Garden In!

A cozy sandbox game

We had the chance to talk with Dramatic Iceberg about a very relaxing and eye catching game called “Garden In!“. Without any further ado let’s jump into the interview!


Could you please introduce Dramatic Iceberg?

Dramatic Iceberg is a very new indie studio from Turin Italy.

Our main goal is to make games that inspire us in some way, we like experimenting a lot, so our projects are usually something that we like plus something that we want to try out and develop.. 

We met at Event Horizon School, during a course on game development. It was a rollercoaster of things but in a positive way. Those three years served as a playing ground, testing our chemistry and our capabilities before graduating and opening a full-fledged company. 

How did “Garden In!” development start?

So, it all started in the midst of the pandemic. Like everyone else, we were working from home and at one point some of us decided that it would be a colorful idea to start growing some in-door plants. The prompt came from one member of the team who is quite the lover of greenery. The proposal stuck and some of us tried growing a couple of plants… but I have to admit with very poor success. We still liked the idea of having plants around us so we tried making some virtual plants just for fun. Then one of the artists passed a sketch of many different pots all lined up and it was all filled with different plants. There were tags, names, icons and such and it immediately clicked. That’s when we began talking about how we could do a very chill sandbox about gardening. Where you would see your plants grow in real-time, decorate your room with items and furniture and change the time and colors to create the perfect mood. This is how Garden In! began taking form.

We had the chance to try a demo of “Garden in!” and it has been an extremely relaxing experience!

Well, Garden In! Is a colorful and cozy sandbox, where you grow fantastical plants and decorate a set of diorama-like rooms. You can move things around in order to make everything perfect or you can just create the most creative mess you can imagine.

We initially got inspired by Viridi and Cloud Gardens. Two very different plant based game. When we looked at Viridi we saw the calmness and we were immediately caught on how relaxing it was. The idea of having plants slowly grow and take shape was very interesting and something that we wanted to imitate. 

The other one, Cloud Gardens, is a sandbox about decorating post-apocalyptic landscapes. It’s pretty easy to see the inspiration. We really like the diorama-like style mixed with the greenery.

Also, both of them really had this calm soundtrack that we understood was a must have to really set the mood. I think

Which game engine is running behind the game? From a technical standpoint, which are the facets of the engine that you most appreciated? is there any technical aspect of your game that deserves a special mention and that you want to share with our readers?

The game is developed on Unreal Engine 4. This might be a surprise to some but it’s what we find most comfortable at the moment. It has its flaws and sometimes it’s not the best for the type of game we make… but since we tend to iterate a lot on what we do, the blueprints and built-in functions, really help speed things up. There were also times when people were a bit scared of using the game engine, but Unreal is pretty intuitive. So we slowly roped them in and taught them how to use it. I also have to admit that our 3D artists really enjoy making materials and particles on UE4, it lets them run wild.

How are you organizing the work with your team?

We are based in Turin and have a small office where a couple of us tend to work from. The rest of the team works from home and comes to the office from time to time. 

One peculiar thing that we grew accustomed to is working 24/7 on Discord. Essentially if someone is online and working, it’s on a voice channel. So we kinda have a “virtual office” where we keep each other company, going from meetings and checks to funny clips and messing around together. It’s not easy to coordinate everyone but I must say, we blend quite well together and this makes everything a bit easier.

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