Developer believes he can turn digital game into global hit
Colm Larkin of Gambrinous has presold ‘Guild of Dungeoneering’ all over the world
Colm Larkin: “A lot of games focus on big budget cinematic graphics to tell a particular story. Instead we give the player the pieces and the rules and leave it up to them to put their own story together.”
Colm Larkin has set himself a tough challenge – to make a splash in the highly competitive world of digital gaming.
“There has been an explosion in game creation thanks to digital publishing, but it can be very hard to get noticed,” he says.
“It’s particularly difficult on some platforms – notably the Apple app store, where something like 500 new games were released every day in 2014.”
Larkin’s company is called Gambrinous and he’s been working on developing its first game, Guild of Dungeoneering, since 2013.
He gave up his job as a software engineer in April last year to go into the business full-time, and now has a team of four working with him.
“We are creating original games for PC, tablets and consoles and we want to take what’s special about tabletop games and bring it to digital gaming,” he says.
“Board game ideas naturally started making their way into the digital games I was creating, and Guild of Dungeoneering really takes this idea and runs with it,” he adds.
“A lot of games focus on big budget cinematic graphics to tell a particular story. Instead we give the player the pieces and the rules and leave it up to them to put their own story together.”
Larkin has invested around €10,000 of his own money in the venture and has also been through the New Frontiers programme run by DIT at the Docklands Innovation Park. This gave him a stipend of €15,000.
Working for nothing
Industry and consumer reaction to Guild of Dungeoneering has been very positive and the game will be launched online for PC this summer.
“The biggest marketplace for PC games by a huge margin is Steam and we secured a spot on it last May. Unlike the App Store they don’t take every game. You have to be selected,” Larkin says.
“In January of this year I signed a deal with US publisher, Versus Evil, to help us market the game. They are investing a serious amount of money and in return get a cut of all revenues.
“This deal has enabled us to exhibit the game to hundreds of thousands of people at shows in Texas, Boston, San Francisco and London.
“We’ve already presold the game all over the world and just 3.5 per cent of our website visitors to date are from Ireland.”
The game will sell for €10 and €20 and it will be a number of months before the team begins to benefit from sales.
Larkin says that to succeed in the international gaming arena, a game really needs to stand out.
“Not only does your game need to be great fun to play, it also needs to be something the press want to write about and video streamers (the TV stars of the future) want to play live on Twitch and YouTube to their massive audiences,” he says.
“We’ve kept all this in mind when making Guild of Dungeoneering and I think we have what it takes to make the game a hit on the global stage.”