DoubleBear Productions is a new indie game studio headed up by ex-Troika Games legend Brian Mitsoda and Annie Carlson who worked on Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir. Their mission? To make a ZRPG, Zombie Role Playing Game to be exact.
The ZRPG will be a third-person, turn based RPG using Iron Tower Studio’s Age of Decadence engine. It will be open ended and there will be zombies. I was interested, but I wanted to know more, so I got in touch with Brian to have a quick chat about the company, the game and what has influenced him when working on this new project:
The Reticule – Why did you chose the DoubleBear as your company name and logo? Does this hold some special significance for you?
Brian Mitsoda – It does actually. Annie and I were looking at a list of silly D&D monsters when I suggested the “DoubleBear” as the ultimate monster, pointing out that since it was two bears acting as one, there was no way to sneak up on it or attack it from the back. A picture was drawn and photos were taken. When it was time to name the company, it won the second it was suggested.
TR – On the site you mention you are going to make some top-quality independent titles, is the Zombie RPG one of these?
Brian – I hope so. Right now it’s the only title we’re working on.
TR – What is the premise of the ZRPG and does it have an official title yet?
Brian – The title will be announced in time, but the premise is essentially, what would happen if tomorrow, dead humans began coming back to life and attacking the living? How would that be reported on? How would different governments deal with that? What happens when it’s going on all over the world and there is no quarantined area or military strike zone? And, of course, how does your character survive and what kinds of tough decisions do they make to keep others alive?
TR – You are working with Iron Tower Studios on this game, what led you to start this relationship and what benefits are you getting from it?
Brian – I had been looking at the possibility of starting a small studio for a little while, but really hadn’t settled on how to do it yet. Vince at Iron Tower had interviewed me in the past, but it was really Annie’s discussion with him that led to him asking us if we wanted to do a game for him. We pitched something that would be easy to do with their tech and then we worked up a full design. The guys over there seemed to really like it, and they wanted to work with us. As Age of Decadence wraps up, they will be transitioning over to our project.
TR – Brian, you used to work with a slew of RPG developers and worked on Vampire the Masquerade, how has your experience working with those companies influenced DoubleBear?
Brian – Ten years of experience on what not to do, that helps a lot. I started DoubleBear because I wanted to design and write for projects that I wanted to do, and didn’t want to spend the rest of my career waiting for the design crapshoot to deliver a decent project and/or having control over a title so that I don’t have to worry about the publisher “Wheel of Fate” landing on “lemon” and getting several years work flushed down the toilet. Again.
Really, when you look at what’s being made in the indie game market right now, there’s not a lot of RPGs or indie RPG companies out there. I knew there was an audience for RPGs that were less ambitious then the bigger budget titles coming out, but after announcing DoubleBear, we found out that that number was much, much bigger than we estimated. We’re taking our knowledge of RPGs and turning that experience into a project that I think that will be able to compete with larger projects, as far as the mechanics and writing goes. We hope DoubleBear is able to turn out a game that is as satisfying as other well-known RPGs, even if we aren’t pushing the amount of polys that the multi-million dollar projects are.
If you want to learn more, or even just look at more pictures of DoubleBears then check out their website.