Interview With Steve Gabry From United States

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Steve Gabry

Steve Gabry is the founder and solo developer of Portable Moose and is the disturbing genius behind the NYX Game Awards winning Sally Face!

Interview With The 2022 NYX Game Awards Winner – Steve Gabry

1Please provide us with a brief bio of yourself and your background.

My name is Steve Gabry and I'm a solo game developer from Pittsburgh, known as Portable Moose. My background includes founding the indie team Wither Studios and creating several games with them before founding Portable Moose.

2What led you to become a Game Developer / Marketer?

I fell in love with video games as a child and later in life I realized it was the perfect career path for me. Game development is a melting pot of all the creative expressions I have a passion for: artwork, storytelling, music and design.

3What is your role in the company, and what traits should a game developer / marketing professional possess to be successful in their role?

I'm a solo dev, so I hold every role from art, music and game design to marketing and business management. To be successful as a solo dev, you need a lot of dedication and persistence and the ability to learn from failure.

4Tell us more about your studio / company.

I started Portable Moose around 2015, when I decided to make Sally Face as a side project / creative outlet. I enjoy working on my own and having the freedom to experiment and fully express my vision for a project.

5What is your own definition of a great game?

This is something that's pretty subjective and I'm not sure I even have a good answer for. I don't think there is any specific formula that makes a game great. It's more like "I know it when I feel it" type of thing.

6Describe the genres of the game(s) your studio / company specializes in, as well as its main characteristics.

Sally Face is my first game as Portable Moose, so I guess I could say I specialize in Adventure Games. My work in general tends to lean into the darker side of things.

7Tell us more about your ideation process.

Sometimes an idea comes from a dream or a nightmare, sometimes inspiration strikes when learning something new or experiencing something new. Usually the seed of an idea is something that excites me and then I write down some notes expanding on that idea. If it sticks with me long enough, I'll develop the idea further through writing sessions and research.

8Congratulations! As the winner of the NYX Game Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?

It feels nice to win an award on something I've worked very hard on for many years. Though, to be honest, it doesn't beat the connection that's made with the fans of the game. That's the best award I could ask for.

9How has winning an international award help promote your company and game?

I'm not sure! Maybe some new people will find the game through this.

10What are the challenges of developing / marketing your winning entry(ies)?

I had to learn a lot of new things in order to make Sally Face, though I generally enjoyed the process. I'm more on the art/music/design side of things and not really a programmer. It also was challenging to get it in front of people at first. The thing that really helped was connecting with YouTubers who would play the game on their channels.

11How has the country, you are based in, helped during your ideation process?

It hasn't directly helped me in any way.

12What are the current trends in the game industry that you are most excited about?

It's cool to see indie teams having more and bigger opportunities to stand out amongst the AAA games. Seeing more indie games being showcased in large events and online showcases.

13What are the top THREE (3) favorite things about the gaming industry?

Video games, in my opinion, are the current highest form of artwork and artistic expression.

Generally I find that indies are very kind and welcoming with each other.

Even though it's extremely difficult to make it as an indie dev, anyone can create a game and be a part of this industry, no matter how big or small your budget is.

14What resources would you recommend to someone who is searching to improve their game designs and development ideas / skills?

YouTube. Look for tutorials and inspiration, there're loads of videos out there. Also play other games and analyze what does and doesn't work.

15Where do you see the evolution of the gaming industry in the next 5-10 years?

I don't see any major changes happening in the near future, besides tech improvements and tools to make development easier. However, in the long term I think we'll see a branch of video games that we can play in our minds and be fully immersed in the experience. We'll create the games with our minds too - so it'll be like sharing dreams.

Winning Entries

Sally Face | 2022


A Dark Mystery is Unfolding... Delve into an unsettling adventure following a boy with a prosthetic face, as he uses his handheld video game system to speak with the dead and learn their stories. After a string of mysterious murders, Sal and his three friends discover something truly sinister casting shadows over their small town. * This paranormal tale was crafted by a solo developer * Inspired by 90s cartoons and personal nightmares * Loaded with bizarre and memorable characters
(read more at NYX Game Awards)

Steve Gabry

Steve Gabry is the founder and solo developer of Portable Moose and is the disturbing genius behind the NYX Game Awards winning Sally Face!

We recently featured Sally Face on the website. Go read it and support the developer at Portable Moose here!