Hi there. My name is Roy van Bijsterveldt. I’m the producer of iO and the marketing & communication guy of Gamious. We are an Amsterdam based game developer and publisher, aimed to create original games with pure and high quality gameplay.
We call ourselves The Collaborative Games Company. Why? We work with talented individuals from all over the globe on awesome game projects: collaborative game development. It starts with a game concept we either created ourselves or was issued by an external developer. A duo of a programmer and game designer transform this concept into a playable prototype. If the prototype seems fun enough, we add other required members. We carefully select on skill, experience and motivation for the project. Every team member gets a fair share of the revenue. Together we finalize the game and publish it under the Gamious label.
We are a young studio and released our first game in February of 2013. It’s called Briquid, a puzzle game for tablets (iOS/Android/Windows RT) where you can build bricks and remove them to put all the water in a reservoir. In order to fill 100% of all levels with 100% water, you’re going to need a lot of brainpower. This hardcore puzzle game was our first release and got us two nominations for the Dutch Game Awards, including one for Best Mobile Game. A great start for our studio! Check out the trailer here:
Collaborative game development
Briquid was one of the many projects we were working on that year. At one point we had twenty on-going game projects at the same time! Needless to say, it was too much for us to handle. We simply didn’t have the capacity to give every project the attention it deserved. Hard lessons learned, but very good ones. One thing we learned is that it’s essential to playtest (a lot) in an as early stage as possible. Many game concepts seem like a great idea on paper, but don’t work as well as you’d like or as you imagine. When you’re working on a game with a big team and, halfway through development, discover that the game isn’t going to work out, for whatever reason, it has already cost too much time and effort. We learned that we prefer to put this time and effort into games that do meet our quality standards. I’m happy to say that this standard is becoming higher and higher every day.
Our focus has shifted towards working on a fewer amount of high potential projects. We still take our time to play with new game mechanics and concepts, but we work in smaller teams in the early stages of development. That means a lot of prototyping and play testing before we actually add more members to the team.
We just released our first game on OUYA: iO. In iO you move a ball around that can expand or shrink. By changing your size you influence mass, weight and speed. Toy with the laws of physics to solve puzzles, gain momentum and make your way to the exit as fast as possible. Check out the trailer:
iO was originally created by a team of five programmers. They first met at a Dutch Global Game Jam location in 2012. The Global Game Jam is an awesome event where thousands of students from all over the world create a game within 48 hours. One theme is chosen and globally announced at the same time. For the 2012 theme, participants only received an image of a snake biting its own tail. This circular image of the snake was the inspiration of the game, which they called “Size Matters”. Gamious’ founder Pim was one of the jury members and was very impressed by the prototype. He invited the team for a talk and turned it into a Gamious project. Together with the team, we finalized the game by adding new features and mechanics, creating loads of challenging levels and polished every detail of the game into what it is today.
Releasing on OUYA was something we really looked forward to. There’s definitely some resemblance between OUYA and us. We are both young companies with big ambitions that love good and original games. I think that because both our companies are in a kind of ‘start-up phase’, communication is easy and fast. As a developer, you are immediately linked to the right people inside at OUYA. Besides that, they’re very flexible and help where they can. For iO, they helped us adjusting the monetization model for the game and supported the promotion of it. Never underestimate the power of good publicity. No matter how great your game is, if no one is ever going to hear of it, they simply won’t play it. And that’s a shame.
The future of Gamious and iO
At the moment, we are working on several projects we are very enthusiastic about. The projects are very different from one another, ranging from a turn-based strategy game to an abstract puzzle title. We are also close to the release of Briquid Mini, the little smartphone brother of tablet puzzler Briquid. Keep an eye on that!
During the past few years since our start in 2011, we met lots of artists, game designers and developers. Up to this day we are still collaborating with people that we met in 2011. Together with our optimized production model and our focus on originality, we believe that the future looks bright for us. As for iO, the OUYA release is just the start. We are also going to release the game on mobile devices, pc and other platforms. But don’t worry. We are not going to forget the OUYA players. At this moment, we are working on the Impossiball Level Pack; a level pack for the OUYA version of iO containing extremely challenging levels. So make sure you build up your skills while you can. Trust me when I say you’re gonna need them ;)
10 Great OUYA Games:
- Shadow Blade (brilliant old school platform gameplay)
- Amazing Frog (one of the most bizarre games I’ve ever played. Super funny)
- The Cave (nice story, unique style, great artwork, lovely adventure)
- Hidden In Plain Sight (best in its genre. Reminds me of our own game Dark Day LA)
- Nimble Quest (great studio, great game. snake 2.0)
- Towerfall (greatly designed multiplayer madness)
- Just Rain (no game, but a very cool and relaxing experiment. Love it that people actually take their time to make stuff like this)
- Super Mega Worm (bit action fun)
- Super Crate Box (more insane bit action from our Dutch colleagues at Vlambeer)
- Sonic CD (great Sonic game)