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Reflecting on 2013

Even though we’re only 2 working days into 2014, it’s already showing signs that it’s going to be a busy month, and on top of that a busy year. Since it was a successful 2013 that gave us a superb springboard for this year, I guess it’s a good time to reflect on the past year.

At the beginning of the year, we jumping head first into a number of projects, the most notable being the Beano iPrank app in conjunction with DC Thomson. This app went through a relatively fast development cycle, and went on to become DC Thomson’s most and highest rated digital product. We also continued our work on other aspects of the Beano and Dandy brands, along with attending several events including a TIGA Game Dev night in Dundee (where I did a presentation on the company).

One project which had been in preparation since 2012 came to fruition in early 2013; our Game Development Workshop with ENABLE Scotland, with a group of young people who have learning disabilities. This actually involved two separate workshops. During the first event we met with the group, introduced them to the games industry (with an outstanding talk from Brian Baglow), and went on to concept out a simple game on paper. We took the work back to the office and prepared for the second event where we would build and release the game. This follow-up workshop took place alongside Futures Fest 2013. The four company partners attended the two day event in Glasgow; first day we held a number of presentations and panel sessions about working in the industry, and the second day we did the follow up ENABLE workshop. During this we built an endless runner for iOS and Android called ‘On the Freerun’. The events received some great coverage; you can download the game:

On The Freerun iOS

On The Freerun Android

In April we moved office (a space that was formerly the home of Digital Goldfish), and expanded our programming and art teams.

During the summer, we continued to work with DC Thomson, creating mini-games for the Dennis and Gnasher site, while also making a small original IP, ‘Staking Claims’ which was released on Android Tablet, with an iOS release to follow this year.

It was around the same time that we pitched to Cancer Research UK for the ‘GeneGame’ project. We put in the work, including a great deal of research culminating in a 24 hour shift to polish our pitch. It paid off and we won the contract which has kept us busy up until now, to be released early this year. To add to this we were shortlisted under the ‘Best Newcomer’ category in the ScotlandIS Digital Technology Award 2013.

Around autumn time, when we were snowed under with work, we were greeted with several high points including being selected for the Develop Top 100 UK Games Companies along with the Develop Top 100 European start-ups. Continuing the recognition from Develop magazine, our CTO Alex appeared in the 30 under 30 list.

The workload continued into winter, but Alex and Matt did free up a weekend to take part in the TIGA Game Hack, where they created a prototype tower defense game with a twist… It’s called sandbox TD; take a look at the gameplay trailer.

We’re now at the start of 2014, and we’ve got a lot to look forward to as we move through the year.

Here’s to a successful year!

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