Dramatic Iceberg Indie Dev Interview Shorts

Especially for our Patrons in Tier 2 and 3, we have made another Indie Dev interview. Consider joining us on Patreon in Tier 2 or Tier 3 for as little as $3.00 a month and unlock it all!

This time our indie Dev interview is with Tommaso Verde, one of the designers of Dramatic Iceberg, the team who developed Garden In!

I reviewed Garden In! and loved it, giving it our highest praise of Two Thumbs Up. I found that Garden In! scratches the gardening itch without getting your hands dirty. More than that, it is a casual game that will appeal to fans of the simulation genre with plenty of seeds to collect to bring into bloom in various garden settings.

Time to chat with Tommaso.

Dramatic Iceberg

Can you tell us about your studio Dramatic Iceberg?

Hello and thanks for having me for this interview. I’m Tommaso Verde, one of the designers of Dramatic Iceberg. We’re an indie development team based in Italy, our team is made up of 12 people, all with different skillset and ideas that we always try to bring into the creative mix.

We really strive to create things that we like first and foremost, since development times can be long, we try to make the most of it.

I couldn’t help seeing the profile pictures on your about page. No smiles there!

Well, about the photos on our websites… it mostly came down to our photographer, who is a good friend of mine. He has made a name for himself by taking more serious photographs. (Want to check out the photos? Find them on this page)

So, we kinda played into its strength and thought we could do a “Dramatic” set for everyone. We also have a cool group photo where we are all posing with sunglasses. If you get to know us, we’re not that serious.

Interview Garden In!
The team of Dramatic Iceberg, sunglasses and all!

You started out as a group of four friends making games from inside a garage. Can you tell us some more about your history?

Soooooo, we met during a game development course here in Turin, we had very different backgrounds but wanted to make something that we could call our own. We started by clearing out a garage, sorta like a bonding experience, in order to convert it to a makeshift office.

We used it for a bit, but the logistics weren’t exactly comfortable, primarily due to the fact that it was one of those underground garages where there is no running water, no signal and especially no toilet. We knew we couldn’t use it for a long time but we tried making it work.

While we were still attending our course, we were developing a project alongside other students and when the time came, after our final exam, we had to take a decision on our next steps. Luckily we had grown quite close with one another and we were blending really well as a team.

At this point, we just met up, sat down at a park and said, “Let’s try and make our own video games as a team”. A lot of things have happened since then but we’re still holding strong.

Breeding Plants in Garden In!

Where did you take your inspiration from for Garden In! ?

There is a small story behind the origin of Garden In!. When we were all working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we had the idea, like many others during that period, to try growing some house plants. Sadly, I have to admit we weren’t the best at keeping them alive. In the end, most of them dried out and we were back to square one. This sparked some unexpected creativity. After a small sketch from one of our artists, the basic idea for Garden In! took shape. It wasn’t anything big, just another side-project so that we could have our own digital garden, where plants didn’t die.

Interview Garden In!
The earlier stages of Garden In!

For a while, it stayed like that, but after we were working on it we had the chance of showing it to some friends and they were quite curious about it and wanted to see more. So we started thinking… maybe this could be more than a simple side project. Sometime after that, we managed to get in touch with Bonus Stage Publishing and began a wonderful collaboration to wrap up development and bring Garden In! to everyone.

Some of the plants that you can grow from seed look quite realistic. Are real plants the basis for your designs?

Yes, we started this project by doing many real-life studies, and once we felt like we had a good understanding, we started creating our plants. We tried to keep a balance between something that could feel both magical and real at the same time!

Interview Garden In!
The Herbarium, with a little Racoon watching!

One example is the Dawn Lotus, which is our romanticized idea of what it would look like if we crossed a lilypad and a rose. We are very satisfied with the results and couldn’t wait to make more magical plants.

Want to read the rest of the interview too? Find out the biggest challenge in making a game like Garden In!, find out about Dramatic Iceberg’s next game Racoonie: Legend of the Spirits and read if there are plans for bringing Garden In! to handheld. Plus, Tommaso has some good advice for aspiring game developers.

Keep reading and become a patron in Tier 2 or 3!

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