jovan: What should players expect when they load the game? 
Josh: Lots of laughs and old-school, turn-based, strategy play.

Jovan: Do you have fun playing the game?
Josh: I’ve lived this game so long that I can’t separate having fun and going through the motions. When I let others play the game they play for hours, so it feels like I did something right. 

Jovan: What will it take to consider Dungeon Crawlers a success?
Josh: We need two steps. First, we need to be critically acclaimed by media outlets and people playing the game. Second, we need to get our money back and make enough extra to keep going. We are not worried about making millions. We just want to make fun games.

Jovan: What’s next for Drowning Monkeys?
Josh: Exciting stuff but I’m not saying.

Jovan: What if I say please?
Josh: I can tell you because you’re under a nda. Otherwise I’m not sharing. I will say expect more parody.

Jovan: What tips do you have for indie developers looking to launch their first game?
Josh: Have a good plan in place, have the competency to accomplish your objectives, and don’t be afraid to split the pie in order to get exposure. Your first title is typically not a money maker. Don’t be greedy. Know what you’re doing. Have a plan. 

Jovan: What do you mean by split the pie?
Josh: Some developers are reluctant to share after accounting for Apple’s 30%. The problem is that you need something to help you get above the fold. Don’t be afraid of evangelists, publishers, and marketing people who can help get your foot in the door.

Dungeon Crawlers released January 26th on all of iOS…pc, Mac and Android in February or March.

– visit Drowning Monkeys.